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Thread: What does Beethoven mean to you???

  1. #106
    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    He did it primarily through thematic processes. I suspect his models at the level of themes (period, double period) were more CPE Bach than either Haydn or Mozart, and at higher structural levels, more Haydn than Mozart.
    Yes, and CPE Bach's keyboard scores always look odd to me. He was conceptualizing in his own world, I guess.

    I try to keep in mind that Beethoven’s mature works were 20 years or more after the mature works of Mozart and Haydn. Generally speaking, Wagner’s mature works are likewise removed from Chopin’s.
    Albert Einstein, "I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.

  2. #107
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    My second favorite after Bach. Beethoven is actually what really truly pulled me into classical music.

    One of my many, many favorites.


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  4. #108
    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ORigel View Post
    The deaf dude who composed Fur Elise, Rage Over A Lost Penny, and da-da-da-daaa

    /sarc

    In seriousness, he composed some of the most sublime and/or heroic music in the classical canon.

    I do not care much for the OP's Beethoven sayings. Sure, I agree with them, but those sayings are all but universal-- and I don't need to quote an idol on common-sense sayings.
    How do you get do get so much praise in on line, great. Excellent.

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  6. #109
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    Turning from the personal to the technical: Beethoven was the first composer to comprehensively exploit the metaphorical exemplification of quasi-narrative patterns as a means of organizing large-scale instrumental structures.
    I have no idea what this means but it sure sounds good so i gave it a like.
    '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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  8. #110
    Senior Member SixFootScowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil loves classical View Post
    To me, Beethoven is just some great creative force, even though there is great emotion to be found in his music. Tchaikovsky likened him to God, and Mozart to Christ.
    Tchaikovsky likened Mozart to Christ or Mozart likened Beethoven to Christ?
    '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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  10. #111
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    He's the greatest because he's unsurpassed in my favorite genres, symphonies and string quartets. And there are the great concertos, piano trios, and the violin, cello and piano sonatas. A revolutionary genius.

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  12. #112
    Senior Member Torkelburger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SixFootScowl View Post
    I have no idea what this means but it sure sounds good so i gave it a like.
    I think he is referring to the instrumental music, i.e. some of the symphonies, being "programmatic". Whereas previously to tell a story, music was set to a text or told through opera/oratorio, but Beethoven told "narratives" through abstract forms that were without the use of text (purely instrumental) and with large structures (sonata forms, symphonies).

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by SixFootScowl View Post
    Tchaikovsky likened Mozart to Christ or Mozart likened Beethoven to Christ?
    Tchaikovsky likened Mozart to Christ. The genius of Salzburg was his favorite composer.

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  15. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torkelburger View Post
    I think he is referring to the instrumental music, i.e. some of the symphonies, being "programmatic". Whereas previously to tell a story, music was set to a text or told through opera/oratorio, but Beethoven told "narratives" through abstract forms that were without the use of text (purely instrumental) and with large structures (sonata forms, symphonies).
    I've thought about his post some more and I'm still debating as to whether or not I agree. I don't think I do, though Beethoven certainly developed this cause further than anyone before him.

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  17. #115
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SixFootScowl View Post
    Tchaikovsky likened Mozart to Christ or Mozart likened Beethoven to Christ?
    Tchaikovsky likened Mozart to Christ and Tchaikovsky likened Beethoven to God the Father, meaning that he was comfortable with and loved Mozart but found Beethoven scary and less approachable.

    Quote Originally Posted by SixFootScowl View Post
    I have no idea what this means but it sure sounds good so i gave it a like.
    It means that Beethoven was the first to systematically deploy the themes of his instrumental cycles in plot-like patterns such that their musical coherence can't be disentangled from their expressive sense
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Jan-14-2022 at 21:53.

    Your frogs make me shudder with intolerable loathing and I shall be miserable for the rest of my life remembering them.
    — Mikhail Bulgakov, The Fatal Eggs

    When a true genius appears on the earth, you may know him by this sign, that all of the dunces are in confederacy against him.
    — Jonathan Swift

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  19. #116
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torkelburger View Post
    I think he is referring to the instrumental music, i.e. some of the symphonies, being "programmatic". Whereas previously to tell a story, music was set to a text or told through opera/oratorio, but Beethoven told "narratives" through abstract forms that were without the use of text (purely instrumental) and with large structures (sonata forms, symphonies).
    Yes, except that they don't tell specific stories. They have the shape of narratives and something like their coherence without having concrete extramusical meaning. For example, in the first movement of the Appassionata, the "Fate motive," Db-Db-Db-C, is always a disruptive force. After it first appears the immediate repetition of the opening idea is torn apart and disrupted by loud outbursts. And when the second theme is asserted in the development and coda, it is overwhelmed by the return of the Fate motive. So what we have are abstract dramatic roles. The principal theme is, by convention, the protagonist, the second theme is an unsustainable ideal, and the Fate motive is an antagonistic force that wreaks havoc on both. None of the ideas have a concrete extramusical meaning, but there is a narrative logic to how they interact and to how their long-term relationships develop.

    Your frogs make me shudder with intolerable loathing and I shall be miserable for the rest of my life remembering them.
    — Mikhail Bulgakov, The Fatal Eggs

    When a true genius appears on the earth, you may know him by this sign, that all of the dunces are in confederacy against him.
    — Jonathan Swift

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  21. #117
    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    Yes, except that they don't tell specific stories. They have the shape of narratives and something like their coherence without having concrete extramusical meaning. For example, in the first movement of the Appassionata, the "Fate motive," Db-Db-Db-C, is always a disruptive force. After it first appears the immediate repetition of the opening idea is torn apart and disrupted by loud outbursts. And when the second theme is asserted in the development and coda, it is overwhelmed by the return of the Fate motive. So what we have are abstract dramatic roles. The principal theme is, by convention, the protagonist, the second theme is an unsustainable ideal, and the Fate motive is an antagonistic force that wreaks havoc on both. None of the ideas have a concrete extramusical meaning, but there is a narrative logic to how they interact and to how their long-term relationships develop.
    This sounds pretty much like more Beethoven hype to me. As you say these ideas do not have 'concrete extramusical meaning', so what you are discussing has a significant degree of subjectivity. There is nothing really wrong with that, but why can we not project narratives onto earlier music as well? Do you think earlier music is just nice sounds stitched together and only Beethoven's music can be seen to express a kind of 'metaphorical narrative'?

    I think Beethoven was unique in how he contrasted thematic material, and probably how he unified it over larger structures, but it seems like this is being conflated with the concept of 'narrative logic', something that I feel is clearly present in earlier music. Beethoven was unique in how he 'narrrated' yet so were Bach, Haydn and Mozart etc.

    These 'narratives' likely related to composer's personalities, temperaments, philosophical ideas as well as ideas circulating in society at the time.

  22. #118
    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    Beethoven's sense of vertical harmony leaves me underwhelmed, so his longer musical paragraphs, although groundbreaking in form, don't help in redeeming his music for me. They actually make it worse.

    For me it is like listening to someone who is chatty but doesn't have anything that meaningful to say. Or someone that is telling me a boring story, but they try to spice it up by being over dramatic.

    I acknowledge his greatness, virtuosity and genius in form but that is how his music subjectively impacts me.

  23. #119
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    It's not hype.
    It's certainly not an accident that hardly anyone of contemporaries or later generations projected (quasi)narratives into Bach, Haydn or Mozart. Another aspect is obviously that Beethoven went to untempered, even uncouth extremes in many ways, including emotional expression, compared to his predecessors which also strongly suggested extra-musical content (even if there wasn't any).

    Whereas in the case of Beethoven commentators overdid it in the opposite direction, claiming poetic programmes, even specific parallels to famous dramas by Shakespeare or Goethe etc. for many of his pieces. Despite the almost complete lack of really programmatic Beethoven pieces, all the romantic "tone poets" claimed him as ancestor and inspiration.
    Sure, there were a lot of misunderstandings, maybe even wilful ones, to justify what one wanted to do anyway with a respected historic predecessor. But it's hard to deny that what Beethoven did was felt as new, unprecedented and often outrageous by the contemporaries, most certainly not just "more of the same".

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  25. #120
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kreisler jr View Post
    It's certainly not an accident that hardly anyone of contemporaries or later generations projected (quasi)narratives into Bach, Haydn or Mozart.
    I don't disagree what you say, but when it comes to topics like 'Handel vs Salieri', the views of someone like Berlioz [@] don't matter cause he was an "eccentric egomaniac", but somehow they only matter when it comes to 'Beethoven's predecessors vs Beethoven'? —just something for us to think about.
    hammeredklavier: "Berlioz admired stuff like Salieri's Les Danaïdes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPW382xDjuo but called Handel "a tub of pork and beer". Les Danaïdes followed in the tradition of reform that Gluck had begun in the 1760s and that Salieri had emulated in his earlier opera Armida. Salieri's first French opera contained scenes of great solemnity and festivity, but overshadowing it all was darkness and revenge. The opera depicted politically motivated murder, filial duty and love in conflict, tyrannicide, and finally eternal damnation. The opera, with its dark overture, lavish choral writing, many ballet scenes, and electrifying finale depicting a glimpse of hellish torture, kept the opera on the stage in Paris for over forty years. A young Hector Berlioz recorded the deep impression this work made on him in his Mémoires."
    Kreisler jr: "I find it kind of odd to even consider an excentric egomaniac like Berlioz who obviously wanted to make something really new and out-Beethoven Beethoven as arbiter of music that was mor than 50 or even 100 years old at his time. His comments are useless except for learning something about this particular excentric composer."
    (from the thread <Classical or Baroque>)

    [@]: "... Haydn and Mozart enjoyed playing with notes, but lacked poetic ideas. Their expressivity came to light only when it was aroused by words. This distinction between ‘notes for notes’ sake’ and ‘expressive’ or ‘poetic’ music is essential for understanding Berlioz’s way of thinking about music. The abstract combination of sounds, the purely ‘musical’ aspect of music, without forthright reference to feelings, events or images, leaves him indifferent. Thus most of the instrumental music of Mozart (and Haydn and Bach, for that matter) remains opaque to his eyes. Beethoven’s instrumental works were perceived differently, because they had, at least in the Romantic conception, a ‘poetic’ content. ..."
    -<Mozartian Undercurrents in Berlioz: Appreciation, Resistance and Unconscious Appropriation> by Benjamin Perl https://www.academia.edu/7216838/Moz..._Appropriation
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Jan-16-2022 at 01:21.

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