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True descendants of Beethoven

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I am curious as to who you believe to be the true descendants of Beethoven? Is it the camp of Berlioz, Liszt and Wagner or Schumann and Brahms?

I definitely can hear a lot of Beethoven's later symphonic works in Symphonie Fantastique. Particularly in the interesting textures and the programmatic elements. Berlioz was then was a major influence of Wagner and Strauss. I must admit these elements feel to me a bit contrived and detrimental to the overall form in Berlioz. However he did greatly influence new german music through featuring a recurring symphonic theme which evolved into the Wagnerian lietmotif.

At the same time I can hear Beethoven's larger coherent forms and logical progression of key areas present in Schumann and Brahms. These two do feature a lyricism not found in Beethoven. Their counterpoint is also more akin to Bach or Palestrina. However there is certainly Beethoven's stamp of the heavy orchestra particularly in Brahms symphony no 1. I also find Brahms and Schumann very good in terms of the type of logical coherency that is masterful in Beethoven.

I know that is a lot but this is a big topic. Who do you hear as Beethoven's continuation and through what elements of the music? Feel free to bring in other influences and names as well.
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I am pretty inexperienced with Shostakovich but I am intrigued now. What elements of it do you see similar to Beethoven? Is it his motivic treatment? What's your favorite by him?
I find the symphonies of both composers have the same feeling/intensity both composers use very simple themes and build around them a web of sound that appeals to me. Just a couple of interesting things I found on the www last night.

Listen to Susan interview conductor Semyon Byshkov about the connection between Beethoven and Shostakovich.Scroll down to the 2nd listen

Also: The relationship between Beethoven and Shostakovich.

...It is true that Bruckner began 8 or his 9 numbered symphonies in cadences similar to what begins Beethoven's "choral" but I hear no Beethoven in he or Mahler otherwise. In Mahler, especially, I hear more of an anti-Beethoven developmental form. To me, the composer I think of more often when I hear Mahler and Bruckner is Liszt: all three ramble forward and meander endlessly before making their points. This is not Beethoven.
In "Lives of the Great Composers", the author, Harold Schonberg, makes a similar point, especially in regards to Mahler; that Mahler lacks the tight and heroic feeling that characterizes Beethoven. Even so, who can mistake the soaring adagios which are so characteristic in Bruckner and Mahler's symphonies as anything less than an attempt to rewrite Beethoven's adagio from the 9th symphony. Different men; different times; Bruckner the religious fanatic; Mahler the neurotic lying on the psychoanalyst's couch; my point is that Bruckner and Mahler (and for that matter, Shostakovich) follow after Beethoven's sense of struggle that he made the symphony a very personal musical journey.
I doubt his influence was on Schubert; they lived at the same time and Schubert died much sooner.
Yet Schubert did know of Beethoven, practically deified him, and stated (paraphrase) 'who can do anything in music after Beethoven?', he also quoted him in some of his works.

Here are some other facts:

"When Schubert published his first substantial instrumental composition, the Variations on a French Theme for Piano Duet, op.10 (D 624) in 1822, it was dedicated to Beethoven from his 'worshipper and admirer Franz Schubert'. This is strong phraseology even for a dedication. Beethoven is said to have played Schubert's Variations with his nephew Karl and to have enjoyed them. Presumably Schubert, either directly or through his publishers Cappi and Diabelli, had obtained Beethoven's permission to dedicate the work to him. In making this dedication, Schubert was also passing up the chance to receive the gratuity he would have expected from a noble dedicatee. The act of homage to the older composer was clearly more important to him than financial considerations."

"Schubert knew his own worth and saw himself as the true successor to Beethoven. This belief was encouraged by Schindler's handover of the sheaf of poems, and also on Easter Monday 1827, when the celebrated violinist Ignaz Schuppanzigh gave his final subscription concert as an early memorial to Beethoven. The concert opened with the first public performance of Schubert's Octet (D803), followed by Beethoven's An die ferne Geliebte and an arrangement of the 'Emperor' concerto.13 In offering this juxtaposition, Schuppanzigh, who knew both Schubert and Beethoven and their instrumental works well, was providing an early answer to the challenging question posed by Franz Grillparzer in the fulsome eulogy he composed for Beethoven's funeral: 'Who shall stand beside him?'
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I absolutely agree with the Schubert. Most of his early stuff I hear as more an extension of Mozart stylistically. However his unfinished and great C major absolutely have Beethoven's stamp.
Schubert goes into uncharted areas of form combined with thematic content in his C major symphony no. 9. It does grow out of the innovations of Beethoven and maybe some orchestration technique of Rossini, so while influenced by Beethoven let us be clear that it is mostly beyond having his "stamp."
Some composers seem to have adapted their forms to house their melodic and harmonic content in a way that is often not proportionally far removed from Beethoven. I think of Dvorak or Nielsen(5 really breaks out of this mold though). Very different content, but they found a Beethovenian or Brahmsian/Schumanesque mold worked for them much of the time.

In terms of Beethoven 2.0, the evolution of form, we might look to Mahler, Bruckner, or Sibelius. Tchaikovsky even pushed on it or reshaped a little in his way, but like Chopin he seems to have found his way around him, mostly. Brahms seemed to do some significant reshaping, but sewed things a little more tightly rather than expanding, except maybe no. 1. Wagner maybe tried to emulate what he considered the most emotionally rich aspects of Beethoven, and maybe the leitmotif is Beethoven 2.0.

I need to listen more to really know.
Who was the heir to Mozart? Who to Bach? I cannot think of any composer who took the baton from the towering greats and continued down the same path, not even Beethoven from Mozart despite Beethoven's magnificent emulation of Mozart in his early works. Schubert comes closest to being the direct descendent of Beethoven, although he converged on Beethoven from an earlier more Italianate style and in the last months of his life diverged in the direction of Mahler. Early Brahms has strained similarities to Beethoven, but middle and late Brahms are totally different creatures.
Neither. In my opinion, Beethoven was followed by Schubert, then Mendelssohn. There I think it’d be fair to argue whether Brahms/Schumann camp or Liszt/Wagner camp was better in developing music.
I am curious as to who you believe to be the true descendants of Beethoven? Is it the camp of Berlioz, Liszt and Wagner or Schumann and Brahms?
Considering works like fantasie Op.17, I feel Schumann's way of thinking in some ways was "neutral" between the two camps rather than strong inclination toward one of them.

"At the same time, the overture was hailed as the legitimate heir to the symphony, and as a potential way out of the post-Beethovenian crisis of orchestral music. In his famous 1835 review of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, Schumann declared the symphony in Germany all but dead. "It was feared that the name of the symphony now belonged only to history.""
The Romantic Overture and Musical Form from Rossini to Wagner · Steven Vande Moortele · 2017 · P. 32
"Schubert knew his own worth and saw himself as the true successor to Beethoven.
Schubert's admiration for Beethoven wasn't questionable, but it's worth noting that as a composer himself Beethoven wasn't the sort Schubert said he wanted to be like. It also seems a bit like his main models were prolific composers of the German song and mass of the late 18th century, such as Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1752-1814) Johann Friedrich Reichardt
"I thought to myself, 'May thy pure and peaceful spirit hover around me, dear Haydn! If I can ever become like thee, peaceful and guileless, in all matters none on earth has such deep reverence for thee as I have.' (Sad tears fell from my eyes, and we went on.)"
[P.138 from 'Franz Schubert: A Biography' by Henry Frost]
It is my opinion that a composer such as Arnold Schoenberg is a true descendant of Ludwig van Beethoven. Schoenberg's music exhibits the same kind of rigorous command of his materials and disciplined thematic development.
Beethoven was sui generis. A lot of composers tried to use him as a starting off point -- each in a different way -- but none successful in doing anything that wasn't intrinsic to himself. Brahms was certainly more of a strict classicist than most of his contemporaries. Berlioz and Wagner both worshipped Beethoven but took their music in wildly contrary directions (Liszt too); Schumann was incapable of strict Beethovenian motivic development; Mahler could do nothiing but develop albeit in a more free-form way; Schubert's late works approached Beethoven's late spirituality most closely; Bruckner was good at carving movements out of blocks of granite, like the first movement of B's Ninth . . . basically, almost every mid-nineteenth century composer thought he was taking up where Beethoven left off -- but none was.
I would agree with this while also calling Schubert Beethoven's greatest student.
Schubert's late works approached Beethoven's late spirituality most closely
I'm sorry to say that I don't see this. Schubert, especially the later music, doesn't seem to me to have the same vibe as late Beethoven at all. You could be right, it's not as if I know much about either composer, but from my superficial acquaintance with their music, I'm not with you. I hope you'll make me understand what you've seen.
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Schumann was incapable of strict Beethovenian motivic development.
I think you're doing a bit of an injustice to Schumann actually -- but maybe I don't know what "strict motivic development" is. Why isn't there strict motivic development in op 11/i for example? Or op 13?
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basically, almost every mid-nineteenth century composer thought he was taking up where Beethoven left off -- but none was.
George Onslow maybe.
Late Schubert seems even more sui generis and even less apt to be taken as model for later composers than late Beethoven. Schubert didn't live long enough to digest late Beethoven. He took some leads from early-middle Beethoven but was pretty much his own man in his best pieces, I think. It's a different way of expansion of the older "classical" forms.
Here's Schubert's Diabelli variation

and his funeral march

The remarkable thing about Beethoven is that the War of the Romantics was largely over what aspects of his art to focus on and develop. The fact that Beethoven fused the "progressive" ideas that Berlioz, Wagner and Liszt would run with with the "classical" ideas that Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Brahms would run with (poor Schumann was left to try to single-handedly sew the rift back together, being pulled simultaneously in both directions) and ended up with descendants that were both radical and traditional is a testament to his monumental genius. I don't think it makes sense to talk about "true" descendants (is that similar to a "true" Scotsman?) because all of the composers influenced by Beethoven, who developed his ideas, are his descendants. The only issue is to what extent do these descendants owe their artistry to Beethoven compared to other composers and compared to their own ingenuity. That is obviously impossible to measure in any quantitative way, so we're left to discuss and tease out such ambiguities.

I think what I'm left with is hearing aspects of Beethoven's genius in later composers without any of them managing to capture the full range of his talents. In Brahms I can hear the full-flowering of motivic and formal development; in Wagner I can hear the development of music as a form of drama; in Liszt I can hear the pianistic virtuosity and intent on making the piano itself compete with the grandness and versatile breadth of the orchestra; in Schumann and Schubert I can hear the profound poetry of often tortured souls and the desire to be progressive while still adhering to classical principles; in Mahler and Bruckner I hear the cosmic-sized spirituality; in Berlioz I hear the freedom and innovative programmatic aspects. Talking about which of these is more "true" doesn't make much sense to me. I just appreciate them all, including the aspects in which I hear Beethoven's echo.
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Schoenberg is the most similar to him in function, though their music obviously has stylistic differences. Like Schoenberg and Wagner, Beethoven was someone I sometimes call a "before and after" guy - someone who had such impact that you can divide musical history into the period before their work, and after their work, in which case Wagner and Schoenberg are the most likely candidates.

Of course, historical importance is only one aspect of Beethoven, but it's probably the one thing that sets him apart the most from all other composers.
Shostakovich I love, but I've never heard the Beethoven in him. His goals were something else, and symphonic development isn't his goal. The Soviet authorities considered Beethoven to be "healthy" music that a good Soviet composer who wanted to stay alive should stive to emulate - and so it's no surprise that the 5th symphony is quite traditional and closer to the Beethoven model than any of the others.
I'll dispute that. The Tenth, I would argue, is much closer. Consider that its opening motto returns as the basis of a principal theme of the scherzo, just as in Beethoven's Fifth. And, just like the Beethoven, the scherzo theme is brought back in the development section of the finale so that it can be cancelled at the onset of the recap, in Shostakovich's Tenth by the composer's signature motive. Thus Shostakovich followed the cyclic thematic plan of Beethoven's Fifth quite closely. I hear no such specific modelling in Shostakovich's Fifth.

Moreover, the closest models for the opening movement of the Tenth are, arguably, Rachmaninoff's Second and Tchaikovsky's Fifth, both of which are in the same key, E minor, and both of which also owe a debt to Beethoven in their cyclic designs.
For me, the trait that is most Beethoven-like is one of rigorous, logical development - no wasted notes, no "note spinning", no triviality. That rules out most composers who were Romantic in nature,
there is plenty of stock note-spinning in Beethoven, just listen to any of the early to mid piano sonatas, you can find filler passages of arpeggios & scale runs just like in any other music of the period. Its all very well done of course, but it could just as easily been written by Czerny, Hummel or any other competent composer of the period. Schumann more or less avoided stock scale and arpeggio runs, while Chopin's originality in figuration became indispensable to the overall structure of the music
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