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Peter
03-04-2001, 11:16 AM
I was always taught that B was this great liberator of musicians, that before him they had all been enslaved by the church or court and he changed the situation single handidly! - Surely there are several things wrong with this view. Mozart had set out on his own a decade before B settled in Vienna - it was a struggle for him (though he was never the pauper of popular imagination).Indeed had he lived a few more years, he would have known tremendous financial and artistic success. When B arrived on the scene there had been several important social changes in Austria, largely as a result of the liberal reforms of Joseph II and the French Revolutuion. There was no great class barrier - the nobility freely mixed with the lower classes - the Emperor himself moved freely amongst the people in the fashionable parks such as the Prater and with a rising middle class there was great demand for new music. So my point is that B did not create the circumstances whereby a composer was a free agent, he merely took advantage of the conditions that were present at the time. A composer such as Wagner was employed at the Dresden court a good 20 years after the death of Beethoven.

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'Man know thyself'

PDG
03-04-2001, 03:30 PM
Isn`t the difference between Mozart & Beethoven that M was constrained in his composing in that his works were either commissioned or were written for subscription concerts/tutoring? This inevitably stifled (to an extent) his creativity, whereas B, very soon after arriving in Vienna, unshackled himself, & pretty much did as he pleased, musically speaking.

Also, maybe the Viennese were tolerant towards B`s music, at least in part, because although many found it strange & uncouth, subconsciously they knew that they`d not given M his due appreciation during his life, & didn`t want to risk making the same mistake again.

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Peter (PDG)

Peter
03-04-2001, 05:17 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by PDG:
Isn`t the difference between Mozart & Beethoven that M was constrained in his composing in that his works were either commissioned or were written for subscription concerts/tutoring? This inevitably stifled (to an extent) his creativity, whereas B, very soon after arriving in Vienna, unshackled himself, & pretty much did as he pleased, musically speaking.


I don't think Mozart's creativity was stifled after leaving Salzburg - that's precisely the reason he left for Vienna! An example of just how free he was is the Marriage of Figaro based on the Beaumarchais play that was banned in Vienna, even under the liberal minded Joseph ll.
B's late quartets were commisioned, no hint of stifled creativity there! B was extremely fortunate in the patronage he received from the aristocracy, and his forceful personality must have played a part in that.


Also, maybe the Viennese were tolerant towards B`s music, at least in part, because although many found it strange & uncouth, subconsciously they knew that they`d not given M his due appreciation during his life, & didn`t want to risk making the same mistake again.



I personally doubt that - they didn't feel that guilty, as they did the same to Schubert!
B was the first to complain of the fickle Viennese, so much so that he contemplated leaving the place on more than one occasion.


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'Man know thyself'

Rod
03-04-2001, 06:27 PM
Originally posted by Peter:

... So my point is that B did not create the circumstances whereby a composer was a free agent, he merely took advantage of the conditions that were present at the time. A composer such as Wagner was employed at the Dresden court a good 20 years after the death of Beethoven.


B was far from the first in this respect, though is is often stated as being the first freelance. Handel could be composing for the Duke of Chandos one minute, the next he would be opening his own opera company in London to perform his own works. His music to could be written to order, or for sale to any subscriber - you could hear his Op6 concertos in London tea rooms! Composers were not restricted to being humble servants by rule of law, but, as you say, by rule of circumstance, or convenience, or laziness!

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

PDG
03-04-2001, 06:50 PM
Peter, three of the last five quartets were commissioned, yes, but Beethoven`s position as Vienna`s greatest living composer was already secure, as were his finances, & this, along with rock-solid support from his patrons, gave him a considerable amount of artistic freedom. Mozart always had to be more wary because he was not working from such a secure base.

Also, I don`t think the Viennese felt guilty immediately following Schubert`s death because, by & large, they were unaware of him when he was alive! This is not the case with Mozart.

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Peter (PDG)

Serge
03-04-2001, 08:07 PM
No matter what the precedence, I don't think there was a composer before Ludwig who was offered an annual guaranteed salary by three individuals whether anything was composed or not. Nor do I believe that composers before L. could have taken five years off work to fight an expensive lawsuit. Plus, while I'm sure previous composers had some freedom in choosing publishers who'd pay for their work, none bothered to dick around with them as often as Beethoven. While the circumstances of Beethoven's life were indeed nice, it is unfair to the man to claim he had little role in affecting his very comfortable status or decent financial situation.

Peter
03-04-2001, 11:28 PM
Originally posted by PDG:
Peter, three of the last five quartets were commissioned, yes, but Beethoven`s position as Vienna`s greatest living composer was already secure, as were his finances, & this, along with rock-solid support from his patrons, gave him a considerable amount of artistic freedom. Mozart always had to be more wary because he was not working from such a secure base.

Also, I don`t think the Viennese felt guilty immediately following Schubert`s death because, by & large, they were unaware of him when he was alive! This is not the case with Mozart.



Precisely ! By ignoring Schubert in life they treated him worse than they ever treated Mozart - and that was bad enough! B's finances often went through strained circumstances, even after the annuity was granted. There was tremendous inflation plus B had the added expenditure of Karl and the lawsuits that entailed.
My point is that B was one of the first composers who was fortunate to be able to take advantage of the new post French revolution order. Mozart tried a decade earlier and was very nearly succesful.

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'Man know thyself'

Peter
03-04-2001, 11:38 PM
Originally posted by Serge:
No matter what the precedence, I don't think there was a composer before Ludwig who was offered an annual guaranteed salary by three individuals whether anything was composed or not. Nor do I believe that composers before L. could have taken five years off work to fight an expensive lawsuit. .

I didn't mean B had no role in his financial status, only that he was not the first to attempt a freelance career as is often suggested - the combination of his genius, a music loving arisocracy and post revolution attitudes made it possible. Haydn was granted leave by Prince Esterhazy for both London tours - an absence from court life of several years - he was also retained with full pay in later life whilst little in the way of duties was expected of him - the reason: his international status in the post Revolution world - the same reason the patrons you mentioned wished to retain B in Vienna.

P.S I don't regard B as having taken 5 years off work!

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'Man know thyself'

PDG
03-05-2001, 12:53 AM
Originally posted by Peter:
Precisely ! By ignoring Schubert in life they treated him worse than they ever treated Mozart - and that was bad enough! B's finances often went through strained circumstances, even after the annuity was granted. There was tremendous inflation plus B had the added expenditure of Karl and the lawsuits that entailed.
My point is that B was one of the first composers who was fortunate to be able to take advantage of the new post French revolution order. Mozart tried a decade earlier and was very nearly succesful.


Whatever Beethoven`s expenditure, it was his choice to make; Mozart should have secured his family`s future, but, instead, he squandered his money through gambling. Thus, Mozart was always going cap in hand to his masonic friends for financial help, when, instead, he should have been free to concentrate his efforts on advancing the art of music. No complaints - Mozart was only human.

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Peter (PDG)

Peter
03-05-2001, 09:04 AM
Originally posted by PDG:
Whatever Beethoven`s expenditure, it was his choice to make; Mozart should have secured his family`s future, but, instead, he squandered his money through gambling.


Maybe, but it doesn't alter my initial point that B was not the first composer to attempt to go it alone! Mozart (NOT Beethoven) was the first to rebel and believe that his genius alone would be sufficient (that he was often in great difficulty shows how hard it was and why many composers preferred to remain within the system of court/church such as Salieri). He was the first to refuse to be treated as a mere servant and his financial difficulties were also partly the responsibility of his wife's frequent indulgences at the Spa in Baden. I think a patron such as Lichnowsky (who was also a friend to Mozart) would have been shocked by the sudden premature death of Mozart in such strained financial circumstances - this explains to me why when B arrived in Vienna a few years later, he was so willing to help.

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'Man know thyself'

PDG
03-05-2001, 10:09 AM
Exactly. Lichnowsky was one among many influential people determined to see that Beethoven would not suffer the financial humiliations of Mozart. Salieri stayed in regular employment because, I suggest, he knew the limitations of his talent, whereas Mozart was a caged tiger!

Perhaps it can be summed up thus: Mozart was the first freelance musician to almost succeed; Beethoven was the first TO succeed.

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Peter (PDG)

Rod
03-05-2001, 11:36 AM
Originally posted by PDG:

Perhaps it can be summed up thus: Mozart was the first freelance musician to almost succeed; Beethoven was the first TO succeed.


Not sure about this, I would say Handel had the best financial accumen of all composers, he made thousands of pounds without the help of the elite (it was the middle classes who watched his oratarios). He also was adept at buying and selling shares. Financially, Beethoven was a destitute compared to Handel who was always seemed to be comfortably well off even when his shows were failures (which was quite often!). If B had come to England he would have become rich beyond his wildest dreams, I am sure of that.

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

PDG
03-05-2001, 12:00 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
Not sure about this, I would say Handel had the best financial accumen of all composers, he made thousands of pounds without the help of the elite (it was the middle classes who watched his oratarios). He also was adept at buying and selling shares. Financially, Beethoven was a destitute compared to Handel who was always seemed to be comfortably well off even when his shows were failures (which was quite often!). If B had come to England he would have become rich beyond his wildest dreams, I am sure of that.


Rod, I am not well-read on Handel (shame on me!), but are you sure he made "thousands of pounds"? By today`s standards, that would make him a millionaire. If he were so wealthy, then the question arises: Why didn`t Mozart (as an adult, & also considering Haydn`s London successes) or Beethoven come here? And what was it about England that offered such wealth as was not available in Austria?

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Peter (PDG)

Peter
03-05-2001, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by PDG:
If he were so wealthy, then the question arises: Why didn`t Mozart (as an adult, & also considering Haydn`s London successes) or Beethoven come here? And what was it about England that offered such wealth as was not available in Austria?



I believe Handel was quite a wealthy man - England did indeed value great musicians in the 18th century (things have certainly changed!)
Mozart did come here as a child (staying for around 18 months)and composed his first Symphonies in London - he always had happy memories of the place. In later life there were plans for him to visit again, but premature death put an end to that. Beethoven also contemplated coming to England - he very much admired the English and had friends such as F.Ries in London. There are various reasons why he never came - poor health and Karl chief among them. I also think he had a love-hate relationship with Vienna so whilst he often complained of the place and the lack of appreciation he received, he knew deep down that he had many staunch friends.

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'Man know thyself'

Peter
03-05-2001, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by PDG:
Salieri stayed in regular employment because, I suggest, he knew the limitations of his talent, whereas Mozart was a caged tiger!

What about Haydn? Wagner 20 years after B was employed as a court musician at Dresden - I doubt he knew the limitations of his talent!

Perhaps it can be summed up thus: Mozart was the first freelance musician to almost succeed; Beethoven was the first TO succeed.



I don't think B could have succeeded without the financial support of his patrons - On his own as Mozart was, he would have been in dire straits, as he nearly was anyway on occasions. Had Mozart lived another year he would have made considerable profits from The Magic Flute. B's greatest financial success was the concerts of 1814 which enabled him to purchase 8 bank shares - he was fortuitous in that as the Congress of Vienna brought many thousands of people from all over Europe to Vienna. We must remember also that it was 'The Battle of Vittoria' that was the most popular and greatest success of all - the 9th symphony was a financial disaster, though a tremendous artisitic triumph.

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'Man know thyself'

Serge
03-05-2001, 09:57 PM
The 9th's premiere a "financial disaster"? I thought Beethoven broke even.

Peter
03-06-2001, 09:50 AM
Originally posted by Serge:
The 9th's premiere a "financial disaster"? I thought Beethoven broke even.



B collapsing at the sight of the ticket figures hardly suggests a great success - most people expect a profit for their toils!

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'Man know thyself'

~Leslie
03-08-2001, 06:48 AM
I distinctly remember reading that Handel was broke and down and out on his luck when he wrote "The Messiah".

Rod
03-08-2001, 11:34 AM
Originally posted by ~Leslie:
I distinctly remember reading that Handel was broke and down and out on his luck when he wrote "The Messiah".

The stresses of musical life in London took its toll on Handel, it almost sent him to an early grave on a couple of occasions. As I mentioned earler, Handel had many musical failures, the biggest being ironically his greatest work, Theodora (it was too serious and has a sad ending!), Messiah was seen as blasphemous. He had to close his opera company more than once, but he always had the strength to start up again. Nevertheless, throughout all of this it seems Handel was never poor. He invested alot of money in shares and fine art.


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

[This message has been edited by Rod (edited 03-08-2001).]

Serge
03-09-2001, 01:37 AM
Handel always seemed to be comfortably well off even when his shows were failures, but he had to close his opera house more than once and had to find find the strength to start up again--even when the stresses of musical life almost sent him to an early grave (your points, Rod)... if you could perhaps explain, Rod, why you think Handel had the best 'financial acumen' of all composers and seemed to be 'never poor' when his shows were often failures (your words) and he almost died from the stress. I'm just wondering, is all, because it sounds like there's a lack of formal logic there.

p.s. from the evidence presented, I'd say Beethoven had just as much acumen as Handel after all.

Rod
03-09-2001, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by Serge:
Handel always seemed to be comfortably well off even when his shows were failures, but he had to close his opera house more than once and had to find find the strength to start up again--even when the stresses of musical life almost sent him to an early grave (your points, Rod)... if you could perhaps explain, Rod, why you think Handel had the best 'financial acumen' of all composers and seemed to be 'never poor' when his shows were often failures (your words) and he almost died from the stress. I'm just wondering, is all, because it sounds like there's a lack of formal logic there.

p.s. from the evidence presented, I'd say Beethoven had just as much acumen as Handel after all.

I think you are confusing the stress of business with the stress of destitution. Wealthy Chief Executives can have heart attacks when business problems arise, due to the amount of responsibility involved when things turn sour. Handel was CE of his own opera/oratario company. Handel problems occured pricipally due to the changing socio-demographic nature of the concert goer. Opera was music for the social elite, and H got caught up in the tangled politics surrounding the English royal family who were (and still are) German, one minute he was in favour the next he was out of favour, also H's beloved Italian opera itself, with whom he destroyed all competition, was going out of fashion, but their was no real English equivalent to replace it, so Handel had to unenthusiastically invent a new English language genre, primarily the English Oratario, which proved especially popular amongst the 'pious' middle class once he worked out what their 'weaknesses' were. In such a changeable market I think H did well, especially for a composer of mainly serious music, for his successes always more than made up for his failures financially. H was also very popular as a man, he was a bit of a celebrity. By the time of his death, H had accumulated a princely sum in cash and investments that was self-made, this was particularly impressive at that time for a composer. If you can give me an example of another composer who could have done more in the circumstances I'd be interested to hear it. Beethoven himself could be shrewd financially, but he never took the business side of things as far as Handel. H was almost as much a business man as he was a composer.


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

[This message has been edited by Rod (edited 03-09-2001).]

Peter
03-09-2001, 02:40 PM
Originally posted by Serge:
from the evidence presented, I'd say Beethoven had just as much acumen as Handel after all.

Without reading through my Handel biography I'm rather hazy about his financial situation, although I am aware that he was more than comfortably off. Did he receive financial assistance from patrons? I still stick by my claim that B was not the first composer to attempt to go it alone - although B wasn't formally employed by the Church or Court, he none the less was subsidised by the aristocracy and was not technically financially independent in the way of later composers such as Schumann or Brahms.

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
03-09-2001, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
Without reading through my Handel biography I'm rather hazy about his financial situation, although I am aware that he was more than comfortably off. Did he receive financial assistance from patrons? I still stick by my claim that B was not the first composer to attempt to go it alone - although B wasn't formally employed by the Church or Court, he none the less was subsidised by the aristocracy and was not technically financially independent in the way of later composers such as Schumann or Brahms.


By coincedence I have recently finished reading Lang's 700+ page biography of Handel, so things are still pretty clear in my head. I would not persue this line of discussion if I did not have some reference to back it up. Handel worked for a time for others, such as the Duke of Chandos, but the vast majority of his works in London (ie his stage music) were not even commissions. He wrote them independently and offered season subscriptions to the gentry who would most likely be his customers, or he would sell tickets from his own house. Later, people would pay 'on the door' at the event itself. Hugely popular works such as Judas Maccabaeus made him a great deal of money from the takings of London's middle class. Its worth buying a recording of this piece just to hear the magnificent fugal overture!


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

Serge
03-10-2001, 12:40 AM
Originally posted by Rod:
I think you are confusing the stress of business with the stress of destitution. Wealthy Chief Executives can have heart attacks when business problems arise, due to the amount of responsibility involved when things turn sour. Handel was CE of his own opera/oratario company. Handel problems occured pricipally due to the changing socio-demographic nature of the concert goer. Opera was music for the social elite, and H got caught up in the tangled politics surrounding the English royal family who were (and still are) German, one minute he was in favour the next he was out of favour, also H's beloved Italian opera itself, with whom he destroyed all competition, was going out of fashion, but their was no real English equivalent to replace it, so Handel had to unenthusiastically invent a new English language genre, primarily the English Oratario, which proved especially popular amongst the 'pious' middle class once he worked out what their 'weaknesses' were. In such a changeable market I think H did well, especially for a composer of mainly serious music, for his successes always more than made up for his failures financially. H was also very popular as a man, he was a bit of a celebrity. By the time of his death, H had accumulated a princely sum in cash and investments that was self-made, this was particularly impressive at that time for a composer. If you can give me an example of another composer who could have done more in the circumstances I'd be interested to hear it. Beethoven himself could be shrewd financially, but he never took the business side of things as far as Handel. H was almost as much a business man as he was a composer.



Well! That's interesting. I did not know the circumstances of his opera business before; something I'm far better versed in now.

Rod
03-10-2001, 01:31 PM
Originally posted by Serge:
Well! That's interesting. I did not know the circumstances of his opera business before; something I'm far better versed in now.

Lang's book is a good read, not too academic in style, cleverly written with many good observations. I've checked H's finacial situation at the time of his death, of the many beneficiaries in his will, the hospice for old composers alone received a donation of 1000 - a super-massive sum in those days (1750's), need I say anything more!?. And when I mentioned he invested in fine art, I'm talking about Rembrandts!



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

Peter
03-10-2001, 01:38 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
I've checked H's finacial situation at the time of his death, of the many beneficiaries in his will, the hospice for old composers alone received a donation of 1000 - a super-massive sum in those days (1750's), need I say anything more!?. And when I mentioned he invested in fine art, I'm talking about Rembrandts!



How's the Brook St museum progressing ? Can you imagine a similar situation with B in Bonn? Who was it who said the English were a nation of Philistines?

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
03-11-2001, 05:22 PM
I presume M was not financially in a situation to refuse this commission, though I still do not know how M would have seen this 'morally'.
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"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

I'm sure this was the reason - Mozart actually writes to his fellow mason Michael Puchberg in 1790 'In a week or two I shall be better off - but at present I am in want! The smallest sum would be very welcome' .It was the adaption for Van Swieten of Handel's 'Alexander's feast' that was to make him 'better off in a week or two'.

[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 03-11-2001).]

Rod
03-12-2001, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by Rod:
[b]I presume M was not financially in a situation to refuse this commission, though I still do not know how M would have seen this 'morally'.

Thanks for deleting most of my letter Peter. Your mixing up the 'edit' button with the 'reply' again!

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

Peter
03-12-2001, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
Thanks for deleting most of my letter Peter. Your mixing up the 'edit' button with the 'reply' again!



oops!! and I was quite sober!

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
03-12-2001, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
oops!! and I was quite sober!


I bet it was a deliberate act of sabotage to prevent the free world from discovering what Beethoven thought of your beloved Mozart's adaptions of Handel's works!

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

Peter
03-12-2001, 06:17 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
I bet it was a deliberate act of sabotage to prevent the free world from discovering what Beethoven thought of your beloved Mozart's adaptions of Handel's works!



As though I'd stoop to such a thing - and on a Beethoven forum at that!

Actually where did you get those B comments re.M and H?

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
03-12-2001, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
As though I'd stoop to such a thing - and on a Beethoven forum at that!

I'll believe you this time!

Originally posted by Peter:

Actually where did you get those B comments re.M and H?


I have read the quote regarding Beethoven's view of Mozart's Handel editions ('Handel would have survived without them') in a few books (try deleting this one!!), but it was the Handel biography by Lang (the best) that brought it to my attention most recently. I happy regarding the quote's authenticity.



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

Peter
03-12-2001, 10:22 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
I have read the quote regarding Beethoven's view of Mozart's Handel editions ('Handel would have survived without them') in a few books (try deleting this one!!),




I'm always in favour of the facts! - Nothing too damning in B's comments anyway. I should imagine that B disapproved far more of M's Opera libretti than he did of the H transcriptions.

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
03-13-2001, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
I'm always in favour of the facts! - Nothing too damning in B's comments anyway. I should imagine that B disapproved far more of M's Opera libretti than he did of the H transcriptions.


B's critical stance regarding libretti as a whole virtually ruled himself out of the opera market altogether. I suppose when you are used to reading the works of the great writers of history the garbage thown together by the typical librettists of that era must have seemed ludicrous.

It is obvious that B must have thought Handel had something Mozart hadn't to produce such a dramatic and certain shift of allegiance. I would say the earlier man's music is typically more interesting and musically engaging (without becomming superficial), more perfect in form and structure and supremely economical. What would you say?

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

Peter
03-13-2001, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by Rod:

It is obvious that B must have thought Handel had something Mozart hadn't to produce such a dramatic and certain shift of allegiance. I would say the earlier man's music is typically more interesting and musically engaging (without becomming superficial), more perfect in form and structure and supremely economical. What would you say?



Since Mozart is regarded as 'Classical' a term meant to mean perfect form I can't really agree - Do you think Handel is more perfect in form than B? And anyhow how can you say that a Handel Concerti grosso is more perfect in form than a Mozart Piano concerto or Beethoven for that matter ?
When it comes to opera plots I think myths and legends are even more ludicrous than Mozart's attempts at real life situations - for example 'The Marriage of Figaro' with its very topical (for the time) political undertones. Is the Magic Flute that far removed from Fidelio when it comes to celebrating the triumph of love over evil?

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
03-13-2001, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
Since Mozart is regarded as 'Classical' a term meant to mean perfect form I can't really agree - Do you think Handel is more perfect in form than B? And anyhow how can you say that a Handel Concerti grosso is more perfect in form than a Mozart Piano concerto or Beethoven for that matter ?


If Beethoven can select a champion across the two musical 'periods' then it can be done! In many respects I regard Handel to be the equal of Beethoven. H had the same good taste as B to know how and how not to treat his material. Thus everything seems just right. In terms of economy of writing (getting the most from the least) Handel is the champion. These factors probably impressed Beethoven particularly and I personally believe H easily licks M on these criteria. Both composers (H and B) produced music that is both moving but also exhilarating in the most sincere manner, they both uplift the spirit. The subsequent vast development of purely instrumental music provided B with the vehicle to make his mark, whilst still producing first rate vocal works in lesser numbers - with Handel the situation is reversed (which is why the two go together nicely). Ultimately B gets the prize for me with his consistantly high level of quality invention, but H is not far behind.

Originally posted by Peter:

When it comes to opera plots I think myths and legends are even more ludicrous than Mozart's attempts at real life situations - for example 'The Marriage of Figaro' with its very topical (for the time) political undertones. Is the Magic Flute that far removed from Fidelio when it comes to celebrating the triumph of love over evil?

I agree generally about the myths and legends, and Magic Flute but I'm not in particular talking just about the subject matter, but rather the standard of writing. I think most serious operas ever written involved something to do with good overcomming evil. In baroque opera, bad guys that were killed on stage often miraculously came back to life to join in the closing chorus! I have a video of Handel's Rodelinda where presisely this happens! If one suspends rational judgement such things are fine, but the world was becomming too realist for such things to be tollerated any longer, which is why Italian Baroque opera eventually died in London. I presume B was looking for a form of Shakespearian quality drama in his libretto's after the Leonore debacle. I don't think he ever could have got such a script into his hands.


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

Peter
03-13-2001, 03:05 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
If one suspends rational judgement such things are fine, but the world was becomming too realist for such things to be tollerated any longer, which is why Italian Baroque opera eventually died in London. I presume B was looking for a form of Shakespearian quality drama in his libretto's after the Leonore debacle. I don't think he ever could have got such a script into his hands.




I suggest a lack of young men willing to be deprived of their manhood was another factor in the demise of Baroque opera!

Why Beethoven never wrote an opera based on his beloved Goethe's Faust before the Romantics got their hands on it I don't know.
The same with Shakespeare - what would Beethoven have done with Macbeth or Othello? These dramas were available to B, so why was he reluctant to go for it?

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
03-13-2001, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
I suggest a lack of young men willing to be deprived of their manhood was another factor in the demise of Baroque opera!

I think it was only the Italians who relished this perverse practice, but I'm sure the Pope approved (not that any Catholic priest would ever dream of having such usefull parts removed!). They would have been ideal to play the Virgin Mary. The English always were somewhat horrified by it (we like to keep our balls). I don't mind countertenors though.

Originally posted by Peter:

Why Beethoven never wrote an opera based on his beloved Goethe's Faust before the Romantics got their hands on it I don't know.
The same with Shakespeare - what would Beethoven have done with Macbeth or Othello? These dramas were available to B, so why was he reluctant to go for it?


Don't know, were their any good libretti written on these subjects in B's time?


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

PDG
03-13-2001, 05:06 PM
Yeah, countertenors are definitely preferable to counterfeit tenners........

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Peter (PDG)

AeolianHarp
12-04-2013, 04:21 AM
Financially, Beethoven was a destitute compared to Handel who was always seemed to be comfortably well off even when his shows were failures (which was quite often!). If B had come to England he would have become rich beyond his wildest dreams, I am sure of that.

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

I think so too. And indeed he really wanted to come here- he seemed very aware of the great opportunities Blighty had to offer him. It is a shame he was too ill to come. But then, Beethoven wasn't composing to be rich, he wasn't materialistic just wanted to be paid what he was worth and to have enough to live comfortably. I always wonder though why one of those patrons didn't buy him/secure him a proper house to live in- he needed a proper place to live instead of those endless upstairs apartments.

AeolianHarp
12-04-2013, 04:25 AM
B collapsing at the sight of the ticket figures hardly suggests a great success - most people expect a profit for their toils!

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'Man know thyself'

He collapsed?!

Michael
12-04-2013, 01:40 PM
I'd say that's a figure of speech. He went ballistic (which wasn't unusual with him) and accused people of cheating him. It's a wonder that he didn't run off with the manuscript of the Ninth just like he did with "Leonore" back in 1805 or 1806.

AeolianHarp
12-04-2013, 02:43 PM
I'd say that's a figure of speech. He went ballistic (which wasn't unusual with him) and accused people of cheating him. It's a wonder that he didn't run off with the manuscript of the Ninth just like he did with "Leonore" back in 1805 or 1806.

Well, maybe he wasn't being renumerated what he felt he was worth- I mean the Ninth....it was the apex of musical achievement really wasn't it!!!...
And of course he had more expenses now he was Karl's guardian.

I kind of like his fire to be honest- he stood up for himself and had such courage!

I am reading his letters on my Kindle right now, wonder what he writes about the Ninth...

AeolianHarp
12-04-2013, 06:58 PM
I have just read some of his letters and he is annoyed with Lichonwsky, Schuppanzigh and Schindler and says the concert is off. They wanted to talk to him but he wasn't pleased. He seems to be annoyed with Schindler a lot!:p