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Thread: Beethoven Vs. Mozart

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pickybear View Post
    I have always found his music more extreme in the emotional sense than Mozart, who by all accounts composed quickly and perhaps more intuitively, though I agree we will not know exactly how he wrote; but Mozart also seemed more sociable, lively, extroverted and wrote many not-so-serious compositions, while Beethoven seems to have been more the 'serious' artist, perfectionist, probably more introverted, reportedly spending long periods of time by himself because he was ashamed of his deafness.

    I would think this all contributes to an artist's output.
    I would hesitate to attribute the differences in expression and seriousness you cite to individual traits of the composers. Musical aesthetics was undergoing a drastic paradigm shift around the turn of the 19thc. Through the great work of Mozart and Beethoven it went from being regarded as a kind of sensual and decorative ear-tickling to a fine art plumbing the depths of the human soul and psyche. One is more likely to be a "serious artist" and to be seen as such the more society takes your art form seriously. When the highest aesthetic values are light, balance, beauty, and sensual pleasure, composers write great music fulfilling these values. When depth of personal expression and moving the levers of wonder and terror are regarded as central goals, stormier, willful music is more likely to be appreciated.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Dec-04-2019 at 19:22.

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  3. #527
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    I would hesitate to attribute the differences in expression and seriousness you cite to individual traits of the composers. Musical aesthetics was undergoing a drastic paradigm shift around the turn of the 19thc. Through the great work of Mozart and Beethoven it went from being regarded as a kind of sensual and decorative ear-tickling to a fine art plumbing the depths of the human soul and psyche. One is more likely to be a "serious artist" and to be seen as such the more society takes your art form seriously. When the highest aesthetic values are light, balance, beauty, and sensual pleasure, composers write great music fulfilling these values. When depth of personal expression and moving the levers of wonder and terror are regarded as central goals, stormier, willful music is more likely to be appreciated.
    I agree, recognizing these ideas underpinned my music studies & continued in my later musical life.

    As for which composer has had more global impact: (1) Beethoven in the 19th c., through ongoing influence on European Romanticism & in many non-European countries; (2) Mozart increasing in the 20th c., with the neo-classical movement, more performances of the vast catalogue, & artists like Rudolph Serkin emphasizing in pianism the depth & expressiveness of his music. But both Classical & Romantic sides of Beethoven kept him at the top; (3) hard to say in the later 20th/21st c. -- many people prefer pre-18th and/or post-20th centuries, non-Western, electronic/computer, popular, mixed media.
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Dec-04-2019 at 20:14.

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    Senior Member Ethereality's Avatar
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    Mozart's instrumentation doesn't quite pack as much punch, attack, or expressive effect as Bach's and Beethoven's, simply due to the evolution of the larger symphony at his time which sounds collectively more faded--Beethoven steered around this problem. In some way, I think when you see past this (which is difficult to do because there aren't as many dynamically or instrumentally different compositions of Mozart's) it becomes easier to perceive his genius and perhaps superiority. As per the TC's Expert Top 50 here, Mozart is listed as #1, which seems quite possibly accurate to me. But a lot of his music simply doesn't have as much attack, and thus can be less effective on people for that reason, due to the time he lived, the symphonic environment he usually composed for. During the Classical period the symphony already sounded revolutionary compared to anything before, nobody expected it would be changed more drastically.
    Last edited by Ethereality; Dec-08-2019 at 00:54.

  5. #529
    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereality View Post
    Mozart's instrumentation doesn't quite pack as much punch, attack, or expressive effect as Bach's and Beethoven's. In some way, I think when you see past this (which is difficult to do because there aren't as many dynamically or instrumentally varied recordings of his) it becomes easier to perceive his genius and perhaps superiority. As per the TC's Expert Top 50 here, Mozart is listed as #1, which seems quite possibly accurate to me.
    So you're ranking by sharing the feelings that Mozart was able evoke (even with his disadvantages). It sets him ahead.

    It seems like a valid approach. They're all so closely ranked that it really depends upon my mood.. ..unless we want to rank individual works by their strengths and weaknesses.
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    Senior Member Ethereality's Avatar
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    Sorry wasn't sure what you meant by feelings, but moreso than him trying at expression, it is his truly complex forms and developments that may go ignored by people after a few listens because people prefer an overall different timbre to their music.

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    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Knox View Post
    As for which composer has had more global impact: (1) Beethoven in the 19th c., through ongoing influence on European Romanticism & in many non-European countries; (2) Mozart increasing in the 20th c., with the neo-classical movement, more performances of the vast catalogue, & artists like Rudolph Serkin emphasizing in pianism the depth & expressiveness of his music. But both Classical & Romantic sides of Beethoven kept him at the top; (3) hard to say in the later 20th/21st c. -- many people prefer pre-18th and/or post-20th centuries, non-Western, electronic/computer, popular, mixed media.
    But even in the 19th century, Beethoven didn't have as much influence on Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini etc as Mozart did.
    I've discussed Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Wagner (Harmonic Similarities in Wagner and Mozart) regarding this matter so much I probably don't need to go over again.
    Berlioz (and probably Liszt) may have found Beethoven more important, but they didn't trash Mozart in the same way Ravel did Beethoven. Berlioz Mendelssohn thought that Haydn and Mozart were just as important as Beethoven. (https://books.google.ca/books?id=B5SlCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA20) Mendelssohn's own second piano concerto for example quotes Mozart Clarinet Quintet.
    Maybe by "global impact", you mean popularity with the global public. But for large part of the 19th century, global popularity of classical music outside of the European continent was minimal. Abraham Lincoln didn't know Beethoven.

    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Dec-08-2019 at 11:19.

  8. #532
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereality View Post
    Mozart's instrumentation doesn't quite pack as much punch, attack, or expressive effect as Bach's and Beethoven's, simply due to the evolution of the larger symphony at his time which sounds collectively more faded--Beethoven steered around this problem. In some way, I think when you see past this (which is difficult to do because there aren't as many dynamically or instrumentally different compositions of Mozart's) it becomes easier to perceive his genius and perhaps superiority. As per the TC's Expert Top 50 here, Mozart is listed as #1, which seems quite possibly accurate to me. But a lot of his music simply doesn't have as much attack, and thus can be less effective on people for that reason, due to the time he lived, the symphonic environment he usually composed for. During the Classical period the symphony already sounded revolutionary compared to anything before, nobody expected it would be changed more drastically.
    So after all your nonsense that Bach is one-dimensional because he doesn't use bangy rhythm and dynamics like Beethoven, you're now trashing Mozart? Hasn't it occurred to you, compared to Haydn's Theresienmesse for example, Beethoven's own Missa Solemnis just pales, and he should have studied Haydn's music more carefully? Haven't you wondered why Hummel laughed about Beethoven's work, and Verdi criticized the final movement of the ninth symphony?

    Choral Fantasy Op.80:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN1R6T7m6NE&t=16m7s

    9th Symphony 4th movement:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFRfzCiVx_Y&t=8m30s

    Missa Solemnis Op.123: Credo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80c96DO-iSQ&t=18s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80c96DO-iSQ&t=3m7s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80c96DO-iSQ&t=14m48s

    If you're calling these sloppy attempts at control, "expressive effect and punch" surpassing Haydn and Mozart, I'll just have to laugh at you in the face and not take you seriously any more.
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Dec-08-2019 at 11:23.

  9. #533
    Senior Member Ethereality's Avatar
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    Ooo I think you completely misread my post sir hammeredklavier. See Luchesi's response. The key word I used was "instrumentation" of the classical symphony, not "compositional ability", so my post has the opposite meaning of which you read. One easily notices Haydn's early works packing much less of punch in instrumentation due to the symphonic needs of that time, yet has no bearing on their quality of classical expression, but are in fact works severe in underratededness. Whether or not I'm talking about the overall excellence of expression that exists within classical form, is a different topic from the distinction I made that listeners unfortunately draw to--the instrumentation or timbre of non-classical configurations, an unfortunate distraction. This is due to either their smaller size allowing for richer timbre (ie. Baroque) or their compositional leverage of symphonic punch and silence (ie. Romantic.) To a trained ear, this musical quality is not impressive by itself, but to others, they may not notice its basic simplicity.
    Last edited by Ethereality; Dec-08-2019 at 12:29.

  10. #534
    Senior Member Allerius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    So after all your nonsense that Bach is one-dimensional because he doesn't use bangy rhythm and dynamics like Beethoven, you're now trashing Mozart? Hasn't it occurred to you, compared to Haydn's Theresienmesse for example, Beethoven's own Missa Solemnis just pales, and he should have studied Haydn's music more carefully? Haven't you wondered why Hummel laughed about Beethoven's work, and Verdi criticized the final movement of the ninth symphony?

    Choral Fantasy Op.80:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN1R6T7m6NE&t=16m7s

    9th Symphony 4th movement:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFRfzCiVx_Y&t=8m30s

    Missa Solemnis Op.123: Credo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80c96DO-iSQ&t=18s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80c96DO-iSQ&t=3m7s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80c96DO-iSQ&t=14m48s

    If you're calling these sloppy attempts at control, "expressive effect and punch" surpassing Haydn and Mozart, I'll just have to laugh at you in the face and not take you seriously any more.
    There's no substance to what you say. "Bangy" rhythm? Missa Solemnis pales? How so? What do these nonsensical links you provided mean? If Hummel and Verdi criticized Beethoven, so Gould, Ives and Berlioz did for Mozart. So what? What authority to ask somebody not to trash a composer do you think you have if you keep doing the same? Why should anyone take you seriously, considering that all what you do all the time is attack major composers using some alien logic, and as if your personal biases should be taken as definitive truths? Why can't you be only a bit humble and just say "I don't really like any composer in classical music besides Mozart" instead of keep attacking other composers while trying to prove the existence of certain absolute weaknesses in their oeuvre that can viewed as qualities depending on the perspective? Instead, just be fair to yourself and say loud and clean "I don't like Beethoven", it will do you good, and nobody will have to complain about that.

    By the way, I prefer Beethoven's Choral Fantasy over any Mozart fantasy, I prefer Beethoven's Ninth symphony over any Mozart symphony, and I favour Beethoven's Missa Solemnis over any Mozart's mass with perhaps the single exception of the Requiem. So what?
    Last edited by Allerius; Dec-08-2019 at 16:37.
    “To do good whenever one can, to love liberty above all else, never to deny the truth, even though it be before the throne.” - Ludwig van Beethoven.

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    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereality View Post
    Sorry wasn't sure what you meant by feelings, but moreso than him trying at expression, it is his truly complex forms and developments that may go ignored by people after a few listens because people prefer an overall different timbre to their music.
    If not feeling (as a concept it's wrong) then Mozart is showing us arithmetic integer relationships. And we're so pleased with ourselves when we detect them (in all the arts). In music there's only five comfortable integer relationships (the sixth becomes close to uncomfortable, but I don't think there's more than six) and they're not as obvious as in the visual arts and architecture.

    Mozart and his contemporaries do this 'bestowing' on us - and are very exposed. They pound it home. In the Romantic era the composers were trying to avoid the obvious - while at the same time borrowing the successful innovations from Mozart's time.
    Tradition is not the worship of ashes - but the preservation of fire!
    Gustav Mahler

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereality View Post
    Mozart's instrumentation doesn't quite pack as much punch, attack, or expressive effect as Bach's and Beethoven's, simply due to the evolution of the larger symphony at his time which sounds collectively more faded--Beethoven steered around this problem. In some way, I think when you see past this (which is difficult to do because there aren't as many dynamically or instrumentally different compositions of Mozart's) it becomes easier to perceive his genius and perhaps superiority. As per the TC's Expert Top 50 here, Mozart is listed as #1, which seems quite possibly accurate to me. But a lot of his music simply doesn't have as much attack, and thus can be less effective on people for that reason, due to the time he lived, the symphonic environment he usually composed for. During the Classical period the symphony already sounded revolutionary compared to anything before, nobody expected it would be changed more drastically.
    Attack?

    I think you need to listen to more Mozart.

    Try the 1st mvt of sy 25 in g minor.

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    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allerius View Post
    There's no substance to what you say. "Bangy" rhythm? Missa Solemnis pales? How so? What do these nonsensical links you provided mean?
    Sorry, I was just making a point, Haydn and Mozart can be just as effective and powerful, albeit in a different way from Beethoven.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allerius View Post
    If Hummel and Verdi criticized Beethoven, so Gould, Ives and Berlioz did for Mozart. So what?
    We talked about this sometime ago.


    Quote Originally Posted by Luchesi View Post
    Mozart and his contemporaries do this 'bestowing' on us - and are very exposed. They pound it home. In the Romantic era the composers were trying to avoid the obvious - while at the same time borrowing the successful innovations from Mozart's time.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkG7mxhx36U
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQ3HreNp98o
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1Y-KEXoaxA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJEQqcw-830
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehm_kDU563Q
    Haven't I told you many times before that Chopin's method of writing the same parts for both hands all the way is just a lazy way to go about doing things, and far far more obvious, boring in my view than Haydn and Mozart?
    "Chopin is a composer for one right hand" -Wagner

    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Dec-08-2019 at 23:16.

  14. #538
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereality View Post
    Ooo I think you completely misread my post sir hammeredklavier. See Luchesi's response. The key word I used was "instrumentation" of the classical symphony, not "compositional ability", so my post has the opposite meaning of which you read. One easily notices Haydn's early works packing much less of punch in instrumentation due to the symphonic needs of that time, yet has no bearing on their quality of classical expression, but are in fact works severe in underratededness. Whether or not I'm talking about the overall excellence of expression that exists within classical form, is a different topic from the distinction I made that listeners unfortunately draw to--the instrumentation or timbre of non-classical configurations, an unfortunate distraction. This is due to either their smaller size allowing for richer timbre (ie. Baroque) or their compositional leverage of symphonic punch and silence (ie. Romantic.) To a trained ear, this musical quality is not impressive by itself, but to others, they may not notice its basic simplicity.
    As I far as I remember even in the later era, Beethoven didn't write any significant work in these instrument combinations: 2 oboes, 1 clarinet, 3 basset horns, 1 contrabassoon, 2 horns. (instrumentation for winds in Maurerische Trauermusik K477) Beethoven 5th and 9th symphonies have 1 contrabassoon in their instrumentation, but no basset horns. Mozart, Haydn didn't have any less "expressive effect" in instrumentation and variety than Beethoven: they were just different.

    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Dec-08-2019 at 21:32.

  15. #539
    Senior Member Ethereality's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    Mozart, Haydn didn't have any less "expressive effect" in instrumentation and variety than Beethoven: they were just different.
    I would still reword this. Mozart and Haydn have far enough expression. But the immediate effects I've been referring to this whole time, were not as much as Beethoven. Like you said, these are different types we're distinguishing between: the subtlety of the larger symphony (more instruments with imperfect timing) is one major reason many here aren't more attracted to Classical composers, and the reason for this is, when you're hearing a Classical symphony, concerto or opera, you're supposed to be comparing the music within its own development and boundaries. You're not comparing it as much with other pieces. This misunderstanding is why people flee from Haydn, many don't understand (or haven't been taught) the technical purpose of classical music. A glimpse judgement towards what sounds like less expression, but failing to understand 18th century intention, and thus failing to understand the music. Period. It's not until composition started distinguishing itself with varieties of both broader and sharper dynamics and attacks, and at greater development and range (as well as Baroque with its inherently richer more intimate timbres), that now these Romantic dynamics are something people naturally draw to often without realization, however many have said it's a simplistic quality, considering such the emotional intent of Classical.

    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    As I far as I remember even in the later era, Beethoven didn't write any significant work in these instrument combinations: 2 oboes, 1 clarinet, 3 basset horns, 1 contrabassoon, 2 horns.
    This is true, I was mostly referring to the Baroque period instrumentation. The Classical symphony is known for its softness, but in reality this is only a perception. It has nothing to do with your or my opinion, it's a real perception that more people should get past.
    Last edited by Ethereality; Dec-09-2019 at 03:57.

  16. #540
    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    Sorry, I was just making a point, Haydn and Mozart can be just as effective and powerful, albeit in a different way from Beethoven.



    We talked about this sometime ago.




    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkG7mxhx36U
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQ3HreNp98o
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1Y-KEXoaxA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJEQqcw-830
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehm_kDU563Q
    Haven't I told you many times before that Chopin's method of writing the same parts for both hands all the way is just a lazy way to go about doing things, and far far more obvious, boring in my view than Haydn and Mozart?
    "Chopin is a composer for one right hand" -Wagner

    Chopin needed those sonorities and with the pianos of his time he could have them.

    For me, Wagner's gimmicks in that piece aren't inspiring.
    Tradition is not the worship of ashes - but the preservation of fire!
    Gustav Mahler

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