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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Mr Corkin..

• I think Mozart is still probably slightly more popular than Beethoven overall, certainly among the general masses of those interested in classical music (as opposed to the tiny few who congregate on music forums).

• Mozart's breadth of coverage was probably greater than Beethoven's.

• Mozart had equally, if not better, melodic gifts than Beethoven.

• His orchestration skills were superb, in the same category of excellence as Beethoven's and Wagner's.

• Despite your own prejudices, Mozart's several magnificent operas are the jewel in the crown, and are second to none. Even many Wagner "nuts" will acknowledge Mozart's outstanding, if not possibly superior, achievements in this genre.

• Mozart's influence on later composers was just as high as Beethoven's. For example, although Schubert was in complete awe of Beethoven (as a contemporary in Vienna), he had a higher regard for Mozart. Undoubtedly, while Beethoven's influence was huge and unsurpassed for much of the rest of the 19th century, it did begin to run out of steam after Brahms. On the other hand, Tchaikovsky - and later composers such as Ravel and Debussy - were far more interested in Mozart's legacy than Beethoven's.​

Really, there's not much in it between Beethoven and Mozart in terms of any fair, overall objective assessment of the two. I therefore think your assessment is incorrect.
I didn't have time earlier to make anything of the Beethoven/Mozart comparison but I think it warrants a post of its own. I would just like you and others of a similar mind to consider the works completed by mature Beethoven before his 36th birthday and think about them in relation to music of the same genre from Mozart.

Familiar pieces include..
Appassionata, Waldstein, Kreutzer, Pathetique, Moonlight, Tempest, Spring, Eroica, Leonore.

Consider generally all the other piano sonatas such as op2, 7, 10; the trios op1, 3, 9; duo sonatas op5, 12.

These are just for starters, off the top of my head, feel free to bring other pieces into the discussion. Imagine also if we just added one year we would encounter from B the Razumovsky quartets, the 4th piano concerto, violin concerto etc

Mango are you (or indeed anyone else) seriously suggesting Mozart's equivalents are a match for these??
 

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I think personnally that Mozart has better dramatic/theatrical talents than beethoven. So, I give the opera to Mozart. For the rest, long live Beethoven.
 
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I assume this discussion will proceed on the assumption that all works currently accredited to Mozart are his genuinely. I will gladly add more of my comments later, once others have had a chance to have their say.
 

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Beethoven's supreme mastery of every form that he touched is evident well before he was 35 years of age. To compare him to Mozart (even with music wrongly attributed to Mozart) is like comparing candy floss with high protein. Beethoven is without doubt a supremely gifted genius. The same is simply not true of Mozart, whether we are dealing with the official Mozart or not. What is more powerful, more dramatic, more daring and more original than Beethoven ? His is an entire sound world of a higher order - dragging us in to the light of modern times. As I've often said 'Beethoven is the musical Declaration of Independence'.
 

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Consider quality vs. quantity

Well with Mozart and Beethoven, it will forever, it seems, be questioned as to who was the better of the two?

We always have to consider the quality vs quantity of works, and also the emotional depth and ranges of the compositions.

Just doing a plain simple comparison of genres, in my opinion the master is:

Opera - Mozart (hands down, not even close).

Symphonies - Beethoven (again, not even close, in spite of Mozart's vast number composed).

Piano Sonatas - Beethoven

Piano Concerto - A very slight edge goes to Mozart. Not only does Mozart have a much greater quantity, but the quality is also very good.

Sacred and other choral works - Mozart

Piano Trios - Beethoven

String Quartets - Beethoven

Serenades and Divertimenti - Mozart

Misc. Chamber Music - probably an edge to Mozart

Other concerti - an edge to Mozart, although Beethoven does have his out-of-this world Violin Concerto. Beethoven just doesn't have the diversity of Mozart in this arena.

Violin Sonatas - Beethoven
 
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I would have to say Mozart takes the cake. In his time he dominated every style of popular music. Beethoven did not, his attempts at Opera is a good example. I believe in the overall sense of the word "better" Mozart, because of his diversity and his purely genius ability to compose such a large amount of work which all are worth listening to. Though I’m not going to lie, i am much more of a fan of Beethoven’s music. It's so passionate, which at times Mozart lacks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think personnally that Mozart has better dramatic/theatrical talents than beethoven. So, I give the opera to Mozart. For the rest, long live Beethoven.
I think Leonore even in its first draught is more interesting than The Magic Flute, but there you go. In terms of quantity Beethoven is not an opera composer, I concede this, but there is no opera greater than Fidelio (though this falls oustide the 35 years limit I imposed on myself).

Considering true opera composers in this context I believe the king of opera is truely Handel
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well with Mozart and Beethoven, it will forever, it seems, be questioned as to who was the better of the two?

We always have to consider the quality vs quantity of works, and also the emotional depth and ranges of the compositions.

Just doing a plain simple comparison of genres, in my opinion the master is:

Opera - Mozart (hands down, not even close).

Symphonies - Beethoven (again, not even close, in spite of Mozart's vast number composed).

Piano Sonatas - Beethoven

Piano Concerto - A very slight edge goes to Mozart. Not only does Mozart have a much greater quantity, but the quality is also very good.

Sacred and other choral works - Mozart

Piano Trios - Beethoven

String Quartets - Beethoven

Serenades and Divertimenti - Mozart

Misc. Chamber Music - probably an edge to Mozart

Other concerti - an edge to Mozart, although Beethoven does have his out-of-this world Violin Concerto. Beethoven just doesn't have the diversity of Mozart in this arena.

Violin Sonatas - Beethoven
I have given my opinion regarding opera in response to Handel's post. I don't know if you are restricting Beethoven to his 35th year in your analysis, whereby sacred works do not really come into the equation (certainly the Solemn Mass I would say is beyond what Mozart could have achieved), and opera only in B's 35th year. I was concerned more in the areas they are comparable, like Symphonies, sonatas, quartets etc, ie the highest development of instrumental music - whereby your own assessment rightly concludes Beethoven to be the superior. Mozart wrote no concerto I have heard to match B's 4 & 5th and the violin concerto, especially when you hear them all on period instruments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Beethoven's supreme mastery of every form that he touched is evident well before he was 35 years of age. To compare him to Mozart (even with music wrongly attributed to Mozart) is like comparing candy floss with high protein. Beethoven is without doubt a supremely gifted genius. The same is simply not true of Mozart, whether we are dealing with the official Mozart or not. What is more powerful, more dramatic, more daring and more original than Beethoven ? His is an entire sound world of a higher order - dragging us in to the light of modern times. As I've often said 'Beethoven is the musical Declaration of Independence'.
A neat summary of the situation.
 

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I don't know if you are restricting Beethoven to his 35th year in your analysis
I wasn't restricting Beethoven to his 35th year in his analysis, and perhaps that's an improper analysis.

If I compare 35 to 35, then I believe Mozart has a definite overall edge.

How about Beethoven or Mozart at 31 compared to Schubert at 31? :D
 

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I think personnally that Mozart has better dramatic/theatrical talents than beethoven. So, I give the opera to Mozart. For the rest, long live Beethoven.
I think I agree with this. Beethoven seemed to have had trouble with vocal work though the Missa Solemnis is without doubt a masterpiece in every aspect. In every other respect he carried music far further than Mozart (who, I learn from reading various threads on the forum, was a Holding Company running a bunch of subsidiary composers).
 

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Though I have a deep love for Beethoven's music, I do feel that may of his pieces contain rather awkward writing. I don't find his vocal writing to be nearly as natural and appropriate for the voice as what is found in the work of Mozart and Schubert. Even some of Beethoven's piano music is rather awkward and "unpianistic", despite the fact that piano was Beethoven's main instrument.

On the other hand, Mozart's greatest music has an ethereal, flowing, unforced quality which is oftentimes sublime and sheer magic. In the case of Beethoven, miracles seem to be happen, but we very much know that they are happening, and if we pay close attention, how they are happening. With Mozart, it can be difficult to detect just how the miracle happened, and yet, it's there in any case.
 

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I am not qualified to answer this question, but I'll just state that Beethoven will be before Mozart any day on my list. (Currently they are #1 and #2, respectively :D)

*Blabber starts here*
I have heard only a tiny fraction of their output. While I immensely enjoy the works of both, I find Mozart's music to have a stamp of Classicism in every work (duh!). I mean that many of his works sound the more or less the same(sorry, examples doesn't seem to come to mind, right now), and to the untrained ear, Mozart and Haydn sound the same (and we all know why that is! ;)). But with Beethoven, I feel that every work has a new sound to it. And, of course, he also came up Beethovenian music :D, influencing a few generations of amazing musicians.

As for opera, can you really compare the two? I mean, Mozart's sooo many to Beethoven's one? I don't know if Beethoven thought he would not do too well or found it uninteresting, or whether the people didn't like it, but still comparing the two in this genre is a bit unfair, IMVHO.
*Blabber ends here*
 

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But with Beethoven, I feel that every work has a new sound to it.
The implication here is that you don't feel this is true of Mozart. While I would agree that Mozart's earlier works are less individualized, I cannot agree with you with respect to the later works.

Take a listen to the last 5 great Mozart symphonies, No. 36 (Linz), No. 38 (Prague), and the final trilogy, Nos. 39, 40, and 41. Each of these pieces sound very different and highly individualized to me, and each piece has features that make it special and unique.

I would say the same is true of the piano concerti. Nos. 21 and 25 are both in C major. And yet, how different they are! No. 21 seems to exude the very spirit of opera buffa in practically every note, while No. 25 takes on a serious, symphonic level of grandeur worthy of the Jupiter Symphony, in the same key. Or the A major concerto No. 23, in which every note carries that simultaneous happy/melancholy attitude that characterizes late Mozart.

If we want to get into more individual details in terms of structure, there are many differences there as well, even if the piano concertos, on the surface, appear to take on a "formulaic" feel.

And what of the operas? Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, and the Magic Flute, are all quite different from each other.
 

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One could argue that Mozart kept using the same signature motifs in his works. You can always hear a small series of note and immediately think : that's Mozart.

But Beethoven's work have a certain quality that's also easy to identify upon hearing. Just how it sounds. It just sounds... Beethovenian!

Anyway, I love them both at a quasi-equal level. That may sound as if I didn't have an opinion or couldn't argue, but it's the truth. Say I had to choose between a free complete-works box of Beethoven's works OR one of Mozart's... I really have no idea which one I'd take.

...Although I might as well choose Mozart's cause it's a little bigger. :D
 

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One could argue that Mozart kept using the same signature motifs in his works. You can always hear a small series of note and immediately think : that's Mozart.

But Beethoven's work have a certain quality that's also easy to identify upon hearing. Just how it sounds. It just sounds... Beethovenian!

Anyway, I love them both at a quasi-equal level. That may sound as if I didn't have an opinion or couldn't argue, but it's the truth. Say I had to choose between a free complete-works box of Beethoven's works OR one of Mozart's... I really have no idea which one I'd take.

...Although I might as well choose Mozart's cause it's a little bigger. :D
Hmm...Yes, I should have probably said that instead. :rolleyes: It's closer to what I had in mind. :)
 
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