Author Topic: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)  (Read 203839 times)

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #40 on: April 08, 2007, 05:09:37 PM »
You may recall this Gurn, and possibly yourself George, that about a year and half ago here at GMG Kempff was getting all sorts of "run" from many here, including myself.  However, of late, he has almost left the radar screen.  Good to see him back on as he is still my favorite when it comes to Beethoven Sonatas. 

Yes, I do remember that Bill. But my philosophy is to like what I like and let others like what they like, so I didn't (and don't) particularly care about it. I think Kempff was among the top pianists of his generation, so I'm going to like him no matter what. :D 

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Offline Bogey

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #41 on: April 08, 2007, 05:14:40 PM »
Yes, I do remember that Bill. But my philosophy is to like what I like and let others like what they like, so I didn't (and don't) particularly care about it. I think Kempff was among the top pianists of his generation, so I'm going to like him no matter what. :D 

8)

Absolutely.  As David Ross once concluded with a post:

If you like him, what difference does it make whether 10% or 90% share your tastes?

Some people like muscle cars, some prefer luxury sedans, some like sports cars, and others just want economical transportation.
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2007, 05:16:30 PM »
Absolutely.  As David Ross once concluded with a post:

If you like him, what difference does it make whether 10% or 90% share your tastes?

Some people like muscle cars, some prefer luxury sedans, some like sports cars, and others just want economical transportation.


A wise man, David Ross. And of course, I judge wisdom by the extent to which people share my opinions.... ;D

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George

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2007, 05:43:35 PM »
I have the stereo Kempff too, So yes, that one. Kempff is one of my favorite pianists, all in all. :)
8)

I particularly like his Schumann, though I find his Beethoven uneven, the high points are so high that its totally worth it.

Like the Pastoral Sonata and Op. 78-111. Superb!  :)

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2007, 06:10:12 PM »
I particularly like his Schumann, though I find his Beethoven uneven, the high points are so high that its totally worth it.

Like the Pastoral Sonata and Op. 78-111. Superb!  :)

Yes, I really like his Schumann too. That 4 disk box is a really nice one, lots of good stuff on there!  :)

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George

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2007, 06:13:08 PM »
Yes, I really like his Schumann too. That 4 disk box is a really nice one, lots of good stuff on there!  :)

8)

I bet its great, I actually only have Kriesleriana, Fantasy in C and Arabeske.

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #46 on: April 09, 2007, 12:54:03 AM »
1. What do you think are among Beethoven's greatest achievements?  Most "influential" works?

I think that Beethoven's greatest achievement was in forming a presenting a role model for composers after him on how to be a proper tortured soul, and to work towards composing things with their own standards of perfection in mind instead of someone else's (a patron, the Church, whatever).  His works with the longest-lasting influence have clearly been the symphonies from 3-9, although the Late Quartets ran at the back of the pack before making a last second dash with a furlong left to go, and were more influential later. That says a lot about them, I think.

2. What are your favorite works by Beethoven?  Least favorite?

Well, the 3rd & 9th symphonies in about a dead heat. I don't have a least favorite, I view each in context and am quite content with them the way they are. Beethoven knew what he was doing far better than I do.


3. Do you feel that Beethoven's personal challenges (deafness; nephew issues; etc) considerably heightened the emotional content of his music?

Probably less than people tend to give them the weight for. I think the bigger issues of the day (Napoleon, politics in Vienna, the Fall of the Aristocracy &c) probably lent at least as much if not more. 

4. Any favorite recordings?  Of Symphonies? Piano Sonatas? Concertos?  Chamber?  Overtures?

Savall's 3rd, Gardiner's 9th, Arrau's 4th Concerto, Perlman/Giulini's Violin Concerto, Kempff's "Pathetique", L'Archibudelli's String Trios, Fischer-Dieskau's "An die ferne Geliebte"... dozens more. :)

8)

Gurn, this is a great and very perceptive post. Your #1 is really very important, I think, as is your #3. And I approve of the sentiment of your #2.

As for #4, the one single Beethoven set I spin more than any other is that old standby - the Busch Quartet in op 127, 130-3 and 135 (sorry to be unimaginative).I've recently got hold of their Rasumovskys 1 and 2, and I can see that one joining the bunch also, though the playing is a little less accurate, I think.

Offline BachQ

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #47 on: April 09, 2007, 03:31:30 AM »
1. What do you think are among Beethoven's greatest achievements?  Most "influential" works?

I think that Beethoven's greatest achievement was in forming a presenting a role model for composers after him on how to be a proper tortured soul, and to work towards composing things with their own standards of perfection in mind instead of someone else's (a patron, the Church, whatever). 

Late Mozart was also an independent-minded tortured soul . . . . . and may have served as a role model to Beethoven . . . . .

Offline edward

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #48 on: April 09, 2007, 01:35:26 PM »
I think one thing that often gets missed out in discussing Beethoven is just how witty a composer he was. Not knock-down laugh-out-loud, but those sudden sforzandi and unexpected hiatuses keep the listener deliciously off-balance.

As for his greatest compositional achievements, the late piano sonatas and quartets, of course. But I can't help but also include the transition between the last two movements in the 5th symphony...a passage that always reminds me of Busoni's dictum (I don't remember it literally, but it's something like "Any fool can write great melodies and dramatic climaxes, but true greatness comes in the transitions.")
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
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Offline BachQ

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #49 on: April 09, 2007, 02:09:22 PM »
For those interested in the latest information on HIP Beethoven recordings, visit this sizzling thread.


Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2007, 03:56:02 PM »
Gurn, this is a great and very perceptive post. Your #1 is really very important, I think, as is your #3. And I approve of the sentiment of your #2.

As for #4, the one single Beethoven set I spin more than any other is that old standby - the Busch Quartet in op 127, 130-3 and 135 (sorry to be unimaginative).I've recently got hold of their Rasumovskys 1 and 2, and I can see that one joining the bunch also, though the playing is a little less accurate, I think.

Thanks, Luke. I was trying to look at the bigger picture than just whether people tried to emulate his composing style, of course they did. :)

Well, I have 2 complete sets of the SQ's (Tokyo and Medici) and just a whole lot of "Early" and "Middle" and "Late" and even several singles, and I just couldn't single out one performance or quartet that I preferred above all others. :D  Even though I dislike old-timey recordings (sorry), I do have some Brahms by the Busch 4tet, and it is excellent. They are hard to match among today's crop.

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2007, 04:03:34 PM »
Late Mozart was also an independent-minded tortured soul . . . . . and may have served as a role model to Beethoven . . . . .

d minor,

But you are not discriminating between what we know now and what was believed about Mozart, even when he was still alive. He was, indeed, an independent-minded, tortured soul. But no one knew or believed that, not until the relatively late 20th century were many of the myths surrounding Mozart dispelled. Ones like "He was Divinely inspired, all he did was hold the pen and it was like automatic writing" and "he was a drunken, whoring playboy who was so gifted that it didn't stop him from writing beautiful music anyway", and lots of others too. And don't forget, he was a lightweight, rococo tunesmith too. ::) 

Beethoven was the archetype of the tortured artist, each note squeezed from the pen only after hours or days of frenzied thought, crossing out, tearing up &c &c &c. In its own way, this picture is just as wrong as Mozart's. But it was perfect for the Romantic sensibility all around him. Add Schubert to the mix, and this was indeed the Age of Tortured Artists... :)

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Lady Chatterley

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2007, 04:23:13 PM »
d minor,

But you are not discriminating between what we know now and what was believed about Mozart, even when he was still alive. He was, indeed, an independent-minded, tortured soul. But no one knew or believed that, not until the relatively late 20th century were many of the myths surrounding Mozart dispelled. Ones like "He was Divinely inspired, all he did was hold the pen and it was like automatic writing" and "he was a drunken, whoring playboy who was so gifted that it didn't stop him from writing beautiful music anyway", and lots of others too. And don't forget, he was a lightweight, rococo tunesmith too. ::) 

Beethoven was the archetype of the tortured artist, each note squeezed from the pen only after hours or days of frenzied thought, crossing out, tearing up &c &c &c. In its own way, this picture is just as wrong as Mozart's. But it was perfect for the Romantic sensibility hhall around him. Add Schubert to the mix, and this was indeed the Age of Tortured Artists... :)

8)

Did Beethoven have celiac disease?That's torture enough for anyone.

George

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2007, 05:15:34 PM »
Did Beethoven have celiac disease?That's torture enough for anyone.

Not sure, but I do know that he had "asshole for a father" disease. That one sucks! I've got it, I should know. No cure either.

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2007, 05:17:52 PM »
Did Beethoven have celiac disease?That's torture enough for anyone.

He certainly had some intestinal problem, and it was chronic. He complained about constant diarrhea for the later 2/3's of his life. I never heard a diagnosis, but celiac disease is as close a one as any. :(

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Lady Chatterley

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2007, 05:53:29 PM »
Perhaps it was peptic ulcers?

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #56 on: April 09, 2007, 06:06:58 PM »
Perhaps it was peptic ulcers?

Any other symptoms support that?  More likely, it was too much wine. ;)

8)
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Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #57 on: April 09, 2007, 08:19:02 PM »
I think one thing that often gets missed out in discussing Beethoven is just how witty a composer he was. Not knock-down laugh-out-loud, but those sudden sforzandi and unexpected hiatuses keep the listener deliciously off-balance.

This is a great point.

On top of all that musical "heroism" there's the forgotten side of Beethoven: Beethoven the trickster. It may be tougher to track down than the grand gestures but once inside the music the wit becomes quite apparent. In fact, it's what draws me to Beethoven most.

So who needs "fate" in Beethoven? Not when there's all that wit!




 
« Last Edit: April 09, 2007, 08:22:51 PM by donwyn »
The Jupiter and Saturn fingers are square; the ring, or Apollo, and little, or Mercury, fingers are spatula, flat and broad. The Saturn finger is full of knots. The force of the little finger on both hands is tremendous; the knuckle seems as if made of iron. -- Palmist Anne Brewster on Liszt's hands

Lady Chatterley

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #58 on: April 11, 2007, 09:39:26 AM »
Any other symptoms support that?  More likely, it was too much wine. ;)

8)

 Yes I think so,he suffered tummy trouble often before he ate,H.Pylori loves an empty stomach.Too much wine is a disaster for folks with gastritis!Beethoven drank beer too but it was small beer.Everyone drank it,even children.

karlhenning

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Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #59 on: April 11, 2007, 09:53:55 AM »
A wise man, David Ross. And of course, I judge wisdom by the extent to which people share my opinions.... ;D

8)

Agreed  ;)

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