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The Prophecy of the Heiligenstadt TestamentThe rise of Ludwig van Beethoven into the ranks ofhistorys greatest composers was paralleled by and in some waysa consequence of his own personal tragedy and despair Beginning in the late 1790s the increasing buzzing and hummingin his ears sent Beethoven into a panic searching for a curefrom doctor to doctor By October 1802 he had written theHeiligenstadt Testament confessing the certainty of his growingdeafness his consequent despair and suicidal considerations Yet despite the personal tragedy caused by the infirmity inthe one sense which ought to be more perfect in him than inothers a sense which he once possessed in the highestperfection a perfection such as few in his profession enjoyit also served as a motivating force in that it challenged himto try and conquer the fate that was handed him He would notsurrender to that jealous demon my wretched health beforeproving to himself and the world the extent of his skill Thusfaced with such great impending loss Beethoven keeping faithin his art and ability states in his Heiligenstadt Testament apromise of his greatness yet to be proven in the development ofhis heroic style By about 1800 Beethoven was mastering the Viennese High-Classic style Although the style had been first perfected byMozart Beethoven did extend it to some degree He hadunprecedently composed sonatas for the cello which incombination with the piano opened the era of the Classic-Romantic cello sonata In addition his sonatas for violin andpiano became the cornerstone of the sonata duo repertory Hisexperimentation with additions to the standard forms likewisemade it apparent that he had reached the limits of the high-Classic style Having displayed the extended range of his pianowriting he was also begining to forge a new voice for theviolin In 1800 Beethoven was additionally combining thesonata form with a full orchestra in his First Symphony op 2 In the arena of piano sonata he had also gone beyond the three-movement design of Haydn and Mozart applying
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