A Musical Genius
For many people Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) is the most (0) influential figure in the history of western classical music. His (1) ..... talent was already clearly evident as a young man, (2) ..... surviving a somewhat unconventional (3) ..... during which his eccentric father would often force him to take music lessons in the middle of the night.
The young Beethoven's ability won him the admiration of the leading contemporary musical figures. Throughout the 1790s he worked hard to secure the interest of wealthy patrons. Such patronage (4) ..... him to concentrate on becoming a successful composer.
Whatever his awe-inspiring musical (5) ....., however, his personal life was something of a disaster. His day-to-day (6) ..... with people invariably turned out to be rather turbulent. Although he apparently fell in love with a number of society women, the identity of the girl who lay closest to his heart remains (7) ..... to this day.
However, just at the point when Beethoven was beginning to reap the rewards of his early endeavours, he had to come to terms with the crushing realisation that his increasing deafness was (8) ..... . From that point on, his music displayed a striking change in style, becoming both heavier in tone and larger in scale.