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Thread: Beethoven Vs. Mozart

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    Senior Member Metalheadwholovesclasical's Avatar
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    Smile Beethoven Vs. Mozart

    Me and my friend on Friday morning were discussing the works of Beethoven and Mozart. Thus came the question who has more of a global impact and who was the bigger "genius?" Beethoven in my opinion has made far superior music to Mozart while he was deaf, yet Mozart never wrote second drafts of his music. It was perfect the first time. Here are my questions to see others opinions.

    1.) Who is the bigger "genius" in your opinion and why?
    2.) Who has made superior music (in your opinion) and why?
    3.) Who has had more of a global impact?

    P.S. No arguing in this thread. This is to hear others opinions. I can name a specific thread where arguing opinions has happened too much, and it was getting rather annoying.
    "When I open my eyes I must sigh, for what I see is contrary to my religion, and I must despise the world which does not know that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." - Ludwig van Beethoven

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    My opinion has always been that Beethoven has more far reaching impact than Mozart. Mozart may have gotten his music perfect the first time, but that is irrelevant if it doesn't speak to me (although much of it does.)

    1.) Who is the bigger "genius" in your opinion and why?
    Beethoven's genius and influence extends far outside his own time, whereas I feel that Mozart was pretty much of his own time, however sublime his works.

    2.) Who has made superior music (in your opinion) and why?
    Beethoven, because it makes me feel in profound ways.

    3.) Who has had more of a global impact?
    See above. I'm not entirely sure what is meant by global impact, but I find Beethoven's music of slightly more universal appeal. Popularity is not necessarily an indication of superiority however, so I will leave it at that.

    and 4. I just enjoy the legends surrounding Beethoven -- his being one of the first brooding artist as hero types.

    None of this is to say I dismiss Mozart. I do enjoy his music also.
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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    Beethoven is my answer to questions 1, 2 and 3.

    Beethoven was a greater genius because he took the "classical" idiom and basically single-handedly reinvented it and ushered in a completely new movement. Because of Beethoven, music evolved.

    Beethoven's music is superior because it has all of the structural perfection of a Mozart or Haydn, but also fiery emotion that has more direct impact than either. Thus, his music is more emotionally complex while structural brilliant...his music has it all.

    Beethoven had more global impact. Everyone knows the opening chords of the 5th symphony, everyone knows the big "Ode to Joy" tune, and most know the music from the Moonlight Sonata. But the real impact comes from his "invention" or Romantic music. So great was Beethoven's genius that a new type of musical expression had to be born. When you are the catalyst for a new style of music, I'd say your impact is pretty big.

    I really hope the Mozartians don't rip me a new one here. Please respect my opinion.
    Florestan likes this.
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tapkaara View Post

    Beethoven was a greater genius because he took the "classical" idiom and basically single-handedly reinvented it and ushered in a completely new movement. Because of Beethoven, music evolved.

    Beethoven's music is superior because it has all of the structural perfection of a Mozart or Haydn, but also fiery emotion that has more direct impact than either. Thus, his music is more emotionally complex while structural brilliant...his music has it all.
    I am not a Mozartian, I don't prefer either composer, but much of what you say about Beethoven being a revolutionary, etc. can be applied to Mozart (especially his late works: Symphonies Nos. 39-41, Don Giovanni & the Requiem). After these pieces, classical music would never be the same. It became more subjective, more about emotions, and much more autobiographical. Mozart was just 'warming up' to producing more masterpieces, if he would not have died so young, he would have composed many more. Needless to say, Mozart's music is just as well known as Beethoven's eg. Eine Kliene Nachtmusik, Rondo alla Turca, Piano Concerto No. 21 'Elvira Madigan,' and so on.

    So, basically, I don't think either was greater, really. Both were pretty influential, but I think that Beethoven was like a demigod who dominated his age, and kind of overshadowed much that went before him, and much that came after. Both composers redefined so many genres. In particular, they elevated music from being a mere accompaniment to other things into being the main event in itself. Look at the length of their instrumental works, for example - they made people develop their attention spans. Music was no longer something light served as an entree to something else, it was something you sat down to for half an hour or longer to enjoy & concentrate on in itself. I think Mozart (& Haydn, to a degree) started off this process & Beethoven continued. To some extent, Beethoven would not have become the composer he did if not for the teaching of Haydn, & the contribution to music of Mozart.
    Manxfeeder and NightHawk like this.

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    My assessment of this question is very simple: they were both influential and neither one of them were better than the other. In terms of person taste, however, I prefer Beethoven.

    I don't think its' fair to really put them against each other like it's some kind of competition.

    This discussion is just like comparing Ravel to Debussy. Ravel borrowed ideas from Debussy, especially in terms of color and texture, but ultimately Ravel became an influential composer who developed his own highly personal style. Debussy was a revolutionary who forged his own path in music, which, in turn, influenced many composers ever since.

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    Senior Member Bach's Avatar
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    Beethoven is the greater composer, perhaps Mozart was a greater musician..
    shangoyal likes this.
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    Senior Member Rasa's Avatar
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    I think it's safe to say that in general Mozart perfected the style, and Beethoven advanced it.

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    Senior Member PostMinimalist's Avatar
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    Mozart Vs. Beethoven? In a poker game, Mozart, In the boxing ring, Beethoven. Probably a draw at chess but Mozart again for tiddly winks easily! Bowling and darts my money goes on Mozart but arm wrestling and ludo (not Judo but I guess he'd win at that too!) I would advise odds on Beethoven.

    B has the clout but M has fancy footwork!

    Whadya think, Rocky!

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    Super Moderator jhar26's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Metalheadwholovesclasical;49467]


    Me and my friend on Friday morning were discussing the works of Beethoven and Mozart. Thus came the question who has more of a global impact and who was the bigger "genius?" Beethoven in my opinion has made far superior music to Mozart while he was deaf, yet Mozart never wrote second drafts of his music. It was perfect the first time. Here are my questions to see others opinions.

    1.) Who is the bigger "genius" in your opinion and why?
    I think they are equals really. If music were a competition (which in my modest opinion it isn't supposed to be) both could lay claim to be 'the greatest of all time' and only Bach could object to any such notion. I think that considering the preferences of many members here that Beethoven will come out the winner with most people, but I think that has mostly to do with the fact that he was the later composer. He's more of a transitional figure towards the romantic era which is many members favorite period here. But it's not Mozart's fault that he was a late 18th century composer. Take a listen to Mozart's early works and the works that other composers were producing at the time and compare them with his later works and you will realize that Mozart's artistic journey from his early works to his late works was just as impressive as Beethoven's. And keep in mind that Mozart had to make that journey in a much shorter life than Beethoven, Bach, Wagner, Haydn, Handel or any of the other all time greats (except for Schubert).
    2.) Who has made superior music (in your opinion) and why?
    Again, they are equals. Both have produced masterpieces in almost any genre. Even so, when we feel inclined to split hairs it's maybe correct to say that Beethoven was arguably the greater composer of string quartets, symphonies and piano sonatas while Mozart was the better opera composer and his piano concertos are maybe the most impressive string of instrumental works of any composer in any field. Wolfie was also in a league of his own when it comes to writing for wind instruments in my modest opinion.
    3.) Who has had more of a global impact?
    Both. Again, some will say Beethoven, but Beethoven couldn't have happened without Mozart. Beethoven had for example Mozart's G minor symphony and the Jupiter as examples of what was possible with the symphony. Imagine that there had been no Mozart and that Vanhal's, Boccherini's or even fellow genius Haydn's symphonies had been Ludwig's starting point. Does anyone think that Beethoven would have composed the, say, Eroica without Mozart raising the bar before him?
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    Senior Member nefigah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by post-minimalist View Post
    Mozart Vs. Beethoven? In a poker game, Mozart, In the boxing ring, Beethoven. Probably a draw at chess but Mozart again for tiddly winks easily! Bowling and darts my money goes on Mozart but arm wrestling and ludo (not Judo but I guess he'd win at that too!) I would advise odds on Beethoven.

    B has the clout but M has fancy footwork!

    Whadya think, Rocky!
    Don't forget Professional Wrestling -- I maintain Beethoven would have won if Haydn hadn't unexpectedly appeared in the ring with the mask on and the folding chair!

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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    Haydn and those folding chairs...you really have to watch him!
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    Senior Member handlebar's Avatar
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    When I first saw the thread subject matter, i thought: Oh boy. Talk about a loaded question!
    So after thinking about it for a long time here are my dull and nonsensical answers:


    1.) Who is the bigger "genius" in your opinion and why? They were equal IMHO. One had more natural talent and the other had to work his rear off to do so. If one can be born with such talent and genius, it was Mozart. I might not admire ALL of his works, but they are all masterpieces to somebody. He never seemed to be at a loss for composing.Beethoven had periods of thematic forgetfulness. He had the drive but the music didn't come to him as easily as Mozart. And look at the output over the comparative life spans: Mozart far outdid Beethoven in that respect.

    2.) Who has made superior music (in your opinion) and why?Again, equal. Both are superb in their compositions.I know I'm supposed to pick but i cannot.

    3.) Who has had more of a global impact?I would say Mozart has penetrated the world at large in a bigger way. In terms of vast numbers of recordings and literature. Now influence in later art might be a tougher question.I will defer by saying I plead the 5th.

    Jim

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    Senior Member nickgray's Avatar
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    1.) Who is the bigger "genius" in your opinion and why?

    Pointless question.

    2.) Who has made superior music (in your opinion) and why?

    Beethoven.

    3.) Who has had more of a global impact?

    Beethoven.


    Getting a bit more serious now... I'm not a big fan of either of them, but I like Beethoven's music much more than Mozart's (which I'm not a big fan of, only some of his late works and a bit middle). I also don't think that you can measure the amount of talent in two extremely talented persons, therefore you can't compare the "genius level". I also hate the word genius... As for the global impact - Beethoven, of course. I'm quite sure most classical fans would agree.
    Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

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    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    1) Beethoven perhaps. But, as nickgray says, a pointless question.

    2) Beethoven

    3) Beethoven
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

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    Senior Member PostMinimalist's Avatar
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    I never realised Haydn had such developed biceps!

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