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Ex. 11. Complete any of the “Character Maps” (see p. ) and retell the story. HOME READING III LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770–1827)



Ex. 1. Answer the questions:

6. What was Ludwig Van Beethoven?

7. When and where was he born?

8. Where did he live?

9. How do you think what kind of character he had?

10. What facts of his life do you know?

Ex. 2. Read and translate the text about Ludwig Van Beethoven:


  1. Ludwig van Beethoven was one of .he greatest composers of all time. Much of his music was filled with great joy. Unfortunately, Beethoven's life wasn't filled with joy or happiness.
  2. Ludwig van Beethoven was born in 1770 in Bonn, Germany. He had a difficult and miserable childhood. His father, Johann, was a musician for the king. Johann started to give Ludwig piano lessons before he was four years old. Ludwig was so small that he had to stand on the piano seat to reach the piano. When Johann saw now quickly Ludwig learned, he knew his son had talent. He was determined to make Ludwig into a concert performer, and he was very demanding. He hit Ludwig's hand when he made a mistake and often woke him up in the middle of the night to make him play for friends. Ludwig continued to study, and, in 1782, he became the assistant organist for the king. He was only 12 years old!
  3. Around this time, Beethoven began composing and publishing music. He used the money that he earned to help take care of his family. His father had a lot of problems and could not support them. When Beethoven was about sixteen, he went to Vienna to study. This was every musician's dream. While he was there, he played for many important people, including the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. When Mozart heard him, he told his friends, "Keep your eyes on him. Someday he will give the world something to talk about."
  4. Soon after Beethoven arrived in Vienna, his mother died. He loved her very much and he was very upset by the news. In fact, he was devastated. Beethoven moved back to Bonn to help care for his younger brothers and sister. He made money by performing and giving music lessons, in 1790, Beethoven returned to Vienna. He studied for a short time with Austrian composer Joseph Haydn. Haydn was an older man and did not have the patience to teach the independent, young Beethoven. Several years later, Beethoven decided to stay and live in Vienna because all the great musicians at that time lived there. He gave many concerts and continued to compose music.
  5. Most of the well-known composers of that time worked for wealthy families. Beethoven was too independent and rebellious to work for anyone else, so he worked for himself. He was the first great composer to do this. His love of independence also showed in his music. Unfortunately, when Beethoven was in his late twenties, a terrible thing happened to him. He began to lose his hearing. Eventually, he would be completely deaf. Beethoven was very angry and upset by this. Sometimes he broke the strings on his piano because he hit the keys so hard to hear the notes.
  6. Music was the most important thing in Beethoven's life and his loss of hearing tortured him. But inside his head, the music continued to play. He continued to compose music, but it was difficult for him to perform in public. His last public performance was very emotional. When Beethoven was finished conducting, the audience began to applaud. But Beethoven continued to conduct because he could not hear the people applauding. Finally, one of the musicians turned him toward the audience. Now he could see how much they loved his music. He started to cry.
  7. Beethoven was a brilliant composer, but a difficult man. He was selfish and he treated people badly. His music was so beautiful that some people cried when they heard it. He laughed at this, and thought they were stupid. Before he lost his hearing, he would walk away if people talked while he was playing. If he did not like an audience, he didn't perform at all. He could also be quite insulting. He wrote a song called "Praise to the Fat One," for a violinist who was overweight. Beethoven was not very attractive himself. He was short and he let his hair grow long and wild. But he knew it, and made jokes about it.
  8. Beethoven was also a wild and bad-tempered person, especially in restaurants. Once he got so mad at a waiter that he emptied a plate of food on the waiter's head. Then he laughed loudly, as he always did. Sometimes he wrote music on the bill and then left without paying. Beethoven probably went to a lot of restaurants because he was a terrible cook. He loved macaroni and cheese, a soup made of bread and eggs, and red herring, which is a type of fish. He liked to make strong coffee and counted exactly 60 beans to the cup.
  9. Beethoven usually worked early in the morning. But sometimes he stayed up all night and worked without eating or sleeping. He poured water over his head to help him stay awake, but he never cleaned it up. His room was a mess. There were dirty clothes, old pens, plates of food, and papers everywhere. His room was so dirty that all his landlords made him move. Beethoven himself was not very clean either. He wore the same clothes until they were so dirty that his friends had to throw them out. They usually did this while Beethoven was sleeping. They left new clothes in place of the old ones, but he never noticed. He was too busy writing music.
  10. Naturally Beethoven never got married. Who would want him? He fell in love many times, however, and asked several women to marry him. Most of the women were engaged or already married. He never had children of his own, but he helped to raise his brother's son after his brother died.
  11. People do not think about all these things when they hear the name Beethoven. People remember the incredible beauty of his music. They also remember that he helped to make classical music popular and respected around the world. Beethoven died in Vienna in 1827 when he was 57. Over 20,000 people came to his funeral. The great composer Franz Schubert helped to carry Beethoven's coffin. Schubert said that when he died, he wanted to be buried in Vienna, next to Beethoven. Sadly, Schubert died a year later, at the age of 32. He was buried next to Beethoven.


Ex. 3. Highlight the story (see p. )

Ex. 4. Choose the best answer:


1. Paragraph 3 is mainly about how Beethoven _____________ .

a. began his music career

b. helped to care for his family

c. met Mozart


2. The main topic of paragraph 6 is _______________ .

a. how Beethoven's loss of hearing affected him emotionally

b. why Beethoven developed his talent as a composer

с. that Beethoven couldn't hear the audience


3. Paragraph 9 is mostly about _____________ .

a. the fact that Beethoven didn't have many friends

b. the strange way Beethoven lived

c. Beethoven's messy room


4. The main topic of the last paragraph is that ______________ .

a. people have always appreciated Beethoven's music

b. Beethoven died in Vienna in 1827

с. many people came to Beethoven's funeral


Ex. 5. Choose the best answer:

1. The famous musician who first noticed Beethoven in Vienna was ______.

a. Haydn

b. Mozart

с. Beethoven's father


2. Haydn taught Beethoven for just a short while because Beethoven _____.

a. was so talented he didn't need lessons

b. was too wild and independent

с. had to go to work to support his family


3. Beethoven was the first great composer to __________ .

a. work for himself

b. work for a wealthy family

c. live outside of Vienna


4. Beethoven's loss of hearing _____________ .

a. made him a better concert performer

b. ended his career

c. caused him to concentrate on composing music


5. Beethoven was very _____________ .

a. kind to his friends

b. bad-mannered

с. shy and quiet


6. To stay awake while he composed at night, Beethoven ___________ .

a. cleaned up his room

b. poured water over his head

с. invited friends to visit

Ex. 6. Put the sentences in the correct order:


· Beethoven decided to live in Vienna.

· Beethoven gave his last public performance.

· Beethoven took piano lessons from his father.

· Beethoven's hearing began to get worse.

· Beethoven studied with Joseph Haydn.

· Beethoven worked as an assistant organist for the king.

Ex. 7. Choose the main idea of the text:


1.The passage concludes that Beethoven's father ______________ .

a. had no interest in his son at all

b. loved and respected his son very much

c. cared mostly about his son's career


2. The passage suggests that _______________ .

a. Beethoven was unsuccessful because of his difficult personality

b. Beethoven really wanted to work for a wealthy family

c. Beethoven's independent and rebellious personality was good for his career


3. The passage implies that Beethoven ______________ .

a. was so unpleasant that very few people went to his concerts

b. was very unpleasant, but people still loved his great talent

c. was very unpleasant, but his friends loved his kindness and generosity

Ex. 8. Write the correct words in the blanks:

landlord bad-tempered applaud rebellious insulting

selfish torture incredible independent patience


1. Something that is _______________ is unbelievable.

2. To_______ is to hit your open hands together to show that you enjoyed a show or performance.

3. A person who owns a building and rents it to other people is a ________ .

4. Being able to wait for things and deal with problems without getting angry or upset is having ______________ .

5. To _______________ is to cause severe pain or suffering.

6. If someone is ___________ he or she is angry or unhappy.

7. People are _____________ when they hurt people's feelings by saying unkind things.

8. _____________ people can take care of themselves without needing others.

9. People who care only about themselves and not others are ________ .

10. A ________________ person goes against rules and is very hard to control.

Ex. 9. Answer the questions:


1. When bad-tempered people are upset, what do they do?

2. What does a landlord do?

3. When do people applaud!

4. What incredible thing have you seen or heard about recently?

5. What are some things that a rebellious person does?

6. When do you need to have patience?

Ex. 10. Translate the following words and phrases into Russian and learn them by heart:

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