A three part 2005 BBC documentary drama series about the great composer Ludwig van Beethoven, the conventional documentary segments are presented by conductor Charles Hazlewood. The series explores Beethoven’s challenging life using first hand accounts from those who knew him and analyses some of his greatest works. Hazlewood had previously presented a similar BBC series about Mozart (see: The Genius of Mozart).
The first episodes analysis Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and 2nd Symphony and explores his troubled early years being raised by an abusive alcoholic father and then moving to Vienna in an attempt to forge a career as a pianist and composer.
The second episode looks at the music of Beethoven’s creative and prolific middle years, in this period he wrote five symphonies, four concertos, and his first and only opera.
The third and final episode covers his later years, a period in which he created some of his greatest works despite being profoundly deaf. Works covered include the he Hammerklavier
Sonata, the Missa Solemnis, and the 9th Symphony.