View Poll Results: What do you think of Beethoven's Grosse Fuge?

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  • Awesome

    25 65.79%
  • Awful

    3 7.89%
  • I appreciate it, but don't listen to it much

    8 21.05%
  • Ambivalent / Not sure

    2 5.26%
  • Other

    0 0%
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Thread: What do you think of Beethoven's Grosse Fuge?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Default What do you think of Beethoven's Grosse Fuge?

    My own answer is 3. I am glad he wrote a replacement movement.

    This video explains the work:

    https://youtu.be/KQcHPhYEoJY
    Last edited by Aurelian; Jun-04-2020 at 16:27.

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  3. #2
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    I think it's absolutely amazing. I'm just glad I don't have to play it.

  4. #3
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    This is an extremely entertaining and informative video, thank you for showing me this. I think the Grosse Fugue is the greatest piece Beethoven wrote for string quartet.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Fabulin's Avatar
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    Now we are talking.

    And as for string quartets, I will take this:
    Last edited by Fabulin; Jun-04-2020 at 17:49.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Its a great piece but it took me longer to get into than his other quartets. It is indeed a challenging work but a highly rewarding one.

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  8. #6
    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    That is a very interesting link. I still don't like that portion, which is easily my least favorite among Beethoven's works (sorry, Ludwig), but I appreciate that analysis. I think both offerings for that movement have value as historical documents.

  9. #7
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    Loved it from the second I first heard it. I do think its claims of being “foreshadowing of modernism” and Stravinsky’s assertion that “it is an absolutely contemporary work that will be contemporary forever” are pretty exaggerated; it just sounds like Beethoven to my ears.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere." - G.K. Chesterton

    "Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret." - Johann Sebastian Bach

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  11. #8
    Senior Member Allerius's Avatar
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    Awesome, and I don't listen to it much (I reserve my favorite pieces of music to special moments).

    Great analysis by the way!
    Last edited by Allerius; Jun-04-2020 at 19:13.
    “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.

  12. #9
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    The Grosse Fuge is my favorite piece of all time.

  13. #10
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    A masterpiece, jam-packed with catchy, consistent melodic ideas. I think it's an inevitable consequence of his musical temperament. Interestingly, I think the closer a Beethoven work is to Grosse Fuge in timeline, the more it anticipates Grosse Fuge in character in its sections. (As if they're pointing towards GF, which is perhaps the most ideal thing Beethoven wanted to achieve his whole life)
    Starting with the heavy sforzando beats of the serioso quartet in F minor,

    9th symphony scherzo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6wWA9d_i2A&t=5m38s
    Grosse Fuge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeyDjb6E9eU&t=6m

    Op.127 first movement (which is one of my favorite late Beethoven moments along with Op.131 first movement):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmQGgCAwgiE&t=1m38s

    I find the "final consolation/redemption" in the last 2~3 minutes of Grosse Fuge to be deeply moving — one of the most emotionally profound endings in string quartet music.
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Jun-05-2020 at 06:11.

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  15. #11
    Senior Member apricissimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabulin View Post

    Now we are talking.

    And as for string quartets, I will take this:
    I love the Grosse Fuge, but the full orchestrated version is just a major bummer. I don't get the point. It adds nothing.

  16. #12
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    My favorite Grosse Fuge is by the Tokyo Quartet.

  17. #13
    Senior Member consuono's Avatar
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    As with the Hammerklavier sonata I can appreciate how daring it is, but...

    I just don't like it.

  18. #14
    Senior Member norman bates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegro Con Brio View Post
    Loved it from the second I first heard it. I do think its claims of being “foreshadowing of modernism” and Stravinsky’s assertion that “it is an absolutely contemporary work that will be contemporary forever” are pretty exaggerated; it just sounds like Beethoven to my ears.
    it sounds like Beethoven with all his power but it sounds also extremely modern. It's a much more angular, anti-gracious work than any other thing of him I've heard, even compared to the other late string quartets.
    What time is the next swan?

  19. #15
    Senior Member gregorx's Avatar
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    I voted awesome. For me, it's stuff like this that sets Beethoven apart from Bach, Mozart and Brahms. This and 131 are my favorite works by LVB. I agree with those who think this sounds modern. I'm surprised some early '70s English rock band didn't do a variation on this for three guitars and Hammond organ (one of Keith Emerson's bands, maybe).

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