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Thread: Clearly, Beethoven influenced Chopin

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    Senior Member caters's Avatar
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    Default Clearly, Beethoven influenced Chopin

    There are a few Chopin pieces where Beethoven's influence can be heard. But I think the one where Beethoven's influence comes out the clearest is the Revolutionary Etude. The angst of the minor key, the sudden dynamic contrast, the drama, being octave heavy, are all characteristic of Beethoven. And guess what? They all are in the Revolutionary Etude. Listen to it and ignore the fact that it is by Chopin for a moment.



    Who do you think would compose such a piece? Was Beethoven your first guess?

    Now here is an actual Beethoven piece of similar length and speed for comparison, also in C minor:



    Similar mood to the Revolutionary Etude, isn't it? I find it odd for a Chopin piece to sound so Beethovenian in mood. Usually, if anything, Chopin sounds closer to Mozart than to Beethoven. Not so with the Revolutionary Etude. Here are a few other pieces where I can hear Beethoven's influence in Chopin:



    Here, there are sections which sound like a Chopin Nocturne in their grace and beauty. And then there are those sections where it goes from sounding like a nocturne to sounding more like the development section of a Beethoven sonata, tumultuous in sound. These Beethoven sounding sections are often preceded by a crescendo, most often to fortissimo. Also the notes generally speed up during this crescendo. Chopin's other minor key ballade I think similarly has those Beethoven sounding sections.



    I also think that this prelude sounds like it was influenced by Beethoven:



    What do you think? Do you hear Beethoven's influence in these Chopin pieces?

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    This might be of interest:
    Did Chopin like Beethoven's music or not?
    I would consider the influence minor though not without it entirely. Bach, Mozart, Hummel, and Field appeared to be much stronger influences because Chopin considered them to be more refined in temperament. He was known to like and even teach his students Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 12; so he did not categorically ignore or dismiss Beethoven's genius. However, their basic temperaments and harmonic approach were considered to be widely different.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Jun-27-2019 at 11:25.
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    Clearly Beethoven also influenced Mahler..
    Seems Beethoven influenced more composers than any other composer with equal influence.
    All my favs have the least amount of influence from Beethoven, if at all.
    If I detect even the slightest ~~Beethoven~~ in a work, its a big turn off and I reject it.

    Your intuition and detective work, might help explain why I do not care for Chopin, never did in 35 years.
    Last edited by paulbest; Jun-27-2019 at 03:09.

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    I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that this etude was very much influenced by op 111/i.

    Which came first, this one or Liszt's Wild Jagd?
    Last edited by Mandryka; Jun-27-2019 at 09:34.

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    I don't hear much Beethoven in Chopin at all, consistent with his own expressed views on Beethoven. However, we have the Fantasy-Impromptu, almost certainly influenced by the Moonlight sonata (perhaps this is why he denounced the work) and I'll give you the Revolutionary Etude. I don't hear Beethoven at all in the C minor Prelude, and certainly not in either of the Ballades mentioned. Which Beethoven did you have in mind in making that comparison?

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    Chopin wrote so much stuff that one or two pieces are more or less bound to sound like Beethoven. It would happen by chance alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Partita View Post
    Chopin wrote so much stuff that one or two pieces are more or less bound to sound like Beethoven. It would happen by chance alone.
    Still, it's telling that one of the prime examples of a Beethovenian Chopin piece, the Fantasy-Impromptu, is one that he rescinded and never published. He clearly did not want the comparison to be made.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    I don't hear much Beethoven in Chopin at all, consistent with his own expressed views on Beethoven. However, we have the Fantasy-Impromptu, almost certainly influenced by the Moonlight sonata (perhaps this is why he denounced the work) and I'll give you the Revolutionary Etude. I don't hear Beethoven at all in the C minor Prelude, and certainly not in either of the Ballades mentioned. Which Beethoven did you have in mind in making that comparison?
    Listen to the end of the etude and the end of op 111/i

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    I feel Chopin's pianism is generally quite different to Beethoven, utilising a more developed technique. His harmony was also more chromatic, shifting more key more frequently especially via enharmonic change. Both where of course tonal and some inevitable similarity in progression or texture/pianism is going to happen occasionally but I don't particularly agree that there is a clear case of Beethoven influencing Chopin.
    Chopin advanced the art of pianism with his clever, intricate use of fingers and inventive inner writing whereas Beethoven, although wonderful and progressive too (and difficult), in the main kept within a classical way of writing for the piano. I'd also add that Chopin's compositional sensibilities where probably nothing like Beethoven's. I do not get a sense of real connection between them when I physically play their music.
    Last edited by mikeh375; Jun-27-2019 at 13:10.

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    Beethoven influenced EVERYBODY.

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    except Boulez and possibly a few others perhaps?

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    I listened to what you posted, it does sound quite a bit like Beethoven in quite a few parts, but hey, he was a key composer in the Classical-Romantic transition, so I'm not surprised.

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    I hear Beethoven's influence in Chopin's piano sonatas. The opening movements of the Second and Third extend Beethoven's practice of truncated first themes in the recapitulations and codas that do stuff. Not to mention a funeral march slow movement. Of course, this is a very small part of Chopin's work. The rest of the time he was being as un-Beethovenian as humanly possible.

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    Senior Member Clouds Weep Snowflakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    I hear Beethoven's influence in Chopin's piano sonatas. The opening movements of the Second and Third extend Beethoven's practice of truncated first themes in the recapitulations and codas that do stuff. Not to mention a funeral march slow movement. Of course, this is a very small part of Chopin's work. The rest of the time he was being as un-Beethovenian as humanly possible.
    Beethoven's early works were written in the shade of Mozart (they also met when Beethoven was a teenager and Mozart was impressed), so any composer would borrow from earlier ones; still, I think the OP made a strong point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    I hear Beethoven's influence in Chopin's piano sonatas. The opening movements of the Second and Third extend Beethoven's practice of truncated first themes in the recapitulations and codas that do stuff. Not to mention a funeral march slow movement. Of course, this is a very small part of Chopin's work. The rest of the time he was being as un-Beethovenian as humanly possible.
    As opposed to codas that don't do stuff? Pray tell what stuff do codas do?

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