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View Full Version : Which work `did it` for you?


PDG
01-24-2001, 06:25 PM
There is an hypnotic quality to Beethoven`s music. Most people can`t, or won`t see beyond the ends of their noses, but the contributors to this forum, and many other like-minded folk, have been bitten by the Beethoven bug! And it seems to me that once bitten, you stay bitten, forever.

The question is: Which Beethoven work proved to be the catalyst for you? Which piece, above all others, set you on this wonderful, neverending journey of discovery, admiration, enjoyment and fulfillment?

To make it more interesting, how about nominating the 1st non-universally famous work to `grab` you? For me, it was an old, dusty, neglected LP of the Original Piano Variations, op.34. I found this piece to be so marvellously novel, with its shift of key for each successive variation, and so brilliantly tuneful, that even now I prefer it to the Diabelli set.

amadeus
01-24-2001, 06:58 PM
The Pathetique Sonata... Opus 13

For me it all started when I downloaded a zipped folder that contained a bunch of Beethoven's works in MIDI format. In this folder was the Pathetique sonata, and that sonata would eventually change my outlook on music FOREVER!!!

Best download I ever made in my LIFE.

Michael
01-24-2001, 07:15 PM
For me it was a mono recording of the Pastoral Symphony, played by the Pittsburgh S.O. conducted by William Steinberg, one of a range of cheap re-issues that came out in the mid to late sixties. Before I bought this disc, I had a vague idea that Beethoven was mainly a composer of religious music. (I don't know where that notion came from).
I still listen to the Steinberg, though my favourite recording is by Karl Bohm and the Vienna Phil.

Michael

Serge
01-24-2001, 09:28 PM
I can't remember the catalyst piece that hooked me; I was too young. I do remember, though, first enjoying non-Beethoven works. Saint-Saens' p.c. #2 comes to mind. After a little while, I discovered Mozart, then Beethoven shortly after (5th symphony, no less), from whom I've hardly ever looked back.

Favorite non-famous work? Choral Fantasy, Triple Concerto.

Chris
01-24-2001, 10:16 PM
The 4th Symphony is what really clued me into the fact that he was something special, I think.

Luis
01-25-2001, 12:21 AM
Originally posted by amadeus:
The Pathetique Sonata... Opus 13

For me it all started when I downloaded a zipped folder that contained a bunch of Beethoven's works in MIDI format. In this folder was the Pathetique sonata, and that sonata would eventually change my outlook on music FOREVER!!!

Best download I ever made in my LIFE.



That's curious, was that page “The Classical Music MIDI Pages” at: http://www.odyssey.net/subscribers/scior/music.html ?? If so, we have downloaded the same file! Isn’t that great!!!. By that time I was already hearing CM, but not too much of B. (apart from his 5th and the Appassionata both which I’d recorded from the radio!) but after downloading this zipped file I saw the light! And, here too the Pathetique and the Moonlight was the midis that caused me the best impression. Hell, MIDI Rules!!!

PS1) I second Serge about the Choral Fantasy and the Triple concerto and I'll add some WoOs:
The Equali for trombones in D minor, WoO. 30,
The variations on Rule Britania, WoO. 79 and on God Save the King, WoO.78 and, of course, his cantata on the death of Joseph II WoO. 87, to name but a few.

PS2: have you heard B's other "Opused" piano fantasia op. 77. It's certainly not B's biggest contribution to piano music but it's not bad at all.

PS3: the name of the midi file was "Beethoven, Ludwig van Op.013 No.8 mov.1 Grave - Allegro di molto e con brio 'Sonata No.8 [Pathetique]' (Wesley Venable).mid"

[This message has been edited by Luis (edited 01-24-2001).]

~Leslie
01-25-2001, 02:23 AM
I was hooked very early on. It was the Emperor #5.

Peter
01-25-2001, 06:10 AM
I think the first Beethoven I knew was the 'Grand-mother's minuet' which I learnt to play as a child - The first B record I bought was the 5th coupled with the 4th when I was 12. Then I joined the local library and took out all the B Symphonies (a different one each week ) - and I can still remember the thrill and anticipation of hearing them for the first time.

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'Man know thyself'

Michael
01-25-2001, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
I think the first Beethoven I knew was the 'Grand-mother's minuet' which I learnt to play as a child -


I presume that's the famous minuet in G? I never heard the "Grandmother" nickname before. Would you believe I was nearly ten years listening to Beethoven before I found out that he had written the minuet in G? It was just one of these things that escaped me for some reason. I knew the tune since I was a toddler but not the composer.

Michael

stout
01-25-2001, 09:00 PM
I will tell you which work did it for me. I had been playing Beethoven since age 6 or 7...and these are not arranged versions but the REAL things. Fur Elise, followed by the Eccosiaises(Alfreds Introduction to Beethoven's Piano Works). However, The 1st movement of the moonlight sonata was what inspired me to become what I am. I guess the reason why is because there was a girl I was fond of(very much) and that theme I wanted to play with her. And thus, I leanred it. But she never gave me the time of day and went with some jock instead!
The 2nd movement the "Emperor" was what made me what to become a concert pianist in my future and later composer. Maybe Ill go to the Vienna Conservatory after HS.

Peter
01-26-2001, 05:37 AM
Originally posted by Michael:
I presume that's the famous minuet in G? I never heard the "Grandmother" nickname before.



It is indeed - I'm not sure of the reference number though - could it be one of the six minuets from WoO.10 of 1796?

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'Man know thyself'

Suzie
01-26-2001, 10:32 AM
The question is: Which Beethoven work proved to be the catalyst for you? Which piece, above all others, set you on this wonderful, neverending journey of discovery, admiration, enjoyment and fulfillment?

Gee, isn't that kind of a personal question? OK, the 9th http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/smile.gif

Rod
01-26-2001, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by PDG:
There is an hypnotic quality to Beethoven`s music. Most people can`t, or won`t see beyond the ends of their noses, but the contributors to this forum, and many other like-minded folk, have been bitten by the Beethoven bug! And it seems to me that once bitten, you stay bitten, forever.

The question is: Which Beethoven work proved to be the catalyst for you? Which piece, above all others, set you on this wonderful, neverending journey of discovery, admiration, enjoyment and fulfillment?

To make it more interesting, how about nominating the 1st non-universally famous work to `grab` you? For me, it was an old, dusty, neglected LP of the Original Piano Variations, op.34. I found this piece to be so marvellously novel, with its shift of key for each successive variation, and so brilliantly tuneful, that even now I prefer it to the Diabelli set.

I am still itching the 'bite' after 15 years, but what started it off for me was the most predictable piece of all, the adagio from op27/2, as played by Dudley Moore, an excellent pianist as well as comedian (forget his US movies) who is a fan of B's. Typically I then got the Symphonies, via Karajan's re-release on DG's 'Galeria' series, then the last quartets and so on...

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Michael
01-26-2001, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by PDG:

To make it more interesting, how about nominating the 1st non-universally famous work to `grab` you? For me, it was an old, dusty, neglected LP of the Original Piano Variations, op.34. I found this piece to be so marvellously novel, with its shift of key for each successive variation, and so brilliantly tuneful, that even now I prefer it to the Diabelli set.[/B]

I see I misread your message, PDG. I suppose the first non-universally-famous piece that grabbed me was the Choral Fantasia. I can see how you were turned on by the Op. 34 variations - they are high up on my list, too. Funnily enough, I only heard them for the first time a few years back.
What is fascinating about the replies so far is that they are all different. I wonder if I had heard some of the other suggested pieces before I came upon the "Pastoral", would I be a Beethoven fanatic today? I hated the "Pathetique Sonata" when I heard it first and it took a couple of years for me to enjoy it, whereas with the "Waldstein" it was love at first hearing. I also had problems with the Fourth Symphony - the only problem now is to try and stop playing it.

Michael

amadeus
01-26-2001, 07:18 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Michael:

I hated the "Pathetique Sonata" when I heard it first and it took a couple of years for me to enjoy it.


HATED??????? I didn't know that was possible. Who could hate that piece of music?

Michael
01-27-2001, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by amadeus:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Michael:

I hated the "Pathetique Sonata" when I heard it first and it took a couple of years for me to enjoy it.

HATED??????? I didn't know that was possible. Who could hate that piece of music?

I know! I don't hate it now, of course but I couldn't latch on to it or the "Moonlight" when I first heard them. I can't explain it.

Michael

Mako
01-28-2001, 09:03 AM
I remember the first cassette I ever bought was the Piano Concerto #5 when I was about 8. Definately a winner.
As for 'non commercial' composition, Wellingtons Victory Op. 91. For my money, far better than Tchaikovsky's 1812.

Rod
01-28-2001, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by Mako:

As for 'non commercial' composition, Wellingtons Victory Op. 91. For my money, far better than Tchaikovsky's 1812.

I've never read a truer word! Compare Beethovens treatment of the national songs with T's similar effort in the 1812! But I thought Op91 was a prime example of a 'commercial composition'? Or do you mean less well known?

Rod


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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Mako
01-29-2001, 08:14 AM
But of course I meantless well known. Anyone seen a CD release of it? The only version I have seen and have is that by Karajan & the Berlin Phil. and it's on cassette. Interesting they have the Beethoven on side A and the Tchaikovsky on side B.

Rod
01-29-2001, 08:41 AM
Originally posted by Mako:
But of course I meantless well known. Anyone seen a CD release of it? The only version I have seen and have is that by Karajan & the Berlin Phil. and it's on cassette. Interesting they have the Beethoven on side A and the Tchaikovsky on side B.

There are a few available. I have a recording By Marriner/Academy St Martin in the Feilds, coupled with the 7th Symphony. In this recording the Battle includes extra sound effects of horses and men shouting during the charge (all would be valid in a live performance, should we ever receive one), very good. The Victory Symphony is a little laboured but just about ok. The 7th is pretty awful. The best version of op91is the old classic on (I believe) Mercury records, with the 1812, its still available.

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

PDG
01-29-2001, 10:38 AM
Originally posted by Mako:
But of course I meantless well known. Anyone seen a CD release of it? The only version I have seen and have is that by Karajan & the Berlin Phil. and it's on cassette. Interesting they have the Beethoven on side A and the Tchaikovsky on side B.

Mako,

Your cassette recording is on CD:
DG 447 912-2. The CD also features the incidental music to Egmont op.84, as well as various other Beethoven military pieces. And no Tchaikovsky!

PDG
01-29-2001, 10:49 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Rod:
[B] There are a few available. I have a recording By Marriner/Academy St Martin in the Feilds, coupled with the 7th Symphony. In this recording the Battle includes extra sound effects of horses and men shouting during the charge (all would be valid in a live performance, should we ever receive one), very good. >>>

Rod,

I`m almost sure that horses cannot shout http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/biggrin.gif Perhaps our resident equine expert, Leslie, could confirm? Am I not the great harmonizer of forum temper?!

Rod
01-29-2001, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by PDG:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Rod:
[B] There are a few available. I have a recording By Marriner/Academy St Martin in the Feilds, coupled with the 7th Symphony. In this recording the Battle includes extra sound effects of horses and men shouting during the charge (all would be valid in a live performance, should we ever receive one), very good. >>>

Rod,

I`m almost sure that horses cannot shout http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/biggrin.gif Perhaps our resident equine expert, Leslie, could confirm? Am I not the great harmonizer of forum temper?!

No your not, I though it was obvious that the shouting was to apply only to the men. I know horses don't shout, I rang my horse-loving cousin to make sure before I wrote the above post. I always check my facts, whereas I bet Leslie is only a pretend dressage person to make her look posh (because no North American can ever truely be upper class) and doesn't really know what noise a horse makes.

Rod

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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Mako
01-31-2001, 09:19 AM
Thanks guys,

I shall be looking for it asap. The cassette is just about worn out.

AeolianHarp
12-04-2013, 03:58 AM
There is an hypnotic quality to Beethoven`s music. Most people can`t, or won`t see beyond the ends of their noses, but the contributors to this forum, and many other like-minded folk, have been bitten by the Beethoven bug! And it seems to me that once bitten, you stay bitten, forever.


True, true!! He can bite me anytime..


The question is: Which Beethoven work proved to be the catalyst for you? Which piece, above all others, set you on this wonderful, neverending journey of discovery, admiration, enjoyment and fulfillment?


I liked his music, it's true, especially the sonatas, but had not heard most of them, nor most of his other works, then...I heard the Hammerklavier and it was OMG....then sonata opus 109..another OMG at the variations in it...and instant addiction...

Harvey
02-22-2014, 04:46 AM
I have been bitten by the Beethoven bug and am incurable. It is a wonderful feeling. What work did it for me? I cannot point to a single work, but that I kept getting drawn in farther and farther. It started 4 decades ago with the 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 9th, and then in more recent times (the past 2 years because I was away from classical and most music for a long time) it was the Ninth and the piano sonatas, followed by the Choral Fantasy, then the Missa Solemnis, then Fidelio, and on and on it went.

I had attended a number of operas in the 1980s and later wrote off opera in general as a relatively worthless category because of the subject matter of so many operas, but .... Then I discovered Fidelio and now I love Fidelio, but not opera. Oh, there is some beautiful music and dramatic singing, but none have such a wonderful story as Fidelio. When Fidelio really came alive was through a DVD. I wanted to watch this wonderful piece and have English subtitles to help me through. I was appalled at the horrid productions (avant garde) and odd (a century later in time than the original) but was pleased to find the 1978 Bernstein Fidelio. I have since come to believe that for me there is no other Leonore than Gundula Janowitz. What a phenomenal performance!

Anyway, as I bore into Fidelio reading books about it I came across a wonderful book titled, Beethoven the Creator" by Romain Rolland, which was about the Appassionata, Eroica, and Leonora as pinnacles of Beethoven's most creative years. That drew me into the Eroica. And now I am exploring all Beethoven's symphonies. Ah, wonderful that I still have so much left to explore after that.

The real question becomes: With so much Beethoven music and so little time, why spend much time listening to anything else? Oh we all do listen to other composer's music, but Beethoven is the heart and meat of our listening.

Hollywood
02-22-2014, 08:50 AM
The Beethoven work that "did it" for me was his Sym. #5. This was the very first Beethoven composition I heard way back when I was in the 4th grade (mid 1960s).

My parents never listened to classical music at home while I was growing up, so when I first heard Beethoven's Sym. #5 performed on the radio in my 4th grade class, I was hooked for life. So danke god for that rainy school day and to my 4th grade teacher Mrs. Kramer who decided to turn on KFAC classical radio station Los Angeles for us to listen to since the rain kept us from playing outside. :)

AeolianHarp
02-22-2014, 02:05 PM
A cool teacher indeed Hollywood!

Harvey
02-22-2014, 04:17 PM
The Beethoven work that "did it" for me was his Sym. #5. This was the very first Beethoven composition I heard way back when I was in the 4th grade (mid 1960s).
Pretty sure my very first exposure to Beethoven was the Fifth.

Rocco
02-22-2014, 09:07 PM
I don't think I can really answer this question....I've always loved classical music, I'm sure it was more than one work that got me into Beethoven.

glindhot
02-22-2014, 09:43 PM
My first recollection of Beethoven is the Pastoral Symphony movement in Disney's 'Fantasia' which I heard when, as a birthday present, I was taken to see the movie on 15 January 1943.

My Beethoven catalyst work was the Violin Concerto. When I was coming out of my "popular classics' Warsaw Concerto - Coronation Scot - phase, my ears were not attuned to Beethoven.

I was told that Beethoven's Violin Concerto was the best of all violin concertos so I made up my mind to get stuck into it and I played it repeatedly. A bit here sounded ok and a bit there, too. Gradually the bits joined up until it became one long glorious song.

The first non-universally famous work to `grab` me was 6 Variations on 'Nel cor piu non mi sento' from Paisiello's 'La molinara', for piano in G major, WoO 70.

The background story to its composition is delightful (I can't recall the source I read umpteen years ago so I may not have it exact). Beethoven went to the opera 'La molinara' and while there a lady told him that she had lost a piano setting of the opera's best aria 'Nel cor piu non mi sento'. That very night, Beethoven wrote his 6 variations on the aria and presented it to the lady the next morning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0699bczcS0

AeolianHarp
02-23-2014, 12:31 AM
My first recollection of Beethoven is the Pastoral Symphony movement in Disney's 'Fantasia' which I heard when, as a birthday present, I was taken to see the movie on 15 January 1943.


You know i have had a feeling for awhile now that I heard his Pastorale as a child, but noone in my family listened to classical..maybe it was this Disney I saw on TV...and that's whre the vague memory of hearing it in childhood comes from.



My Beethoven catalyst work was the Violin Concerto. When I was coming out of my "popular classics' Warsaw Concerto - Coronation Scot - phase, my ears were not attuned to Beethoven.

I was told that Beethoven's Violin Concerto was the best of all violin concertos so I made up my mind to get stuck into it and I played it repeatedly. A bit here sounded ok and a bit there, too. Gradually the bits joined up until it became one long glorious song.


I was listening to this yesterday..it's divine!


The first non-universally famous work to `grab` me was 6 Variations on 'Nel cor piu non mi sento' from Paisiello's 'La molinara', for piano in G major, WoO 70.

The background story to its composition is delightful (I can't recall the source I read umpteen years ago so I may not have it exact). Beethoven went to the opera 'La molinara' and while there a lady told him that she had lost a piano setting of the opera's best aria 'Nel cor piu non mi sento'. That very night, Beethoven wrote his 6 variations on the aria and presented it to the lady the next morning.

Awww how sweet of him!

Albert Gans
02-23-2014, 11:03 AM
To me it was, has been, is and always will be the 5th. I think that the transition between movement 3 & 4, while just a repetition for 15 bars or so, then exploding into this majestic theme of the last movement, it is so quintessential Beethoven, I never can just hear it and not stop what I am doing. And believe me, I've heard it many, many times and have many versions of it.

Once I got to know his music better, I think it was the Piano Sonatas that did it for me, as well. I may have some preferred one's (the Arietta of his last Sonata has recently struck a chord even more than it already had), but there are very few of those that do not meet the sublime standard this man has set for himself. Moreover, I believe that in the Sonatas, one can hear best how he evolved from his early days to the 'last period'.

AeolianHarp
02-23-2014, 12:43 PM
Yes the sonatas are like a journey in a way. I just love them all; they all have something special.

PDG
02-23-2014, 07:45 PM
To make it more interesting, how about nominating the 1st non-universally famous work to `grab` you? For me, it was an old, dusty, neglected LP of the Original Piano Variations, op.34. I found this piece to be so marvellously novel, with its shift of key for each successive variation, and so brilliantly tuneful, that even now I prefer it to the Diabelli set.

If I may quote myself from precisely 4,778 days ago -

There were other great works on that neglected LP. The unused allegretto of the C minor Op.10 sonata, the 6 Ecossaises WoO.83, the two Rondos, Op.51, the original theme and 32 variations in C minor. All underrated gems...

Michael
02-24-2014, 12:18 AM
If I may quote myself from precisely 4,778 days ago -

...

Good Heavens, PDG! I thought you had gone the way of John Cleese's parrot!

Sorrano
02-24-2014, 02:31 PM
Good Heavens, PDG! I thought you had gone the way of John Cleese's parrot!

But it's not dead!

Michael
02-24-2014, 02:41 PM
But it's not dead!

I know a dead parrot when I see one!

Sorrano
02-24-2014, 02:56 PM
I know a dead parrot when I see one!

It's just sleeping.

PDG
02-24-2014, 07:22 PM
Or pining for the fjords.

PDG
02-24-2014, 09:56 PM
Good Heavens, PDG! I thought you had gone the way of John Cleese's parrot!

You should know me by now, Michael - I tend to hibernate for about 11 months a year...:rolleyes:

I hope all is well with you.

Michael
02-24-2014, 11:56 PM
You should know me by now, Michael - I tend to hibernate for about 11 months a year...:rolleyes:

I hope all is well with you.

Likewise. :)