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Suzie
12-25-2000, 09:05 PM
I am absolutely haunted by the 1st Symphony. I don't care what you all think! What an incredible first effort at a symphony! So simple and lovely. I want the scherzo played at my funeral. Go ahead and blast me http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/smile.gif

Michael
12-25-2000, 10:13 PM
Not at all, Suzie. I have it placed last in my favourite symphony list, but that's only because the other eight are by Beethoven, too.
The first symphony has crept up on me gradually over the years and my son never stops playing it. It is fantastic!
If they play the scherzo at your funeral, you won't be mourned very much!

Michael

~Leslie
12-26-2000, 12:22 AM
The first symphony? Very Mozarteum, I think. : )
I have ridden to this quite a bit, and I really enjoy it. In fact, I think I'm due for another listen.........~c u @ x

Luis
12-26-2000, 02:19 AM
Hi guys, I’m back! How have you been?

I wonder why in every 1st I’ve listened (and that seems to be your case too) the 3rd movement is played as scherzo instead of the original tempo/mood which is menuetto?! I mean I like it (more, I think) as is usually played but it could be also interesting to hear it on a more elegant and paused way, don’t you think?

About funeral music: The scherzo of the 1st??!! hmmm… Suz, that would be quite weird for a funeral! I guess I would pick the arietta of op. 111 (yeah… not too original, I know). Somehow I think this is one of the most auto-referential pieces ever composed by B. but I tell you about this tomorrow I better go to bed now (No, I’m not drunk, It’s just I need some sleep, you know, I was TOO drunk yesterday!) http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/wink.gif

PS: Do you know what music was played for B’s own funeral? The Marcia funebre sulla morte d’un Eroe (3rd movement from the sonata op. 26). hmmm not the best choice in my opinion...


[This message has been edited by Luis (edited 12-25-2000).]

Chris
12-26-2000, 02:48 PM
I love the 1st. It is somewhere in the middle of how I rank them. Wherever you rank it compared to Beethoven's other symphonies, though, you just HAVE to love it!

PDG
12-26-2000, 09:23 PM
LUIS,

In what way could the great Funeral March on the Death of a Hero, played at its composer`s own funeral, not be the most appropriate choice of music in such circumstances?

Peter
12-27-2000, 12:53 PM
Originally posted by Suzie:
I am absolutely haunted by the 1st Symphony. I don't care what you all think! What an incredible first effort at a symphony! So simple and lovely. I want the scherzo played at my funeral. Go ahead and blast me http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/smile.gif

I actually prefer the 1st to the 2nd - the 3rd movement is particularly fine and I think a good choice for a funeral - why not have something lively and happy to celebrate someone's life instead of the usual dirge ?

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'Man know thyself'

Luis
12-27-2000, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by PDG:
LUIS,

In what way could the great Funeral March on the Death of a Hero, played at its composer`s own funeral, not be the most appropriate choice of music in such circumstances? I’m not saying I don’t like op. 26 it is just I think the 3rd movement only speaks of death while op. 111 is much more profound and richer reflecting Beethoven’s deepest feelings about death but also about his life and “afterlife”. Hence, Op. 111 seems to be anticipating the discourse enunciated in B’s funeral, which ends: “Thus he was, thus he died, thus he will live to the end of time”.
I could be wrong, I don’t care, but I like to think about op. 111 as a reflection of a man about his death. Think about this (and put op. 111 on your cd-player): On the first movement we have a common subject in Beethoven’s music: the solitary desperation of a man affronting and fighting against his own (deathly in this case) fate, which is schematized as the death of the hero. But we don’t have a resolution here, just the desperate fight of somebody who knows but can’t assume the fruitless of this struggle. The second movement, on the contrary, starts more calmly but not happier. The mournful air continues flying over, but in this case it seems like death is finally assumed in a particularly melancholic and resigned form. As if our composer was thinking about all that he would be leaving behind. But here something magical starts to happen (with the firsts variations). It’s like our hero was going back towards his life, towards the most beloved but simple and innocent memories perhaps. As if he was relating them, he seems to be changing his attitude and starting to delineate a little smile. It’s like the relate continues moving him away from the torturer idea and, passing now from an anecdote to another, so excited and self-absorbed, the narrative becomes charmingly hasty (5:30). Then comes an interlude (7:30- 10:00) that takes Beethoven back to the loner reflection. But now, set as it was his life in perspective, strengthened with those lovely memories and sure about his achievements, he is better predisposed to confront death. This way, with wisdom and an enviable religious and spiritual security confronts to his deathly destination and tells it “I am here! You can now take me, I no longer fear you! And I’m going to transcend you!” And this way, so sure and so blissful for the glory that will proceed to his death, he peacefully dies.

It’s not I would like to “hear” op. 111 in my funeral; Rather, I HOPE I deserved it!! Or at least I wish I would have that spiritual strength and security to assume my own death as I think Beethoven did.

I would be very pleased to hear other interpretations of this sonata or comments about mine.

Luis



[This message has been edited by Luis (edited 12-27-2000).]

PDG
12-28-2000, 09:15 AM
I find opus 111 utterly mesmeric. Why did Beethoven not write a 3rd movement? I like to think that he knew it would be his last sonata, and wanted the arietta to be his gentle farewell. Was it Schumann who described the movement as "gently leading us to the shores of paradise"?

[This message has been edited by PDG (edited 12-28-2000).]

Michael
12-28-2000, 02:44 PM
I thought the music played at Beethoven's funeral was an arrangement of one or all of his Three Equali for Four Trombones, which were written in 1812. Maybe the funeral march from Opus 26 was played as well?
Regarding the First Symphony, the premiere performance was given on April 2nd, 200 years ago, and, with all the hype about JS Bach, I came across only one reference to this anniversary, in the Gramophone magazine.
I wasn't on the Internet last April, so I wonder did any of the Beethoven websites pick up on it?

Michael

Luis
12-28-2000, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by Michael:
I thought the music played at Beethoven's funeral was an arrangement of one or all of his Three Equali for Four Trombones, which were written in 1812. Maybe the funeral march from Opus 26 was played as well?
Michael

Maybe. I brought that info from my CD notes from op. 26 that's all I can tell you.

Michael
12-29-2000, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by Luis:
Maybe. I brought that info from my CD notes from op. 26 that's all I can tell you.



You were quite correct, Luis. The second movement of Opus 26 was played at B’s funeral, and so were the Equali I mentioned. I had to look up my Thayer (which I should look up more often, but the sheer amount of detail is exhausting). This is what it says:

In the archives of the Vienna Supreme Court there is a document containing a full account of Beethoven’s funeral ……..”They sang the Miserere, the refrain of which was blown by the trombonists. This Miserere was the work specified as music for All-Soul’s day, which Beethoven had written at Linz in 1812….. during the evening of March 26th and 27th Seyfried arranged it for voices. ‘Amplius lave me’ was also sung. (A footnote describes this last as also written by Beethoven and arranged for voices by Seyfried. It mentions WoO 30 which are the three Equali for trombones.)……When the procession turned into the Alsergasse, a brass band played the ‘Marce funebre’ from Opus 26……

The opening of “Immortal Beloved” was impressive enough at portraying the funeral, but they ruined it by playing the wrong music, the Kyrie from the Missa Solemnis. Another opportunity to make an obscure Beethoven piece well known was wasted.

Michael

Peter
12-30-2000, 05:09 AM
Also a Chorale from Wilhelm Tell by B.A.Weber was sung by the 8 singers from the Imperial and court opera who carried the coffin.

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'Man know thyself'

Serge
01-01-2001, 07:49 PM
Thank you, Michael, for writing that account; it's fascinating to learn intricate details about Beethoven, and that was something I'd not known. Details like that and specific quotes by Ludwig interest me a good deal.