Beethoven's fame was and is...more than a purely musical phenomenon. The story of his life--outwardly so uneventful, yet so full of inner pathos--became inextricably blended with the particular qualities of his music to produce a composite image which fascinated the age of Romanticism and excited a powerful, sometime baleful, effect on the careers of other musicians. More than any other composer, painter, or author, Beethoven was felt to represent the very type of the artist--a figure that came to assume mythological proportions in the Romantic consciousness. Indeed, it was not too much to speak of a Beethoven myth, based on but rapidly outpacing biographical and musical realities.
...when Haydn heard the Op. 1 trios he praised them but thought the public would not understand or accept the third, in C minor. One suspects that Haydn himself may have been put off by the extremes of tempo, dynamics, texture, and local chromatic action in this piece, and still more by the resulting emotional aura. He would not have been the last listener to find something callow and stagey, which is to say essentially personal, in these insistent gestures of pathos and high drama. Beethoven of course paid no attention to his advice and published increasingly sophisticated C minor items in nearly every one of his composite sets of works over the next eight years...