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PDG
03-10-2001, 06:38 PM
Beethoven`s middle name might well have been Sonata-form, so perfectly did he marry his understanding of balanced musical structure with deployment of strong, original material & development of thematic ideas. Even more than his nearest competitors, Mozart & Schubert, his weighty themes were never let down by not having such strong development of them. The hardest thing about composing is making the development of an idea as strong & interesting as the idea itself. In this respect, Beethoven`s genius had no peer.
But so much more than this, each component movement of any Beethoven work seems to belong, unfailingly, uniquely, to its assigned work. This was his most underrated gift - each mvt of each work represents an utterly sensible, logical, cohesive, unchallengeable step towards the eventually-revealed umbrella whole.
There is a phenomenal inevitability about Beethoven; natural musical perfection from every angle: poised, yet challenging; balanced, yet far-reaching; wonderfully, reassuringly human, yet other-worldly.
Comments?
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Peter (PDG)

[This message has been edited by PDG (edited 03-10-2001).]

Chris
03-10-2001, 07:46 PM
I think the O's have no shot at the playoffs this year.

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Oh, you mean comments about your post! Well, yes, I agree totally http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/biggrin.gif I might add that many times Beethoven's development of a theme is far MORE strong and interesting than the theme itself.

[This message has been edited by Chris (edited 03-10-2001).]

Peter
03-10-2001, 08:36 PM
Originally posted by PDG:
Beethoven`s middle name might well have been Sonata-form, so perfectly did he marry his understanding of balanced musical structure with deployment of strong, original ideas & development of thematic ideas.
Comments?



Ludwig Sonata-form Beethoven !

You're right though - Beethoven was the greatest master of it. Mozart was far more succesful than Schubert in this respect as the more lyrical style of S was moving towards romanticism - this is the problem the Romantic composers had as long melodic phrases are not ideally suited to development in the way short motives or Rhythmic cells that are common in Beethoven are. An example is the 1st movement of Symphony 5 where it seems as though the whole work is preordained in those first few bars. Brahms was the most succesful Romantic composer to work with Sonata form (which is why he was regarded as old-fashioned in the 19th century) as his themes are often motivic such as the opening of Symphony 2. This ties up with our other thread on B and Romanticism .

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'Man know thyself'



[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 03-10-2001).]

PDG
03-10-2001, 08:48 PM
Chris,

Agreed, although of course I am talking sonata-form. Not variation-form, where LvB was an absolute master at spinning almost unlimited variety from even the most mundane of themes (eg. op.120, Diabelli).
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Peter (PDG)

[This message has been edited by PDG (edited 03-10-2001).]

Chris
03-10-2001, 09:48 PM
Of course, I meant sonata form as well.

Michael
03-11-2001, 02:36 AM
Originally posted by Chris:
I might add that many times Beethoven's development of a theme is far MORE strong and interesting than the theme itself.



Maybe. But when his themes emerge from the developing process, then you realise how strong and interesting they really are. You can't isolate a Beethoven theme and say it is unmelodic or uninteresting - his music is so integrated that the full potential of his tunes can only be appreciated in a complete movement, and sometimes a complete work.
Or, to put it another way, chunks of Beethoven bleed more than those of other composers.

Michael

PDG
03-11-2001, 03:12 AM
Originally posted by Michael:
Maybe. But when his themes emerge from the developing process, then you realise how strong and interesting they really are. You can't isolate a Beethoven theme and say it is unmelodic or uninteresting - his music is so integrated that the full potential of his tunes can only be appreciated in a complete movement, and sometimes a complete work.
Or, to put it another way, chunks of Beethoven bleed more than those of other composers.
Michael


We`re on the same wavelength, Michael. There is such an absolutely flawless logic to the flow of his music, that its almost difficult to think that he didn`t compose in reverse - start off with the whole work, then break it down into movements, & finally reduce those to themes for development. His immaculate mastery of his art was on a different plain to even Mozart. I know it`s an unproveable theory, but I firmly believe that Mozart would have floundered by trying to develop a Beethoven theme as well as B did, whereas B would have made mincemeat of any Mozart theme.

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Peter (PDG)

Peter
03-11-2001, 08:41 AM
Originally posted by PDG:
We`re on the same wavelength, Michael. There is such an absolutely flawless logic to the flow of his music, that its almost difficult to think that he didn`t compose in reverse - start off with the whole work, then break it down into movements, & finally reduce those to themes for development. His immaculate mastery of his art was on a different plain to even Mozart. I know it`s an unproveable theory, but I firmly believe that Mozart would have floundered by trying to develop a Beethoven theme as well as B did, whereas B would have made mincemeat of any Mozart theme.



That certainly is debatable ! What about the closing pages of the Jupiter Symphony where Mozart combines all 5 themes which fit together like a jig-saw and are rightly regarded as one of the marvels of classical music? I do not deny that Beethoven expanded the development of his thematic material to a far greater extent than Mozart, but that doesn't imply that Mozart is inferior. The inevitably of B's music as you describe it isn't unique - it is a hallmark of a truly great composer. I find the same perfection and 'flawless logic' in the music of Mozart and others such as Bach and Handel.

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'Man know thyself'

PDG
03-11-2001, 01:51 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
That certainly is debatable ! What about the closing pages of the Jupiter Symphony where Mozart combines all 5 themes which fit together like a jig-saw and are rightly regarded as one of the marvels of classical music? I do not deny that Beethoven expanded the development of his thematic material to a far greater extent than Mozart, but that doesn't imply that Mozart is inferior. The inevitably of B's music as you describe it isn't unique - it is a hallmark of a truly great composer. I find the same perfection and 'flawless logic' in the music of Mozart and others such as Bach and Handel.


Sonata-form, Peter, sonata-form!! So if we could please leave Handel & Bach to one side on this one?...........

Yes, at the very end of the very last symphony, Mozart began to show his mastery of fully-integrated sonata-form writing, but Beethoven was fully versed in it by his early 20s - compare the op.2 sonatas with any by M; which are the greater, more important works in the genre? I suggest that B "expanded the development of his thematic material to a far greater extent than M" because (a); his thematic material warranted greater development, & (b); his unparalleled sixth sense for compositional invention meant he was able to push his ideas to their limits, within their respective movements. M never seemed to really test the water with his compositions, because his musical invention was not as strong - I know there may be reasons why, but he never achieved the depth in his music that B did.

It`s the same with Haydn. Didn`t he declare that his "strength had gone" regarding his string quartet writing, after B revealed to the world (i)his(i) very first quartet efforts, op.18? Haydn knew that the young upstart was already writing beyond him!

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Peter (PDG)

Michael
03-11-2001, 03:23 PM
Beethoven seems to me to depend more on context than Haydn or Mozart. Isolate a passage from any of those two and it will stand on its own two feet, so to speak. But take a piece of Beethoven - let's say, the transition passage from the Scherzo to the Finale of the Fifth Symphony - play it on it's own, and it will indeed sound like "the intolerable miaowing of cats."
Or try omitting the introduction to the Seventh Symphony and beginning with the Vivace and you will find it has lost much of its power. It depends for its sheer grandeur on that amazing introduction which itself only consists of scales, dotted rhythms and repeated E's, and of course a grand tour around the keys of A, C and F.
Play the opening theme of the "Waldstein" for somebody who hasn't heard it before and he will probably say "Where is the theme? I hear only a throb!" But wait - by the time the counterstatement of that "throb" comes around the magic is starting. Strictly speaking, you only get a tune when the second subject arrives, but it is all the more beautiful for the way it has been set up. B is the master of long-range music.

Michael
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Peter
03-11-2001, 11:29 PM
Originally posted by PDG:
compare the op.2 sonatas with any by M; which are the greater, more important works in the genre? M never seemed to really test the water with his compositions, because his musical invention was not as strong - I know there may be reasons why, but he never achieved the depth in his music that B did.




I'll let Dennis Mathews answer that one:

"Nevertheless the value of art does not always move forward in an upward graph.We cannot say, as the 19th century tended to say, that Beethoven 'carried on where his predecessors left off', as though one might improve on Haydn or Mozart. Art does not respond to such reasoning. Beethoven plumbed not greater but different depths: he represented a different type of artist, a different age."

There are a good half dozen Mozart Sonatas that rank with the greatest by any composer.

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'Man know thyself'

PDG
03-12-2001, 12:43 AM
Originally posted by Peter:
I'll let Dennis Mathews answer that one:
"Nevertheless the value of art does not always move forward in an upward graph.We cannot say, as the 19th century tended to say, that Beethoven 'carried on where his predecessors left off', as though one might improve on Haydn or Mozart. Art does not respond to such reasoning. Beethoven plumbed not greater but different depths: he represented a different type of artist, a different age."
There are a good half dozen Mozart Sonatas that rank with the greatest by any composer.


Peter, please nominate the "good half dozen" Mozart sonatas which can compete with any by Beethoven?
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Peter (PDG)

[This message has been edited by PDG (edited 03-12-2001).]

Peter
03-12-2001, 09:27 AM
Originally posted by PDG:
Peter, please nominate the "good half dozen" Mozart sonatas which can compete with any by Beethoven?

First of all bare in mind the recent arguments about period instruments and remember that Mozart's (5 octave)Walther FP was an instrument less advanced than those available to Beethoven. Remember also that Mozart was one of the first composers to write specifically for the Forte-piano (having been trained in the Harpsichord school of playing) and the examples available to him in this genre would have been primarily those of C.P.E Bach and Haydn.

'Compete' is the wrong word to use - I would say as masterpieces in their own right they can be fairly compared, particularly to the early sonatas of B such as the Op.2 set you mentioned. Mozart is not at his best in most of the Sonatas but there are exceptions - the main reason for this is that they were written primarily for teaching purposes unlike the Concertos which Mozart himself played.

The Sonatas I regard as great are K.310 /K.457/K.533/K.570/K.576.

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
03-12-2001, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
First of all bare in mind the recent arguments about period instruments and remember that Mozart's (5 octave)Walther FP was an instrument less advanced than those available to Beethoven.



Well, you can include all of B's sonatas prior to the 'Waldstein' as they were all written for 5 octave instruments such as the Walter.

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

Peter
03-12-2001, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
Well, you can include all of B's sonatas prior to the 'Waldstein' as they were all written for 5 octave instruments such as the Walter.



Fine - take Mozart's Sonata and fantasia in C minor K.457 (a work often ironically referred to as 'Beethovian')and compare it to Beethoven's Sonata in the same key, C minor Op.13. The Mozart uses a wider harmonic palate than the Beethoven. I'm not saying that the Mozart is superior, only that it is different and a masterpiece in its own right.



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'Man know thyself'

Rod
03-12-2001, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
Fine - take Mozart's Sonata and fantasia in C minor K.457 (a work often ironically referred to as 'Beethovian')and compare it to Beethoven's Sonata in the same key, C minor Op.13. The Mozart uses a wider harmonic palate than the Beethoven. I'm not saying that the Mozart is superior, only that it is different and a masterpiece in its own right.




Well, I'm sure you will recall from earlier times my contention that 'first period' Beethoven is seriously underrated compared to works by Mozart and Schubert produced at a similar age. I suggested B's best efforts were at least as good or even better than theirs by this criterion. Of course this idea was laughed at by most, even at a Beethoven Forum! I hold the blame squarely with the lame Romatic interpretations of the modern era which rob much of B's early works of their youthfull fire and dynamism, whereas with M and S they have not suffered so much from this confusion and maltreatment - their respective musical 'schools' being less the subject of debate, certainly in M's case (firmly classical, with S being a true quasi/proto-Romantic (albeit a very crude one with his instrumental music) in a way that Beethoven is truely not, despite what Furtwangler and Co thought). Hope I haven't started any fireworks here!

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

Peter
03-12-2001, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
Well, I'm sure you will recall from earlier times my contention that 'first period' Beethoven is seriously underrated compared to works by Mozart and Schubert produced at a similar age. I suggested B's best efforts were at least as good or even better than theirs by this criterion


I do and you will recall I agreed with you - I actually posted a thread at the 'other place' making this point. The Sonatas of Haydn,Mozart and Schubert have indeed suffered (in comparison to Beethoven) from the same 19th century view that regarded early Beethoven as inferior, which is as ludicrous as comparing a Bach Harpsichord suite to a sonata of Beethoven and finding it wanting.

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
03-12-2001, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
I do and you will recall I agreed with you - I actually posted a thread at the 'other place' making this point. The Sonatas of Haydn,Mozart and Schubert have indeed suffered (in comparison to Beethoven) from the same 19th century view that regarded early Beethoven as inferior, which is as ludicrous as comparing a Bach Harpsichord suite to a sonata of Beethoven and finding it wanting.


Was it you or another Peter I crossed swords with over the quality of Schubert's and indeed Mozart's efforts relative to Beethoven's?

Mozart and Schubert's post adolescent works despite being relatively youthfull are recognised as mature works of genius, whereas B's respective efforts up to the age circa early 30's are not typically given such an accolade, but rather they are seen more as a stepping stone to the middle period which surpasses them - thus only by the middle period is Beethoven really regarded as becomming fully 'mature', but by this time, age wise, M and S were already dead! I suggested that you cannot suddenly become a genius at the age of 35, and be only a good composer before that.

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

Michael
03-12-2001, 07:43 PM
Like most people, I began with the "middle" sonatas (Waldstein etc.), then proceeded to the late ones and only after a number of years did I hear the early sonatas - and what a shock I got! Rod is right when he says that B didn't suddenly become a genius at 35 - he revealed that fact long before Opus 1 came out.
I am just on the opening chapters of Barry Cooper's book on B, which very much bears out the above contention. As Peter remarked somewhere, B was too great in his middle and late periods and, as a result, his early period is very much undervalued.

Michael

PDG
03-12-2001, 08:33 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
First of all bare in mind the recent arguments about period instruments and remember that Mozart's (5 octave)Walther FP was an instrument less advanced than those available to Beethoven. Remember also that Mozart was one of the first composers to write specifically for the Forte-piano (having been trained in the Harpsichord school of playing) and the examples available to him in this genre would have been primarily those of C.P.E Bach and Haydn.
'Compete' is the wrong word to use - I would say as masterpieces in their own right they can be fairly compared, particularly to the early sonatas of B such as the Op.2 set you mentioned. Mozart is not at his best in most of the Sonatas but there are exceptions - the main reason for this is that they were written primarily for teaching purposes unlike the Concertos which Mozart himself played.
The Sonatas I regard as great are K.310 /K.457/K.533/K.570/K.576.


Maybe it`s the pedagogy aspect that appeals to you, Peter! http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/wink.gif I love Mozart`s sonatas, but they are not in the same class as Beethoven`s or Schubert`s.

Regards Mozart`s 5-octave fortepiano; this restriction didn`t prevent him from giving us the greatest concerto cycle in the repertoire.

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Peter (PDG)

PDG
03-12-2001, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
Was it you or another Peter I crossed swords with over the quality of Schubert's and indeed Mozart's efforts relative to Beethoven's?

Well, it wasn`t me!

Mozart and Schubert's post adolescent works despite being relatively youthfull are recognised as mature works of genius, whereas B's respective efforts up to the age circa early 30's are not typically given such an accolade, but rather they are seen more as a stepping stone to the middle period which surpasses them - thus only by the middle period is Beethoven really regarded as becomming fully 'mature', but by this time, age wise, M and S were already dead! I suggested that you cannot suddenly become a genius at the age of 35, and be only a good composer before that.


This is a good point. People refer to the mature works of Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, etc., even though they all died so young; but the truth is that none of them realised his full potential. And, incredibly, neither did Beethoven - had he lived as long as Haydn (another 20 years), God alone knows what he might have produced.

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Peter (PDG)

Peter
03-12-2001, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by PDG:
I love Mozart`s sonatas, but they are not in the same class as Beethoven`s or Schubert`s.




On the whole you are right, but the 5 (out of the 19) I mention are first rate Mozart - If you think them inferior, then you think Mozart an inferior composer to Beethoven generally. As for Schubert, again only a handful are first rate, particularly the last 3.

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'Man know thyself'

Peter
03-12-2001, 10:11 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
Was it you or another Peter I crossed swords with over the quality of Schubert's and indeed Mozart's efforts relative to Beethoven's?

There can't be two of us with such an insight into M&S !

I suggested that you cannot suddenly become a genius at the age of 35, and be only a good composer before that.



Indeed, but I think around the age of 25 a great composer has mastered his craft and works written after that tend to be of superior quality - Didn't B say of Op.18 that he had only just mastered the art of quartet writing?


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'Man know thyself'

Rod
03-13-2001, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by Peter:
Indeed, but I think around the age of 25 a great composer has mastered his craft and works written after that tend to be of superior quality


And would you say this is equally the case with Mozart and Schubert as it is with Beethoven?

Originally posted by Peter:

- Didn't B say of Op.18 that he had only just mastered the art of quartet writing?


Yes, though specifically relating to the re-write of No.1. Why he left it so late to start quartet writing is a matter of conjecture, but it is typically assumed he was daunted by the standard set by Mozart and Haydn, though by this logic B obviously thought less of M's sonatas!. Paradoxically this first set is the least understood and the least mastered of all B's quartets in my opinion. I only hope I live long enough to hear them played in a worthy manner. They obviously present a greater interpretive challenge than the later works!


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

Peter
03-13-2001, 12:53 PM
And would you say this is equally the case with Mozart and Schubert as it is with Beethoven?

Definitely !

Why he left it so late to start quartet writing is a matter of conjecture, but it is typically assumed he was daunted by the standard set by Mozart and Haydn, though by this logic B obviously thought less of M's sonatas!

I think most composers would regard quartet writing as more of a challenge than writing a Sonata, especially if the composer was a vituoso pianist! To my mind Haydn wrote some of the greatest String quartets before Beethoven, and there certainly would not have been Op.18 without the examples of Mozart and Haydn.

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
03-13-2001, 01:37 PM
Originally posted by Peter:

I think most composers would regard quartet writing as more of a challenge than writing a Sonata, especially if the composer was a vituoso pianist! To my mind Haydn wrote some of the greatest String quartets before Beethoven, and there certainly would not have been Op.18 without the examples of Mozart and Haydn.
[/B]

I would have thought the string trio would be an at least an exacting medium as the quartet, perhaps even more so, yet B mastered this genre immediately with op3/8/9 . Then B thought nothing of considerably developing the wind octet to a string quintet (op4). So surely, per se, quartet writing would not have been such a big deal under these circumstances? The fact that there is so much of H and M on op18 hints that B was indeed overawed (unnecessarily so in my opinion) by these illustrious benchmarks with regard to quartet writing in particular. One could see this 'kneebending' as a crippling influence of B's creativity at that time in his career. With the advantage of hindsight I suggest perhaps he gave these chaps a little too much respect?


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

PDG
03-13-2001, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
And would you say this is equally the case with Mozart and Schubert as it is with Beethoven?
Definitely !
Why he left it so late to start quartet writing is a matter of conjecture, but it is typically assumed he was daunted by the standard set by Mozart and Haydn, though by this logic B obviously thought less of M's sonatas!
I think most composers would regard quartet writing as more of a challenge than writing a Sonata, especially if the composer was a vituoso pianist! To my mind Haydn wrote some of the greatest String quartets before Beethoven, and there certainly would not have been Op.18 without the examples of Mozart and Haydn.


As to the quickly-acquired mastery of Beethoven in the op.18 set, surely it is more than just coincidence that as soon as these quartets appeared, Haydn stopped writing them. He knew the torch had been passed on. The worm had turned, so to speak!

Regarding quartet writing, I think it is generally accepted that it is the most difficult musical medium to master. Brahms wrote string sextets before attempting quartets, & even Mozart, who could first-draft Eine Kleine Nachtmusik as the finished article(!) was always troubled; his quartet sketches are full of crossings-out & corrections.

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Peter (PDG)

Peter
03-13-2001, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by PDG:
As to the quickly-acquired mastery of Beethoven in the op.18 set, surely it is more than just coincidence that as soon as these quartets appeared, Haydn stopped writing them. He knew the torch had been passed on. The worm had turned, so to speak!




I think that's a little unfair to a man who wrote around 70 quartets which chart his career - the last of which was completed in 1803(a few years after B's Op.18) aged 71! It was actually his last composition in any form and the remaining 6 years of his life were a steady decline. He was simply worn out as the previous decade had produced a flowering of his genius with masterpiece after masterpiece.



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'Man know thyself'

Peter
03-13-2001, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
The fact that there is so much of H and M on op18 hints that B was indeed overawed (unnecessarily so in my opinion) by these illustrious benchmarks with regard to quartet writing in particular. One could see this 'kneebending' as a crippling influence of B's creativity at that time in his career. With the advantage of hindsight I suggest perhaps he gave these chaps a little too much respect?




Crippling influence! come on ! - The Op.18 set are generally regarded as the high point in the first period works, more so than the first 2 symphonies. You speak of Mozart and Haydn as though they were Salieri and Clementi!

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
03-13-2001, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
Crippling influence! come on ! - The Op.18 set are generally regarded as the high point in the first period works, more so than the first 2 symphonies.


This is news to me, during my time at Beethoven forums no Beethoven work other than op16 has been the subject of greater critisism (not from myself)!

Originally posted by Peter:

You speak of Mozart and Haydn as though they were Salieri and Clementi!


You speak of Salieri and Clementi as though they were Mahler and Wagner!


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

PDG
03-13-2001, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
I think that's a little unfair to a man who wrote around 70 quartets which chart his career - the last of which was completed in 1803(a few years after B's Op.18) aged 71! It was actually his last composition in any form and the remaining 6 years of his life were a steady decline. He was simply worn out as the previous decade had produced a flowering of his genius with masterpiece after masterpiece.


Just to get the chronology right: Beethoven`s op.18 was published as two sets of three, in June & October, 1801. This is fully two years after Haydn was commissioned to write six quartets by Prince Lobkowitz; three years later, he had completed only two (op.77); he never finished a third, claiming that his strength had gone. In the interim, Beethoven`s six quartets had already been enthusiastically received by the same Prince dedicatee!

After decades of perfecting the art of quartet writing, Haydn knew that this new kid on the block was already beyond him, & old or not, he had the good sense to retire. Haydn`s quartets from op.33 onwards are masterpieces, but none is greater than any of Beethoven`s very first efforts in the medium.

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Peter (PDG)

Peter
03-13-2001, 07:09 PM
Originally posted by PDG:

After decades of perfecting the art of quartet writing, Haydn knew that this new kid on the block was already beyond him, & old or not, he had the good sense to retire. Haydn`s quartets from op.33 onwards are masterpieces, but none is greater than any of Beethoven`s very first efforts in the medium.



You say it yourself about Haydn 'after decades of perfecting the Art of quartet writing' - Beethoven was a mature artist by the time he attempted the Op.18 quartets and they would not have been possible without the examples of Haydn or Mozart.

I've no doubt that Haydn was fully aware of B's genius just as he had been of Mozart's. I don't think for one minute that this internationally celebrated composer with the recent successes of The Creation and the Seasons and having written two movements of his last quartet as late as 1803 would have suddenly said to himself - 'that B's better than me, I'd better stop!' He felt that Mozart was a greater composer than himself but that didn't prevent him from composing. He must have left that last Quartet incomplete for other reasons, not because B's Op.18 injected him with a massive dose of inferiority and paralysed his creative capacity. I suggest ill-health and the drying up of his inspiration were the reasons.

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'Man know thyself'

Peter
03-13-2001, 07:19 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Rod:
This is news to me, during my time at Beethoven forums no Beethoven work other than op16 has been the subject of greater critisism (not from myself)!

It just goes to show this is a far more knowledgable forum! The Op.18 quartets are not of even quality, some are better than others and to me, No.1 is the best. It is as fine a work as any from the first period.

You speak of Salieri and Clementi as though they were Mahler and Wagner!

And you speak of those two gentlemen as though they were Pinky and Perky!




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'Man know thyself'

PDG
03-13-2001, 07:39 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
You say it yourself about Haydn 'after decades of perfecting the Art of quartet writing' - Beethoven was a mature artist by the time he attempted the Op.18 quartets and they would not have been possible without the examples of Haydn or Mozart.
I've no doubt that Haydn was fully aware of B's genius just as he had been of Mozart's. I don't think for one minute that this internationally celebrated composer with the recent successes of The Creation and the Seasons and having written two movements of his last quartet as late as 1803 would have suddenly said to himself - 'that B's better than me, I'd better stop!' He felt that Mozart was a greater composer than himself but that didn't prevent him from composing. He must have left that last Quartet incomplete for other reasons, not because B's Op.18 injected him with a massive dose of inferiority and paralysed his creative capacity. I suggest ill-health and the drying up of his inspiration were the reasons.


Had Haydn`s 1799 commission not come from the same recipient (Prince Lobkowitz) of Beethoven`s op.18, I think he would have completed at least the 3rd of the 6 intended quartets.

Mozart & Haydn were, of course, very good friends, & had enormous respect for one another; there was certainly no rivalry between them. This cannot be said of Beethoven & Haydn! I think that Beethoven`s general musical direction was seen as a sign by Haydn to retire; his `drying up` of inspiration can also be attributed, at least in part, to the apparently ceaseless inspiration being enjoyed by the younger composer.

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Peter (PDG)

Serge
03-13-2001, 10:38 PM
IF Haydn did not complete his quartets because of Ludwig, do you think he may have mentioned to anyone any sort of resentment during the remainder of his life?

Peter
03-13-2001, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by PDG:

Mozart & Haydn were, of course, very good friends, & had enormous respect for one another; there was certainly no rivalry between them. This cannot be said of Beethoven & Haydn! I think that Beethoven`s general musical direction was seen as a sign by Haydn to retire; his `drying up` of inspiration can also be attributed, at least in part, to the apparently ceaseless inspiration being enjoyed by the younger composer.



I do not accept for one moment that any of Beethoven's works had the effect of inducing Haydn to give up composing. As far as I am aware Haydn's last Quartets were intended for Count Fries - Haydn sent the incomplete Quartet with a note : 'Gone is all my strength, Old and weak am I.'

Haydn had plans for another Oratorio as well, but his memory and nerves were failing him - he said 'Musical ideas pursue me to the point of torture. I cannot get rid of them, they stand before me like a wall' - In fact Haydn was showing signs of senility.

Though Haydn never enjoyed the intimate relationship with Beethoven that he had with Mozart, I don't believe there was any rivalry between the two - just a misunderstanding stemming from B's over-reaction and misinterpreting of Haydn's remarks re.the Op.1 trios. Haydn was a man of the utmost modesty and not given to petty jealousies.

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'Man know thyself'



[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 03-14-2001).]