Author Topic: Beethovens 1st Symphony  (Read 5407 times)

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Offline DanielFullard

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Beethovens 1st Symphony
« on: October 24, 2007, 06:08:53 AM »
I often find that Beethoven's first two symphonies are unfairly overlooked in light of the innovations that came with the third and beyond but personally I enjoy the first as much as any other. Its lively, exciting and uplifting and for me is a joy to hear. The Minuet is superb and the opening and closing movements are two of my favourites across all symphonic works by anyone. So I thought Id just initiate a discussion about this piece and see what others think

George

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2007, 07:47:01 AM »
I often find that Beethoven's first two symphonies are unfairly overlooked in light of the innovations that came with the third and beyond but personally I enjoy the first as much as any other. Its lively, exciting and uplifting and for me is a joy to hear. The Minuet is superb and the opening and closing movements are two of my favourites across all symphonic works by anyone. So I thought Id just initiate a discussion about this piece and see what others think

I also enjoy the first symphony. My very first classical CD was the first paired with the sixth by Szell and the Cleveland orchestra.  :)

Mark

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2007, 07:52:55 AM »
Insane! I've just been out for a walk, had this symphony playing on my MP3 player, and thought, 'I must start a thread on this later.' So thank you. :)

This is another of Beethoven's symphonies which, like his Fourth, is (IMO) interpreter proof. I've heard a dozen or more versions, and I love them all. If forced to pick just two 'favourites', I'd say the EMI Mackerras/RLPO recording, and the LSO Live Haitink recording (a performance I actually attended 8)).

mahlertitan

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2007, 01:59:06 PM »
Beethoven's 1st is a very early work. Written in a style that identifies more with that of Haydn and Mozart than any of his later works. Despite that, even this early work sound...what's the word? "Beethovenian". Perhaps not in the mature sense, but the construction, and the overall impression of the work foreshadows the monumental later symphonies.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2007, 02:00:42 PM by MahlerTitan »

hornteacher

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2007, 03:01:17 PM »
I just performed this work two weeks ago with our local symphony (I played horn).  Its a great piece, and apparently very popular at its first performance in 1800.  Its in the Classical Style but Beethoven is already trying to shake things up a bit, starting with the first chords (a series of Dominant 7th/Tonic chords in various tonalities before he finally settles on the home key).  The fugato at the beginning of the 2nd movement is a nice touch, and the 3-beat vs 2-beat stuff is so simple but brilliant.  The 3rd movement is a minuet in name only, its really more of a scherzo, and the horn parts are so much fun to play.  Then there's the musical joke that starts the finale.  Its a fun piece overall with lots of interesting sections and features.

Offline jochanaan

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2007, 03:33:25 PM »
The First is one of the few Beethoven symphonies I haven't actually played.  (The Sixth is the other, and I've only played the first movement of the Eighth.)  But I'd love to play it!  As an oboist, I love Beethoven's music even when it completely exhausts me, as the Ninth did a year ago.  Compared to Mozart or even Haydn, Beethoven is very gratifying to a wind player. :D

As a listener, I really enjoy this symphony's strength and humor.
Imagination + discipline = creativity

hornteacher

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2007, 03:38:19 PM »
Compared to Mozart or even Haydn, Beethoven is very gratifying to a wind player. :D

Very true.

Offline jochanaan

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2007, 03:47:36 PM »
hornteacher, you must have a great time with the Eroica!  Except for the part where the 1st horn changes keys. ;D
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2007, 04:30:07 PM »
Beethoven's 1st is a very early work. Written in a style that identifies more with that of Haydn and Mozart than any of his later works. Despite that, even this early work sound...what's the word? "Beethovenian". Perhaps not in the mature sense, but the construction, and the overall impression of the work foreshadows the monumental later symphonies.


Early, yes, but he was still 30 years old when it hit the streets. B was a late starter on the symphony front. I am inordinately fond of this work, right from the unusual introductory chord. This was a man with something different to say, even though he was content to speak a familiar language. :)

8)

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hornteacher

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2007, 06:12:05 PM »
hornteacher, you must have a great time with the Eroica!  Except for the part where the 1st horn changes keys. ;D

I cheat, I use valves!   ;D

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2007, 09:02:26 PM »
I am inordinately fond of this work, right from the unusual introductory chord. This was a man with something different to say, even though he was content to speak a familiar language. :)

8)

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Just my thoughts. In some ways, this is quite my favourite LvB symphony (as are, from time to time. # 3, 4 and 9 8)). I find it just inimitable. The coda to 1 is still one of my alltime favourite moments. Such fantastic turns of the harmonic and rythmic screws!
« Last Edit: October 25, 2007, 05:44:18 AM by Lilas Pastia »

Offline Grazioso

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2007, 04:35:48 AM »
I tend to be more fond of the Classical Beethoven than the blood-and-thunder Romantic Beethoven, so 1, 2, and 8 have long been favorites of mine.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Offline Cato

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2007, 08:40:35 AM »
The opening chord is definitely "Beethovenian" and in a broad sense is the progenitor of that Vienna jeer which opens the finale to the Ninth.

"Beethoven's here: everybody get off the bar and get on the wall!"   8)
COWBOY (sitting down to a poker game for the first time): "Is this a game of chance?!"

- W. C. FIELDS  (as Cuthbert Twillie): "Uhh, not the way I play it, no." in  My Little Chickadee.

Offline jochanaan

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2007, 07:38:39 PM »
I tend to be more fond of the Classical Beethoven than the blood-and-thunder Romantic Beethoven...
Hey, I LIKE thud and blunder! ;D
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Symphonien

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2007, 09:21:24 PM »
For some reason, I find that I like this symphony much more than I like the 2nd...

Offline 12tone.

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2007, 09:25:57 PM »
My first experience with Beethoven pretty much was his first symphony...

Ahhh...I remember the day I went to our A&B Sound and picked up Menuhin's Beethoven symph box set...I came home with that first symphony BLARING!  Oh man...


Offline val

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2007, 04:54:57 AM »
To me, regarding the First Symphony, there is "only" Toscanini. With the NBC Orchestra or the BBC.

Also good, but very, very far from the Maestro, I would suggest Kletzki with the CzPO, Gardiner, Bernstein, Schuricht and Reiner.

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2007, 04:38:09 PM »
To me, regarding the First Symphony, there is "only" Toscanini. With the NBC Orchestra or the BBC.

Also good, but very, very far from the Maestro, I would suggest Kletzki with the CzPO, Gardiner, Bernstein, Schuricht and Reiner.

Aren't you opening the door a mite too far? I mean, 5 alternatives to Toscanini? ;)

Offline val

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Re: Beethovens 1st Symphony
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2007, 02:07:17 AM »
Quote
Lilas Pastia

Aren't you opening the door a mite too far? I mean, 5 alternatives to Toscanini?


They offer different perspectives, but, at least to me, Toscanini is irreplaceable in this work.

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