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The rise of Ludwig van Beethoven into the ranks of historys greatest composers was paralleled by and in some ways a consequence of his own personal tragedy and despair Beginning in the late 1790s the increasing buzzing and humming in his ears sent Beethoven into a panic searching for a cure from doctor to doctor By October 1802 he had written the Heiligenstadt Testament confessing the certainty of his growing deafness his consequent despair and suicidal considerations Yet despite the personal tragedy caused by the infirmity in the one sense which ought to be more perfect in him than in others a sense which he once possessed in the highest perfection a perfection such as few in his profession enjoy it also served as a motivating force in that it challenged him to try and conquer the fate that was handed him He would not surrender to that jealous demon my wretched health before proving to himself and the world the extent of his skill Thus faced with such great impending loss Beethoven keeping faith in his art and ability states in his Heiligenstadt Testament a promise of his greatness yet to be proven in the development of his heroic style By about 1800 Beethoven was mastering the Viennese High- Classic style Although Mozart had first perfected the style Beethoven did extend it to some degree He had unprecedently composed sonatas for the cello which in combination with the piano opened the era of the Classic- Romantic cello sonata In addition his sonatas for violin and piano became the cornerstone of the sonata duo repertory His experimentation with additions to the standard forms likewise made it apparent that he had reached the limits of the high- Classic style Having displayed the extended range of his piano writing he was also beginning to forge a new voice for the violin In 1800 Beethoven was additionally combining the sonata form with a full orchestra in his
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