View Poll Results: Greatest Contribution

Voters
112. You may not vote on this poll
  • The Symphonies

    63 56.25%
  • The Piano Sonatas

    26 23.21%
  • His Chamber Music

    21 18.75%
  • His Opera, Fidelio

    2 1.79%
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 67

Thread: Beethoven's greatest contribution to music

  1. #1
    Junior Member Somnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    38
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Beethoven's greatest contribution to music

    So he's easily one of the top three composers who ever lived, but which group of works form his most influential of them all?

  2. #2
    Senior Member danae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Athens/Milos, Greece
    Posts
    499
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    The obvious answer would be the symphonies, but the 32 piano sonatas really changed everything in piano playing. There was virtually no virtuosity in piano playing before the technical demands of Beethoven's piano sonatas. I have so much to say on the subject that I can't possibly begin to post it here. I need to write an essay.

  3. Likes Sonata liked this post
  4. #3
    Newbies
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    8
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I had a friend with several degrees in music theory suggest to me once that Beethoven, though a brilliant composer, has the standing he has today largely due to his place in time. He posited that there were several other composers, who, if they were composing at the transition point between the Classical and Romantic period, would be thought of as important as we think of Beethoven. I'm not sure I entirely agree, but I find it interesting to ponder.

    Although my favorite Beethoven pieces are his last 3 cello sonatas, I'd have to go with his last five symphonies, particularly 6 and 9. I think they kind of demonstrated what the romantic movement would be.

  5. Likes N/A liked this post
  6. #4
    Member Kuntster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    62
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I think hands down the piano sonatas. Think about it, his style really matured over time and the sonatas correlate directly with the symphonies. Match up the opus numbers and you'll find all sorts of figures in the sonatas that are directly placed in a symphony at the same time. The question is which one was he writing first? Oh yeah, and think about orchestration; was he considered one of the best orchestrators?

  7. #5
    Reiner Torheit
    Guest

    Default

    His opera, FIDELIO, changed the world of opera forever.

    In Mozart's operas (remember - the last of them was written only 14 years before FIDELIO) the heros are lords, counts, etc. Don Ottavio is a lord, Belmonte is the son of an aristocrat etc. But most of all the women are confined to standing-around and being pretty, or being rescued - they never DO anything for themselves.

    In FIDELIO everything's turned upside-down - the hero and heroine are not important because of their social rank, and the rescue is accomplished by the bravery of the female heroine in extreme circumstances.

    A new vocabulary of "action" music is needed to accomplish this kind of opera, and of course Beethoven supplies this extremely successfully.

  8. #6
    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,945
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Fidelio? Nothing compared to Wagner's contribution to opera, I'm afraid.

    I was sorely tempted to pick the piano sonatas for all the reasons danae hints at. Then I was tempted to pick chamber -- I mean those last string quartets and the Grosse Fuge? Fantastic!

    But in the end I had to go with the symphonies if only because the extra orchestral colors make the experience larger than life. The 9th is still the benchmark symphony by which most others are judged.

  9. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    120
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by danae View Post
    The obvious answer would be the symphonies, but the 32 piano sonatas really changed everything in piano playing. There was virtually no virtuosity in piano playing before the technical demands of Beethoven's piano sonatas. I have so much to say on the subject that I can't possibly begin to post it here. I need to write an essay.
    This is too general a statement. All the 32 piano sonatas are not equally great. Several of them are not enormously more than nice. Two of them (the Op. 49) were published by Beethoven's brother and Ludwig got angry about that. For me the summit are: the 3d and 4th movement of Op. 106, C Minor Op. 111, A Flat 110 and Appassionata, further the String Quartets in a, c sharp, F Op. 59 – mainly its 1st and 2d movements -, E Flat Op. 127, the Great Fugue, 1st movement of Kreuzer Sonata, 1st and 2d of the 9th Symphony.

    As to virtuosity, it is not the most important feature of Beethoven’s sonatas. Of course Beethoven explored the possibilities of the piano, which was being enormously improved in those days, but he was not the only composer to do so. It is surprising to hear, for example, Dussek’s sonatas. Same effects, the only difference being that of quality: Dussek has some good ideas but manages to stay on a high level only for seconds.

    Write an essay! I will read it.

  10. #8
    Reiner Torheit
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Weston View Post
    Fidelio? Nothing compared to Wagner's contribution to opera, I'm afraid.
    .



    FIDELIO came first. It launched a new genre of Germanic opera, which developed - via Weber - into a Romantic school in which Wagner later wrote.

    Without FIDELIO there would never have been any Wagnerian opera. Wagner probably would have written in French or Italian instead.

  11. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    365
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    In my mind, it's the symphonies -- a massive concentration of complexity in the information science sense of overlapping, repeated but not repetitive, simple patterns. Am not all that familiar with Fidelio however.
    the Dark Legions Archive underground metal reviews

  12. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    365
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Reiner Torheit View Post
    FIDELIO came first.
    Why do you write this in all caps?
    the Dark Legions Archive underground metal reviews

  13. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brazil
    Posts
    566
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Reiner Torheit View Post


    FIDELIO came first. It launched a new genre of Germanic opera, which developed - via Weber - into a Romantic school in which Wagner later wrote..
    Sorry, strongly disagree. Fidelio is strongly indebted to The Magic Flute, Mozart deserves the credit of the German opera, not Beethoven.

  14. Likes Sonata liked this post
  15. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brazil
    Posts
    566
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by danae View Post
    The obvious answer would be the symphonies, but the 32 piano sonatas really changed everything in piano playing. There was virtually no virtuosity in piano playing before the technical demands of Beethoven's piano sonatas. I have so much to say on the subject that I can't possibly begin to post it here. I need to write an essay.
    Danae: perhaps Haydn's sonata no. 52 is an exception to this, but I agree with you, the piano sonatas have such a large array of playing and expressive technics that vastly outnumbers Beethoven's contribution to the symphonic genre.

  16. #13
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia, United States
    Posts
    3,636
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    In my opinion, his greatest contribution was the symphony, because it's kind of like finally a composer broke out of that Classical mold and started adding his own personal, emotional embellishments to the form, which hadn't really been heard before.

  17. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    9,729
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I'd say the symphonies, although Haydn & Mozart gave him a run for his money in that genre (as they undoubtedly did in others)...

  18. #15
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Georgia, United States
    Posts
    3,636
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    I'd say the symphonies, although Haydn & Mozart gave him a run for his money in that genre (as they undoubtedly did in others)...
    Yes, but it was Beethoven who took what had happened before him from Haydn and Mozart and turned the medium into something completely fresh and invigorating hence opening the door to the Romantic period.

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Stile Antico - Renaissance
    By kg4fxg in forum Musicians
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Jun-26-2009, 07:44
  2. Online sheet music catalogue
    By Eric van Balkum in forum Classifieds
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Nov-02-2007, 14:50
  3. I'm not a musician!
    By orquesta tipica in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: Feb-06-2007, 09:58

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •