View Poll Results: Was Beethoven more of a Classical or a Romantic composer?

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  • Classical

    53 49.53%
  • Romantic

    54 50.47%
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Thread: Beethoven: Classical or Romantic?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    Default Beethoven: Classical or Romantic?

    Beethoven's music contains ideas related to both the classical and romantic era, but which style do you think he most represents? Of course it's easy to say "a bit of both" but I want to know which side of the classical/romantic spectrum you think Beethoven lies, even if it's only slightly one way or the other. Cheers.
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

  2. #2
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    Im very new at this: Maybe if you can explain the difference, I will give my opinion.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dim7's Avatar
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    It's difficult to say which he was in general. There's no such a rule that says that each composer must write only in one style. However, if we'd talk about individual works it would be a lot easier. I think the third symphony was such a radical departure from Haydn and Mozart that I would definately count it as a romantic work. And I guess that would apply to the most of his influental and famous works. But when it comes to sheer number of classical vs. romantic compositions, there might be more of the former than latter (I'm not a Beethoven expert so I won't say anything about that). I think for example, the fourth symphony by Mendelssohn sounds more classical than Eroica even though Mendelssohn is always counted as a romantic composer.

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Classical style, romantic outlook is how I see Beethoven.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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  6. #5
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    Early Beethoven is classical
    Mid Beethoven is a little bit of both
    Late Beethoven is Beethoven

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    Senior Member Il Seraglio's Avatar
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    Even Beethoven's hairdo was transitional. No 18th century powdered wig, but no 19th Century sideburns either.

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  10. #7
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    I think the First and Second Symphonies are Classical, but with the Eroica, he broke into Romanticism. Or Beethovenism, if you will.
    "I like to think that oysters transcend national barriers" - Roger Waters

  11. #8
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    Beethoven and Classicism

    I understand that some threads can't be found by forum searching engine, but this one was active very recently and it would be really easy to find it by typing "beethoven" and "classicism". Let's just try to keep some kind of order.

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    My only benchmark for this question is that I am a die-hard Romantic listener, and I find most of Beethoven too classical for my taste

  13. #10
    Senior Member Ravellian's Avatar
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    In form, Beethoven is mostly Classical, but he stretched the limits of classical form so far that one is tempted to call it something else. More specifically, he made everything longer and more complicated.. but he generally didn't stray from the fundamental formulas. Except with his very last sonatas and quartets.. those may definitely be placed in the realm of Romantic.

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    Senior Member handlebar's Avatar
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    I see him as romantic no doubt. This viewpoint is going to be so subjective that arguing who is right would be moot. It is all up to the individual. I see Mozart and CPE Bach,Haydn as purely classical. Even Schubert as a bridge of the classic and romantic. But Herr Beethoven I see as Romantic all the way.

    JIm

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  16. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    Beethoven and Classicism

    I understand that some threads can't be found by forum searching engine, but this one was active very recently and it would be really easy to find it by typing "beethoven" and "classicism". Let's just try to keep some kind of order.
    Agreed. This subject has been discussed very recently. I can't be bothered to repeat what I wrote then.

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    I teach an orchestration class on Saturdays and I start the introduction to romantic orchestration with the 2nd mvt. from Beethoven's 6th symphony. This is probably the first real romantic piece ever written (1808). The attempt to express not just the images connected with emotions and man's interaction with nature (not his dominion over it which is a Classical ideal) but rather the sensations conected with emotions. The titles of the movements are clearly Romantic (the Awakening of Peasant Feelings on Arriving in the Countryside etc) and programatic. Berlioz, 22 years later, would bring this concept to a peak with his Symphony Fantastique.

    This is not to say that Beethoven was never Classical. In fact there is little to discern between his first symphony and Mozart's last six symhonies apart from a slightly more terse use of melodic material. An I would stress that he did not make a sudden change to Romanticism; his 8th symphony, for instance, is very classical in style.

    Some composers live on the cusp of breaking styles such as Monteverdi or Stamitz. Their lot is to radically experiment with new material and ideas. On the other hand some composers live at the height of a major stylistic trend like Mozart or Bach. Their lot as such is to perfect and refine the current stylistic fashion.

    I didn't vote because I'd vote for both and that's the same as not voting.

    FC

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  19. #14
    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PostMinimalist View Post
    I teach an orchestration class on Saturdays and I start the introduction to romantic orchestration with the 2nd mvt. from Beethoven's 6th symphony. This is probably the first real romantic piece ever written (1808). The attempt to express not just the images connected with emotions and man's interaction with nature (not his dominion over it which is a Classical ideal) but rather the sensations conected with emotions. The titles of the movements are clearly Romantic (the Awakening of Peasant Feelings on Arriving in the Countryside etc) and programatic...Some composers live on the cusp of breaking styles such as Monteverdi or Stamitz...
    I didn't vote because I'd vote for both and that's the same as not voting.
    When, oh when will we get one of those "I-am-not-worthy" emoticons?? If we had one, I'd use it here!

    Thanks for this, PostMinimalist!

  20. #15
    Senior Member Marc's Avatar
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    As far as I'm concerned, all Classical Music is Classical.

    Or am I on the Talkromantic board?


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