Piano Music - Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven


1770 (Bonn) - 1827 (Vienna)
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist.



📖 "Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life"


📖 "To play a wrong note is insignificant. To play without passion is inexcusable!"


📖 "Don’t only practise your art, but force your way into its secrets"


📖 "Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. It is the wine of a new procreation, and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for men and makes them drunk with the spirit"
In Scott, Beethoven (1934)
"Musik ist höhere Offenbarung als alle Weisheit und Philosophie."


📖 "Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents."
Ludwig van Beethoven, in a Letter to Bettina von Arnim


📖 "Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind, but which mankind cannot comprehend."
Beethoven quoted by Bettina von Arnim in a letter to Goethe (1810)


📖 "O my fellow men, who consider me, or describe me as unfriendly, peevish or even misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me. For you do not know the secret reason why I appear to you to be so. Ever since my childhood my heart and soul have been imbued with the tender feeling of goodwill. But just think, for the last six years I have been afflicted with an incurable complaint which has been made worse by incompetent doctors. From year to year my hopes of being cured have gradually been shattered and finally I have been forced to accept the prospect of a permanent infirmity … Yet I could not bring myself to say to people: 'Speak up, shout, for I am deaf.' Alas! how could I possibly refer to the impairing of a sense which in me should be more perfectly developed than in other people … How humiliated I have felt if somebody standing beside me heard the sound of a flute in the distance and I heard nothing, or if somebody heard a shepherd sing and again I heard nothing. Such experiences almost made me despair, and I was on the point of putting an end to my life. The only thing that held me back was my art …"
In a letter to his brothers Carl and Johann (6 October 1802), found among his papers after his death, and known as the Heiligenstadt Testament


📖 "I will seize fate by the throat; it shall certainly not bend and crush me completely."
In Letter to F.G. Wegeler (1801)


📖 "Power is the moral principle of those who excel others, and it is also mine."
In Letter to Freiherr Zmeskall von Domanowecz (1798)


📖 "I carry my thoughts about with me for a long time, before I write them down. Meanwhile my memory is so tenacious that I am sure never to forget, not even in years, a theme that has once occurred to me. I change many things, discard and try again until I am satisfied. Then, however, there begins in my head the development in every direction and, insomuch as I know exactly what I want, the fundamental idea never deserts me - it arises before me, grows - I see and hear the picture in all its extent and dimensions stand before my mind like a cast, and there remains for me nothing but the labour of writing it down, which is quickly accomplished when I have the time, for I sometimes take up other work, but never to the confusion of one with the other."
In Letter to Louis Schlösser (1823)


📖 "Music should strike fire from a man."
Scott, Beethoven (1934)

Quotes by Ludwig van Beethoven



From the Ludvig van Beethoven article in the Grove Music Dictionary


(b Bonn, bap. Dec 17, 1770; d Vienna, March 26, 1827).German composer. His early achievements, as composer and performer, show him to be extending the Viennese Classical tradition that he had inherited from Mozart and Haydn. As personal affliction – deafness, and the inability to enter into happy personal relationships – loomed larger, he began to compose in an increasingly individual musical style, and at the end of his life he wrote his most sublime and profound works. From his success at combining tradition and exploration and personal expression, he came to be regarded as the dominant musical figure of the 19th century, and scarcely any significant composer since his time has escaped his influence or failed to acknowledge it. For the respect his works have commanded of musicians, and the popularity they have enjoyed among wider audiences, he is probably the most admired composer in the history of Western music
(Joseph Kerman, Alan Tyson, Scott G. Burnham, Douglas Johnson and William Drabkin)


Free scores of piano music and other works by Beethoven on IMSLP.



Piano Music by Beethoven







Piano Sonatas by Beethoven
















Books About Other Works by Beethoven







Written Words by Beethoven







Books about Beethoven


















Documentaries and Talks about Beethoven


Pianist Claudio Arrau Talks About Beethoven (1970)



David Dubal's 'Conversations with Arrau' (1 of 6): Beethoven




Explore Recordings of Beethoven's Music


Symphonies nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 + Presentation (Century’s recording)
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Bayreuth Festival Chorus and Orchestra
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Soprano
Elisabeth Höngen, Contralto
Hans Hopf, Tenor
Otto Edelmann, Bass



Complete Violin Sonatas (Century’s recording) 91956)
Arthur Grumiaux, violin
Clara Haskil, piano



Cello Sonatas nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & Variations + Presentation (reference recording)
Paul Tortelier, cello
Eric Heidsieck, piano










Homepage Piano Lessons London | Tuition Elements | Piano Composers A-Z