Author Topic: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)  (Read 290773 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Don Giovanni

  • Guest
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #60 on: April 13, 2007, 09:48:32 AM »
My favourite Beethoven work is the Grosse Fugue. It makes me think of a journey of a tortured soul: maybe like in the Divine Comedy: from the depths of the Inferno, up towards the glorious heights of Paradiso. The isn't too long either. It develops, says what it wants to say, and has done with it.

Offline BachQ

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5798
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #61 on: April 13, 2007, 11:49:19 AM »
My favourite Beethoven work is the Grosse Fugue. It makes me think of a journey of a tortured soul: maybe like in the Divine Comedy: from the depths of the Inferno, up towards the glorious heights of Paradiso. The isn't too long either. It develops, says what it wants to say, and has done with it.

Was listening to the Gro├če Fuge just this morning . . . . . . My appreciation for it grows with each successive listen . . . . . .  8)

Don Giovanni

  • Guest
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #62 on: April 13, 2007, 11:53:44 AM »
I know! It's the same with me. As fugues go, the only one that immediately pops into my head besides it is the Contrapunctus 14 from The Art of Fugue. Although, I'm sure there are many other great fugues.

D Minor, I suppose then that you have a great appreciation for the rest of Beethoven's quartets?

Offline Brewski

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 12017
  • "Man With No Shadow" by Makoto Tojiki (2009)
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #63 on: April 13, 2007, 11:54:48 AM »
I agree: great piece.  One favorite version is on this CD by the Arditti Quartet, and I find it interesting that they include it with recordings of Xenakis, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Nancarrow and Roger Reynolds.  The late Beethoven quartets still sound incredibly modern.

--Bruce

"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline BachQ

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5798
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #64 on: April 13, 2007, 12:00:10 PM »
D Minor, I suppose then that you have a great appreciation for the rest of Beethoven's quartets?

Yes, the Late SQs especially . . . . . . .

I find it interesting that they include it with recordings of Xenakis, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Nancarrow and Roger Reynolds.  The late Beethoven quartets still sound incredibly modern.

Very interesting :D  Yeah, possibly Beethoven's most "modern sounding" music . . . . . . .  :D

Don Giovanni

  • Guest
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #65 on: April 13, 2007, 12:02:01 PM »
I agree: great piece.  One favorite version is on this CD by the Arditti Quartet, and I find it interesting that they include it with recordings of Xenakis, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Nancarrow and Roger Reynolds.  The late Beethoven quartets still sound incredibly modern.

--Bruce




I was just thinking that today when I was listening to Op. 135. Of course, nowhere near as modern as Xenakis or Ligeti's chamber work but still very ahead of its time in many ways.


Offline BachQ

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5798
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #66 on: April 18, 2007, 10:32:16 AM »
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... :)

8)

Gurn,

How do you know what Beethoven's "perception" was regarding Mozart's struggles in life?  For example, Beethoven must have known that Mozart's brilliant operas were vastly under appreciated in Europe during Mozart's lifetime, and must have known (artist-to-artist) that Mozart felt deeply hurt and saddened by this lack of appreciation.   :'(  Mozart was tortured, and Beethoven (and other artists) may have empathised with that.

Beethoven probably knew that Mozart died in poverty, and could infer that Mozart suffered from serious financial and health issues during the final years of his life.

Of course, today, we now know that during Mozart's mature life, he struggled a great deal (e.g., in addition to his health & financial problems, we know that he tirelessly edited and reedited his compositions . . . . . etc).  Beethoven, Schubert, and others may have been aware of Mozart's struggles . . . . . . or maybe not (how can we know?) . . . . . .

And surely Mozart's independent-mindedness was very well known to LvB . . . . . . .  :)

Offline BachQ

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5798
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #67 on: April 18, 2007, 10:38:12 AM »
« Last Edit: April 18, 2007, 11:09:57 AM by D Minor »

George

  • Guest
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #68 on: April 18, 2007, 10:56:58 AM »

An entire forum dedicated to the music of Beethoven:


Beethoven Forum


(I am Annie Fischer there)


(Thanks to donwyn for tech support)  :)

Offline BachQ

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5798
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #69 on: April 18, 2007, 11:09:21 AM »
An entire forum dedicated to the music of Beethoven:


Beethoven Forum


(I am Annie Fischer there)


(Thanks to donwyn for tech support)  :)

Thanks, Annie8)

George

  • Guest
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #70 on: April 18, 2007, 11:23:23 AM »

Offline op.110

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 124
  • Wir betreten feuertrunken
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #71 on: April 18, 2007, 01:48:15 PM »
1. What do you think are among Beethoven's greatest achievements?  Most "influential" works?
          Greatest achievements... (not in any particular order)
          Piano Sonata No. 31 op 110
          Violin Concerto
          Piano Concerto No. 5
          The Appassionata Piano Sonata
          Symphony No. 9
          Symphony No. 7
          Symphony No. 5
          Symphony No. 3
          Quartet Op. 131
          Quartet Op. 127
          Ghost Trio
          Triple Concerto

           The Ninth would be the "most 'influential'"



2. What are your favorite works by Beethoven?  Least favorite?
          All of the forementioned works
         
          I really don't have a least favorite work.

3. Do you feel that Beethoven's personal challenges (deafness; nephew issues; etc) considerably heightened the emotional content of his music?
          A question that requires a lengthy explaination; I would read Maynard Solomon's BEETHOVEN; Solomon does a good job, I think, of trying to analyze the psyche of Beethoven. A sometimes dull, but interesting read.

4. Any favorite recordings?  Of Symphonies? Piano Sonatas? Concertos?  Chamber?  Overtures?
         I will post more on this later, but right now I must go to my University's Orchestra rehearsal.

Offline Gurn Blanston

  • Haydn: that genius of vulgar music who induces an inordinate thirst for beer - Mily Balakirev (1860)
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 31500
  • Support your local Haydn Society
    • Gurn's Haydn Blog
  • Location: Texas, where else?
  • Currently Listening to:
    Haydn, I reckon.
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #72 on: April 18, 2007, 03:23:55 PM »
Gurn,

How do you know what Beethoven's "perception" was regarding Mozart's struggles in life?  For example, Beethoven must have known that Mozart's brilliant operas were vastly under appreciated in Europe during Mozart's lifetime, and must have known (artist-to-artist) that Mozart felt deeply hurt and saddened by this lack of appreciation.   :'(  Mozart was tortured, and Beethoven (and other artists) may have empathised with that.

Beethoven probably knew that Mozart died in poverty, and could infer that Mozart suffered from serious financial and health issues during the final years of his life.

Of course, today, we now know that during Mozart's mature life, he struggled a great deal (e.g., in addition to his health & financial problems, we know that he tirelessly edited and reedited his compositions . . . . . etc).  Beethoven, Schubert, and others may have been aware of Mozart's struggles . . . . . . or maybe not (how can we know?) . . . . . .

And surely Mozart's independent-mindedness was very well known to LvB . . . . . . .  :)

d minor,
Well, his perceptions were just what everyone else's were at the time. He didn't have any special knowledge beyond what may have come from conversing with Haydn. They were influenced primarily by the writings of the time (Niemetschek (sp) and Rochlitz), and by his own perceptions of the music. He thought the music was very special, but he also thought Mozart to be a very risque and less than moral man (his comments on Don Giovanni being totally unworthy of being an opera because of its immorality, for example). Specifically about the operas, he thought the music was far better than the operas themselves, so I don't know if he would have felt they were underperformed. Perhaps the opposite?

In any case, other than the perception that Mozart was impoverished, there was little if any conception that he was a suffering person. Not in the 19th century. And it has always generally believed (still is by some) that he was impoverished from spending huge sums on fripperies and gambling. Not that he was generally poor, simply that he was wasteful among plenty. He wasn't, actually, particularly wasteful OR poor. He was viewed as a poor businessman, not poor financially except by his own mismanagement.

And the truth about how hard he worked at composing didn't come out for nearly 150 years after his death, in good part because Constanze destroyed all his sketches and notes, and all that were left were fair copies. The myth was born that THEY were his original sketches, that he just sat and wrote them just as they were.

No, I think we CAN know that they didn't. There is no current publication from the time that gives the straight facts. The embellishments began with the first obituaries and continued unchecked. Constanze didn't even tell all the truth to Nissen (or he didn't publish it) in order to protect Mozart's legacy. In any case, the original concept that Mozart could have served as a role model in the same way that Beethoven did is not likely at all: at the very least, the few people who knew the truth weren't giving it up. And history bears out that he didn't serve as a role model in that way. :)

8)
Help support GMG by purchasing from Amazon using this link

Visit my Haydn blog: HaydnSeek

Follow me on Twitter @GurnBlanston106

Offline BachQ

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5798
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #73 on: April 18, 2007, 05:55:10 PM »
d minor,

In any case, the original concept that Mozart could have served as a role model in the same way that Beethoven did is not likely at all: at the very least, the few people who knew the truth weren't giving it up. And history bears out that he didn't serve as a role model in that way. :)

Gurn,

Excellent reply . . . . . Thank you!

Perhaps "role model" is not the correct term, but Mozart certainly served as a shining example of a composer who remained largely independent (i.e., not tied to the church (Bach) or royalty (Esterhazy)) while supporting himself and his family primarily with income derived from hard-earned compositional efforts.  More importantly, in large part, Mozart composed for the sake of composing, not for pleasing a particular client.  His final three symphonies, for example, were not commissioned (apparently, Mozart composed them hoping for future performances, which never materialized during his lifetime).

Assuming that Beethoven had basic information about Mozart's life, Beethoven likely could empathize with Mozart's struggles as an independent, freethinking musical genius.  Moreso than he could empathize with Handel, Bach or Haydn.


Offline BachQ

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5798
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #74 on: April 18, 2007, 06:01:50 PM »
Not that he was generally poor, simply that he was wasteful among plenty. He wasn't, actually, particularly wasteful OR poor. He was viewed as a poor businessman, not poor financially except by his own mismanagement.

As to Mozart's financial condition, I agree that outwardly he appeared to be successful, although he was forced to move into smaller quarters towards the end, and his ill-health hindered his ability to support his family . . . . . . such that he was compelled to borrow money from Michael Puchberg . . . . . . .

Still, wasn't it common knowledge that Mozart was buried in a mass grave among paupers ?. . . . . .

But you are correct that the nature and extent of Mozart's struggles was unknown at the time.

Offline Bunny

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1848
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #75 on: April 19, 2007, 12:17:46 AM »
As to Mozart's financial condition, I agree that outwardly he appeared to be successful, although he was forced to move into smaller quarters towards the end, and his ill-health hindered his ability to support his family . . . . . . such that he was compelled to borrow money from Michael Puchberg . . . . . . .

Still, wasn't it common knowledge that Mozart was buried in a mass grave among paupers ?. . . . . .


But you are correct that the nature and extent of Mozart's struggles was unknown at the time.



I think it is a myth that Mozart was impoverished at the time of his death.  He had the stature of a rock star in Vienna during his lifetime and commensurate earnings.  He could have easily generated more wealth had he survived longer.  If I had to describe his financial condition at the time of his death, I would say that he had a bit of a cash flow problem necessitating some retrenchment.  he certainly was far from bankrupt or "impoverished." In an age when the wealthy lived on credit (bills could go years unpaid -- only gambling debts demanded immediate payment), Mozart was relatively solvent. 

As for the pauper's grave, that was a misconception of later generations.  The arrangements for Mozart's funeral and burial were actually made by Baron von Swieten in accordance with the regulations in force (of the Emperor Joseph II) demanding a simple and hygienic burial (ie. speedy) and he chose the most economical burial available.  There was a simple ceremony in a side chapel of St. Stephen's Cathedral attended by von Swieten, Constanze, and her family.  Afterwards,  Mozart was interred in a cemetery in the village of St. Marx on the outskirts of Vienna.  Btw, the grave was described at the time not as a pauper's grave, but as a "normal simple grave." 

Offline BachQ

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5798
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #76 on: April 19, 2007, 09:05:36 AM »
1. What do you think are among Beethoven's greatest achievements?  Most "influential" works?
          Greatest achievements... (not in any particular order)
          Piano Sonata No. 31 op 110
          Violin Concerto
          Piano Concerto No. 5
          The Appassionata Piano Sonata
          Symphony No. 9
          Symphony No. 7
          Symphony No. 5
          Symphony No. 3
          Quartet Op. 131
          Quartet Op. 127
          Ghost Trio
          Triple Concerto

           The Ninth would be the "most 'influential'"

Great list (which closely coincides with my own)!   8)

Offline BachQ

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5798
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #77 on: April 19, 2007, 09:07:09 AM »
          Piano Sonata No. 31 op 110

Op. 110 is probably my 2nd fave; the Hammerklavier (esp. the final movement) remains my top spot, though.

Offline BachQ

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5798
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #78 on: April 19, 2007, 09:16:41 AM »
          Violin Concerto

Probably the most influential violin concerto ever composed!  Brahms soaked it up.  I'm considering this 1960 stereo re-release (Yehudi Menuhin's legendary 1953 recording with Wilhlem Furtwangler is another great one) . . . . .



Offline quintett op.57

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 465
Re: Beethoven's Bistro
« Reply #79 on: April 19, 2007, 01:31:50 PM »
Quote
1. What do you think are among Beethoven's greatest achievements? 
No opinion

Quote
Most "influential" works?
Middle & late quartets.     

Quote
2. What are your favorite works by Beethoven?  Least favorite?
      Last sonata - Kreutzer sonata - trio after Sy2 - 14th quartet
         I really don't have a least favorite work.

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

Quote
4. Any favorite recordings?  Of Symphonies? Piano Sonatas? Concertos?  Chamber?  Overtures?
      love the Italiano and Juilliard. I still don't have many performers