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YMMV / Ludwig van Beethoven

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  • Ending Fatigue: Even some professional musicians think Beethoven had a hard time bringing Symphony No. 5 to an end.
  • Gateway Series: Both through being one of the most recognizable composers in pop culture, and having written such widely played pieces as Für Elise, the Moonlight Sonata, Ode to Joy, and the Fifth Symphony, Beethoven is many people's first introduction to Classical Music as a whole.
  • Growing the Beard: Some people feel that the music he wrote while he was going (and after he had gone) deaf is more interesting.
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  • Heartwarming Moments: At the end of the first performance of the ninth symphony, which Beethoven directed himself despite being completely deaf, the audience gave him five standing ovations - and they did it by waving hats and handkerchiefs in the air so he could see the applause he couldn't hear. Another story goes that Beethoven, who insisted on "conducting" (the real conducting was done by someone else but Beethoven was allowed to believe the musicians were following his lead) was several bars behind when the symphony finished and was therefore still conducting when the audience broke into applause. One of his sopranos physically turned him around to observe the audience's reaction, which of course he could not hear.
  • Memetic Mutation: Dun-dun-dun DUUUUNNNN!
  • Narm: "Wellington's Victory" commemorates the Battle of Vitoria by playing the opposing countries' national anthems ("Rule Britannia" and "God Save the King" for the British, and "Marlbrough s'en va-t-en guerre" for the French) and a battery of artillery percussion effects. It's exactly as corny as it sounds, but it was a big hit in its day which helped pay the bills. Beethoven apparently had no illusions about its musical quality, but defended himself from critics by remarking, "What I shit is better than anything you could ever think up!"
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  • Sampled Up: Henry van Dyke's hymn "Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee" is set to Ode to Joy.
  • Vindicated by History:
    • The premiere of the Fifth Symphony (and the Sixth) was in a concert that lasted four hours on a cold, December night and the audience was tired. Needless to say, it was not very well accepted in its first performance. It took a review by E. T. A. Hoffmann to bring its genius to light. However, It Makes Sense in Context - the premiere was during the Napoleonic Wars, and as a result the orchestra was only able to rehearse the piece once before the performance, and mangled it so badly that Beethoven was forced to stop and restart at one point.
    • The Große Fuge was profoundly different from anything else at the moment. It featured a complex syncopated melody and liberal use of dissonance on top of being very difficult to play. Even by the 20th century, its use of dissonance was still considered radical and esoteric, and was rarely performed. It wasn't until later that century that it became recognized as one of Beethoven's great works and far ahead of its time.
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  • "Weird Al" Effect: His composition "Turkish March" in the incidental music Ruins of Athens is mostly known by Mexicans due to the Covered Up take called "The Elephant Never Forgets" being used as the theme song for El Chavo del ocho. The chorus finale in the Ruins of Athens has a tune better known worldwide as El Jarabe Tapatio (The Mexican Hat Dance).


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