Ludwig van Beethoven  

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"Mozart and Haydn, the creators of the instrumental music of today, show us the art for the first time in its full glory; the one who has looked on it with an all-embracing love and penetrated its innermost being is — Beethoven! The instrumental compositions of all three masters breathe the same romantic spirit."--"Beethoven's Instrumental-Musik" (1813) by E. T. A. Hoffmann

"Music discloses to man an unknown kingdom, a world having nothing in common with the external sensual world which surrounds him and in which he leaves behind him all definite feelings in order to abandon himself to an inexpressible longing."--"Beethoven's Instrumental-Musik" (1813) by E. T. A. Hoffmann

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Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized December 17, 1770March 26, 1827) was a German composer and virtuoso pianist. He was an important figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music, and remains one of the most famous and influential musicians of all time.

Beethoven suffered from gradual hearing loss beginning in his twenties. He nonetheless continued to compose his masterpieces, and to conduct and perform, even after he was completely deaf.

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