Author Topic: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)  (Read 11176 times)

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Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« on: September 01, 2009, 06:31:41 PM »
Now it's Beethoven's turn.

Different rules once again. You are teaching a 12-week, 36-contact hour college course in Beethoven's music and you must create a syllabus. You may feel that some works will require 3 classes, while others can be covered in less than one contact hour each. Obviously you cannot cover everything. Obviously some works will be duplicated in various lists. Your job is to (a) create the syllabus, and (b) write a brief proposal so that your department head understands what you are trying to achieve with the course.

The Beethoven catalog (excluding all the works without opus numbers) lists 138 opus numbers. Following post 138 (if we get that far), further proposals will be ignored and the thread will be locked as soon as possible after. Then a new thread will be started where we can vote for the top three courses and have a discussion.
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Bulldog

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2009, 06:37:43 PM »
Now it's Beethoven's turn.

Different rules once again. You are teaching a 12-week, 36-contact hour college course in Beethoven's music and you must create a syllabus. You may feel that some works will require 3 classes, while others can be covered in less than one contact hour each. Obviously you cannot cover everything. Obviously some works will be duplicated in various lists. Your job is to (a) create the syllabus, and (b) write a brief proposal so that your department head understands what you are trying to achieve with the course.


This sounds like real work.

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2009, 06:39:38 PM »
This sounds like real work.

That was the intent.
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Dana

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2009, 07:16:44 PM »
This sounds like your work. :P

Offline Herman

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2009, 08:56:32 PM »
Some time ago I posted a topic about Fauré in the General Section.

It was immediately relegated to the Composers Section by an anonymous moderator.

As I suggested at the time, does this happen to Beethoven topic nr 1001, too?

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2009, 09:52:57 PM »
(excluding all the works without opus numbers)

I think this a priori exclusion would be more formulaic than necessary; for instance, it would exclude among others two rather substantial cantatas: Trauerkantate auf den Tod Kaiser Josephs II. (Funeral Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II) WoO.87 and Kantate auf die Erhebung Leopolds II. zur Kaiserwürde (Cantata on the Accession/Elevation of Leopold II to the Imperial Dignity) WoO.88, works no less substantial - especially the former -  than e.g. Der glorreiche Augenblick op.136.

Offline Gabriel

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2009, 01:19:55 AM »
I think this a priori exclusion would be more formulaic than necessary; for instance, it would exclude among others two rather substantial cantatas: Trauerkantate auf den Tod Kaiser Josephs II. (Funeral Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II) WoO.87 and Kantate auf die Erhebung Leopolds II. zur Kaiserwürde (Cantata on the Accession/Elevation of Leopold II to the Imperial Dignity) WoO.88, works no less substantial - especially the former -  than e.g. Der glorreiche Augenblick op.136.

I agree. Other sensible losses would be the Andante favori WoO 57 and the most remarkable 32 Variations WoO 80.

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2009, 01:28:25 AM »
I think this a priori exclusion would be more formulaic than necessary; for instance, it would exclude among others two rather substantial cantatas: Trauerkantate auf den Tod Kaiser Josephs II. (Funeral Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II) WoO.87 and Kantate auf die Erhebung Leopolds II. zur Kaiserwürde (Cantata on the Accession/Elevation of Leopold II to the Imperial Dignity) WoO.88, works no less substantial - especially the former -  than e.g. Der glorreiche Augenblick op.136.

Perhaps I was insufficiently clear, but there is no a priori exclusion of any works whatsoever. I have simply used the number 138 to indicate the number of posts after which the thread will close. By all means include any WoO you wish in your course.

OK, six posts so far that have done nothing but discuss or complain about the challenge as formulated. Does anyone actually want to participate?
« Last Edit: September 02, 2009, 01:55:43 AM by Sforzando »
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karlhenning

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2009, 03:25:23 AM »
Molto bene, Sforzando.

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2009, 04:32:15 AM »
Hope I understand the rules, Poco. I'll have a go at it. The chronology can change for the actual course presentation; in fact it should. But I'm starting at the beginning anyway, since I won't get so mixed up. :)

Op 7 Piano Sonata in Eb -          .5 hour
Op 9 #3 String Trio in c minor -  .5 hour
Op 13 Piano Sonata in c minor -  .5 hour
Op 20 Septet in Eb                -   .5 hour
Op 19 Piano Concerto #2 in Bb -  1 hour (actually the 1st concerto)
Op 18 6 String Quartets        -    2 hours
Op 21 Symphony #1             -    .5 hour
Op 27 2 Sonatas
"quasi una Fantasia"             -    1 hour
Op 28 Sonata in D for Keyboard - .5 hour
Op 31 3 sonatas for Keyboard -  1 hour
Op 34 6 Variations in F on an
Original Theme for Keyboard    - .5 hour
Op 35 The Eroica Variations     -  .5 hour
Op 36 Symphony #2 in D         - 1 hour
Op 43 "Creatures of Prometheus -  .5 hour
Op 47 Sonata in A & a
for Violin & Keyboard              -  .5 hour
Op 53 Piano Sonata in C +
WoO 57 "Andante favori"        -  .5 hour
Op 55 Symphony in Eb           -   1 hour
Op 57 Sonata in f minor          -  .5 hour    
     Subtotal                               12 hours (first 1/3 of the course)


Op 58 Piano Concerto #4       -     .5 hour
WoO 80 Variations for keyboard - .5 hour
Op 59 3 String Quartets         -     2 hours
Op 60 Symphony #4 in Bb      -    .5 hour
Op 61 Violin Concerto in D      -    .5 hour
Op 67 Symphony #5              -   .5 hour
Op 68 Symphony #6              -   .5 hour
Op 69 Cello Sonata #3 in A     -   .5 hour
Op 72 Fidelio or Leonore         -    2 hours
Op 73 Piano Concerto #5        -    .5 hour
Op 74 String Quartet in Eb     -     .5 hour
Op 81a  Piano Sonata in Eb     -    .5 hour
Op 90  Piano Sonata in e         -    .5 hour
Op 92 Symphony #7              -    .5 hour
Op 93 Symphony #8             -     .5 hour
Op 95 Quartet in f                  -   .5 hour
Op 96 Violin Sonata in G         -   .5 hour
Op 97 Piano Trio in Bb            -    .5 hour
    Subtotal                                 12 (2/3 of the course)

Op 101 Piano Sonata               -   .5 hour
Op 102 2 Cello Sonatas            -  1 hour
Op 106 Piano Sonata in Bb        -  1 hour
Op 109 Piano Sonata in E          -  .5 hour
Op 110 Piano Sonata in Ab        -  .5 hour
Op 111 Piano Sonata in c          -   .5 hour
Op 120 Diabelli Variations          - 1 hour
Op 124 Missa Solemnis             -   1 hour
Op 125 Symphony #9              -   1.5 hours
Op 126  6 Bagatelles                -  .5 hour  
Op 127  String Quartet in Eb    -   .5 hour
Op 132 String Quartet in a        -  .5 hour
Op 130 SQ in Bb                       - .5 hour
Op 133  Große Fuge for SQ        -  .5 hour
Op 131 SQ in c#                       - .5 hour
Op 135 SQ in F                         - .5 hour
   Subtotal                                  12  (3/3 of course)
                       Grand Total         36 hours

Why these works? Well, the sonatas were Beethoven's 'workshop' where he worked out formal ideas to be used later in orchestral settings. So I chose major works that showed some of this working out, and minor works (like the Op 34 & 35 variations, for example) that showed how he developed his ideas. Then I chose 2 keys, c minor and Eb major in which a lot of the 'real' Beethoven seems to be displayed. Some formal advancement works (like the Op 102 sonatas), and then the unique works like the late quartets. I think it is well-rounded. :)

Anyway, that's what I would do. :)

8)
« Last Edit: September 02, 2009, 05:41:07 AM by Gurn Blanston »
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DavidW

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2009, 05:03:41 AM »
I think that to reach a broader audience the course might have to double as music appreciation in a way.  So I would select a few works to illustrate forms and what to listen for.  The Moonlight Sonata might illustrate sonata-allegro form, but of course it can be used to illustrate many other things.

I would structure it based on complexity of form, reserving complex compositions of several techniques for the end.  I think that this approach would not only help students appreciate classical music in general, by also illustrating what makes Beethoven so special in not only what he does, but what he doesn't do will also give an appreciation for his music.

Biographical detail would be included as well, but only to give context.

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2009, 06:42:28 AM »
These are very good starts, and I hope to see more along these lines. I will challenge both posters:

Gurn: I would say your work list needs considerable pruning. Massive pruning, in fact. You're teaching students in a course who know far less about Beethoven than you. You may want to leave time for discussion. Just 1/2 hour for the 5th symphony or the A minor quartet? I think you'd find that covering the first movement of the Fifth alone needs more time.

DavidW: I like the rationale, but there's no work list. But to speak of "selecting a few works" is I think a productive way to go about this.

This is the problem I posed: in effect, if you had to introduce LvB to people who knew very little about him, and your time and resources were limited, what would be the approach you would take and the representative works to illustrate it? Since you can't include everything, what would you include, what leave out?
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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2009, 07:07:17 AM »
These are very good starts, and I hope to see more along these lines. I will challenge both posters:

Gurn: I would say your work list needs considerable pruning. Massive pruning, in fact. You're teaching students in a course who know far less about Beethoven than you. You may want to leave time for discussion. Just 1/2 hour for the 5th symphony or the A minor quartet? I think you'd find that covering the first movement of the Fifth alone needs more time.

DavidW: I like the rationale, but there's no work list. But to speak of "selecting a few works" is I think a productive way to go about this.

This is the problem I posed: in effect, if you had to introduce LvB to people who knew very little about him, and your time and resources were limited, what would be the approach you would take and the representative works to illustrate it? Since you can't include everything, what would you include, what leave out?

I see what you mean, Poco. Distributing time among them was the hardest part. Far easier to cut back and select some key works for more in depth study. Thanks.

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DavidW

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2009, 07:42:27 AM »
DavidW: I like the rationale, but there's no work list. But to speak of "selecting a few works" is I think a productive way to go about this.

This is the problem I posed: in effect, if you had to introduce LvB to people who knew very little about him, and your time and resources were limited, what would be the approach you would take and the representative works to illustrate it? Since you can't include everything, what would you include, what leave out?

I'm going to get on that this evening. :)

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2009, 07:50:26 AM »
OK, here is the trimmed down version. I still hope to discuss innovative works and the 2 keys that I mentioned, c minor and Eb Major.

Op 9 #3 String Trio in c minor -   \
                                                      2 hours
Op 13 Piano Sonata in c minor -   /

Op 27 2 Sonatas
"quasi una Fantasia"             -    2 hours

Op 34 6 Variations in F on an
Original Theme for Keyboard    -  \
                                        1 hour
Op 35 The Eroica Variations     -  /

                                      Early Period – 5 hours


Op 53 Piano Sonata in C + WoO 57 "Andante favori"        -  1 hour

Op 55 Symphony in Eb           -   2 hour

Op 67 Symphony #5 in c         -   2 hours

Op 70 #2 Piano Trio in Eb      -   1 hour

Op 72 Fidelio or Leonore         -    2 hours

Op 73 Piano Concerto #5  in Eb      -  1 hour

Op 74 String Quartet in Eb            -    1  hour

Op 97 Piano Trio in Bb                 -     1 hour

                                      Middle Period – 11 hours

Op 102 2 Cello Sonatas            -  1.5 hours

Op 106 Piano Sonata in Bb        -  2 hours

Op 111 Piano Sonata in c          -   1.5 hours

Op 120 Diabelli Variations          - 2 hours

Op 124 Missa Solemnis             -   1.5 hours

Op 125 Symphony #9              -   2 hours

Op 126  6 Bagatelles                -  1 hour 

Op 127  String Quartet in Eb    -   2 hour
Op 132 String Quartet in a        -  2 hours

Op 130 SQ in Bb                       -  1.5 hour

Op 133  Große Fuge for SQ        - 1 hour

Op 131 SQ in c#                       -   2 hours

                        Late period -   20 hours

                       Grand Total         36 hours

I know, it's hard to see that it has been trimmed down, but I see it as an introductory course, and I feel like giving a broad cross-section is equally necessary in order to get an idea of the variety of the music. Obviously, I, the teacher, am going to put some overtime in on this one... :)

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Offline Szykneij

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2009, 10:29:01 AM »

This is the problem I posed: in effect, if you had to introduce LvB to people who knew very little about him, and your time and resources were limited, what would be the approach you would take and the representative works to illustrate it?



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Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2009, 10:56:56 AM »
I would just teach one work per week for the most part like this:

week #: 1) Sym. #3
            2) Sym. #5
            3) Sym. #9
            4) Piano Sonata Op. 106
            5) Piano Sonata Op. 110
            6) Piano Sonata Op. 111
            7) SQ Op. 59 #1, 2 and 3 and Piano Sonata in Eb (Op. 7)
            8) Fidelio
            9) Missa Solemnis
            10) SQ Op. 130
            11) SQ Op. 132
            12) SQ Op. 135

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2009, 11:59:41 AM »
I would just teach one work per week for the most part like this:

week #: 1) Sym. #3
            2) Sym. #5
            3) Sym. #9
            4) Piano Sonata Op. 106
            5) Piano Sonata Op. 110
            6) Piano Sonata Op. 111
            7) SQ Op. 59 #1, 2 and 3 and Piano Sonata in Eb (Op. 7)
            8) Fidelio
            9) Missa Solemnis
            10) SQ Op. 130
            11) SQ Op. 132
            12) SQ Op. 135


Very interesting. What is your principle of organization? You're very heavily concentrated towards the late works, with one early piano sonata sneaking in midway. If they're relatively new to Beethoven, are you throwing too many late piano sonatas and quartets at them?
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Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2009, 12:13:37 PM »
I just think life is too short to be spending valuable time on less than great works. Early and middle Beethoven is interesting but late Beethoven is just so rich, incomprehensible, almost bizarre at times that sometimes I can't believe it is the same composer. It was really music that was way ahead of its time. There was nothing remotely resembling the final sonatas and string quartets at the time.

I have the early and mid periods covered pretty well with the 3 and 5th symphonies, the Razumovsky Quartets, and the Op. 10  Grand Sonata in Eb (a favorite of mine other than the final sonatas BTW) and Fidelio (if you call that mid-period). So that's 1/3 the time devoted to early and mid period and 2/3 the time devoted to his late period which I think is correct.

As to the schedule I would pretty much stick with what I had written earlier. The middle quartets and Fidelio pretty much serves as a break between the late sonatas and SQ.

I am not of the opinion that you should start beginners with more "approachable" works. I took a general opera class once and we started out with Tristan. So there.

« Last Edit: September 02, 2009, 12:15:18 PM by PerfectWagnerite »

DavidW

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Re: Now it's Beethoven's turn (but with a twist)
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2009, 02:24:34 PM »
I guess to elaborate on what I was suggesting before:

Looks like the Moonlight Sonata, the Diabelli Variations, the 1st symphony, the 5th symphony, one of the Op 18 String Quartets, and the Great Fugue would be the choices for my hypothetical class.  And the concept is going through the basics and keep falling back to synthesis where we can look at more than one perspective (of the four), and along the way gain an appreciation for Beethoven.

Some of the works (the early works) are to exemplify classical form, the later stuff to show Beethoven's genius and see how it all fits in together.

Timetable: variations and binary form = 1 week, sonata allegro form = 4 weeks, rhythm and Beethoven's 5th = 1 week, counterpoint = 3 weeks, Great Fugue = 3 weeks

Variations: Diabelli Variations or Eroica Variations

The minuet and binary form: Ex: the minuet 1st symphony, and then we go from there to the scherzo and the 2nd symphony

The Introduction: establishing the dominant key, I might use the first symphony or the Pathetique for examples, the 4th symphony as a counter-example

Sonata Allegro Form:
* Moonlight Sonata as primary example
Emphasis on variations of a theme and building tension/drama by deviating from the dominant key and so forth you see it should build on the previous topics

Fifth Symphony:
* motivic unity
* since the motif is in every movement (just transformed you know) it's easier to keep of the different meters used in each movement--> which is our introduction to rhythm.  I know rhythm is the most basic thing, but since our modern ears hear melody first and foremost we can sneak it in late.
* we can also revisit the discussions of keys with the bridge between the 3rd and 4th movement.



Counterpoint:
* I would probably choose one of the Op. 18 String Quartets since they are rich in simple to the point counterpoint.  The point is to use the music to demonstrate inversions, multiple voices in simple context like a canon or a fugati.

And then the Great Fugue can be investigated using all of the principles presented before to understand the relationships between counterpoint, rhythm, modulation and so forth in that work, and I guess it would be the final project.

Well I don't know much about music, but heck I tried. :)



« Last Edit: September 02, 2009, 02:31:11 PM by DavidW »

 

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