Ludwig van Beethoven, German composer, died in his apartment in Vienna, on 26 March 1827 at the age of 56, following a prolonged illness. It was witnessed by his sister-in-law and by a close friend. Beethoven's funeral was held three days later, and the procession was witnessed by a large crowd.

Beethoven suffered declining health throughout the last years of his life, including the so-called "Late period" when he produced some of his most admired work. As it became apparent that Beethoven would not recover, his friends gathered to help and to pay their final respects. Beethoven's doctors conducted four minor operations to relieve ascites (abdominal swelling), of which the first resulted in infection, the others not.

On 24 March he was given his last rites, and on 26 March he slipped into unconsciousness and died. An autopsy was performed on 27 March 1827 by Dr. Johann Wagner. The autopsy revealed a severely cirrhotic and shrunken liver, of which ascites is a common consequence. No one knows if Beethoven's liver damage was the result of heavy alcohol consumption, hepatic infection, or both. Hepatitis B and C are causes of cirrhosis, but they spread from contact with contaminated body fluids and were extremely rare in Beethoven's day.

He is remembered as one of the most famous and influential composers of all time,

His works include 9 symphonies, 7 concerti, an opera, 2 masses, 16 string quartets, 5 quintets, 7 piano trios, 5 string trios and 32 piano sonatas.

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