A product of the Enlightenment and of the French Revolution, Beethoven reached maturity as man and artist while the Napoleonic wars ravaged Europe. Invaded repeatedly by the French, Vienna was ultimately to suffer from within under repressive police rule. These regimes and epic, destabilizing conflicts created the modern world. How did they impact Beethoven’s view of society, his sense of self and his music? Today his music is so iconic it has lost much of its impact, but just how radical was it in his time, and how has his music influenced the composition and reception of that which followed?