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euphony131
12-19-2000, 12:21 AM
I have the CD of Beethoven's 10th Symphony, 1st movement. That right -- the 10th. Its a "realization" by a Beethoven scholar/conductor based on old and newly discovered sketches. I think we all know B had plans for other symphonies before he was snatched away to the big yonder. Oh! If only he could've hung on for just a few more years! Not fair!

Anyway, I'm curious to know what you all think about this CD. The recording's been available for some time now and even merits a great review in the Penguin Guide (the mother of all classical CD review books). I enjoy the novelty of it and the sound is intriguing but could it really be labeled "Beethovenian?"

It's impossible, of course, to know really what was in the Maestro's head and I wouldn't be surprised if the 10th was meant to be something more introspective or less "grand" than the 9th. Seems that B's pattern has been to sort of ease back a little after a groundbreaker, sort of unwind and smell the flowers before the next storm -- look at the sunny 4th in the wake of the explosive 3rd, the Pastoral after the devastating 5th or the classically retro-8th after the fanfare of the 7th.

Then again, at the time of his Third and Last Period, Beethoven had simply surpassed this realm. He'd become like an oracle with no limits to his ability. It's no surprise a lot of people say his last string quartets are akin to listening to the voice of God or the Higher Power. So I'm not so sure Beethoven would've used the "ease back before the next volley" approach this time around. What do the rest of you think?

For me personally, the supposed 10th Symphony has only the vaguest glimmers of HIS 10th symphony. Somehow it just doesn't sound quite "authentic" and I can't say why really. I'm no scholar certainly, I'm going solely on my ears and heart.

Serge
12-19-2000, 02:35 AM
The problem, I think, with anyone attempting to 'build' the 10th is that you're working with nothing more than mere sketches. It's like trying to build a deck with nothing more than knowledge of how many board feet of plank you're using. Anything that comes out of such an attempt is not Beethoven's work. It's work of the outsider. You're not listening to Beethoven; you're listening to conjecture. So while I suppose such tries are worthwhile in their own right, I will never consider them Ludwig's music.

You've raised a good point about the style Ludwig may have been entering after his late period. His very last quartet is much sunnier in mood than his previous few, and the very last music he wrote, the new finale to replace the grosse fuge, was very cheery in nature. It has been supposed that B. was ready to enter a softer, sunnier style. Or maybe we're reading too deep into this.

Peter
12-19-2000, 05:08 AM
I'm surprised the sketches were ever realised - knowing as we do now the tremendous alterations B made to his original ideas, how is it at all possible to produce anything even resembling the masterpiece the 10th undoubtably would have been ? - I think we would have seen a great deal more of the Handelian influence in this work, with fugue and counterpoint being more prominent - The theme B sketched for the 10th was very similar to that of the slow movement of Op.13 - another example of B returning to a theme from the distant past as with the 9th ?

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
12-19-2000, 06:31 AM
Originally posted by euphony131:
I have the CD of Beethoven's 10th Symphony, 1st movement. That right -- the 10th. Its a "realization" by a Beethoven scholar/conductor based on old and newly discovered sketches. I think we all know B had plans for other symphonies before he was snatched away to the big yonder. Oh! If only he could've hung on for just a few more years! Not fair!

Anyway, I'm curious to know what you all think about this CD.


I believe the project was misguided from the start, I don't know what Barry Cooper (at least I think it was him) was thinking of when he did it. Don't even begin to think of this piece as one of Beethoven's.

Rod

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

Michael
12-19-2000, 04:29 PM
The late composer and Beethoven expert, Robert Simpson lived quite near to me for some years. I met him once and one of the questions I asked him was: "As a composer, did you ever feel like doing what Barry Cooper did, and try to recreate the Tenth Symphony?" and he replied that there was nothing in the sketches to work with. He added with a slight grin, that there was a lot of money to be made from that sort of thing.
Michael

PDG
12-19-2000, 04:55 PM
Another gem of a story, Michael. Keep them coming!

Laurenticwave
12-05-2005, 06:59 AM
Does anyone know if Beethoven's sketches for the 10th have been published? Or indeed recorded, other than Barry Cooper's personal recreation... which I have to say I like a lot, even though it's obviously not pure Beethoven - but then nor is Mozart's requiem, or Mahler's 10th... but still vastly better than nothing.

Hofrat
12-05-2005, 12:29 PM
Originally posted by Laurenticwave:
Does anyone know if Beethoven's sketches for the 10th have been published? Or indeed recorded, other than Barry Cooper's personal recreation... which I have to say I like a lot, even though it's obviously not pure Beethoven - but then nor is Mozart's requiem, or Mahler's 10th... but still vastly better than nothing.

I, too, like it a lot so I guess that Laurenticwave and I make up a minority of 2. Cooper's score has been published (I am a happy owner of a copy) and has been recorded a few times (I have the CD's too).

To Laurenticwave's list I can add the following:
1. Puccini's "Turandot."
2. Elgar's 3rd symphony and his piano concerto.
3. Schubert's 7th and 10th symphonies.
4. Beethoven's 6th piano concerto (available soon on CD).


Hofrat

Peter
12-05-2005, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by Laurenticwave:
Does anyone know if Beethoven's sketches for the 10th have been published? Or indeed recorded, other than Barry Cooper's personal recreation... which I have to say I like a lot, even though it's obviously not pure Beethoven - but then nor is Mozart's requiem, or Mahler's 10th... but still vastly better than nothing.

I think there is a vast difference in completing a work in an advanced stage to realising an embryonic sketch, particularly in the case of a composer like Beethoven. With regards to the 6th piano concerto, I look forward to the cd because most of the exposition was actually written by Beethoven not Cooper as in the case of the 10th!

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'Man know thyself'

Hofrat
12-05-2005, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
I think there is a vast difference in completing a work in an advanced stage to realising an embryonic sketch, particularly in the case of a composer like Beethoven. With regards to the 6th piano concerto, I look forward to the cd because most of the exposition was actually written by Beethoven not Cooper as in the case of the 10th!



Inedita has recorded the 6th piano concerto and was suppose to release it in November 2005. A free downloadable MIDI file of this realization is available on the Unheard Beethoven website.

Hofrat

Teresa
12-05-2005, 07:54 PM
To Laurenticwave's list I can add the following:
1. Puccini's "Turandot."
2. Elgar's 3rd symphony and his piano concerto.
3. Schubert's 7th and 10th symphonies.
4. Beethoven's 6th piano concerto (available soon on CD).


Hofrat [/B]

Hofrat,

Forgive me, but I'm lost. Is this a list of works by composers who didn't actually complete these works, or the authorship is questionable? I'm especially intrigued by the Schubert symphonies. Thank you --

Teresa

Hofrat
12-05-2005, 10:15 PM
Originally posted by Teresa:
Hofrat,

Forgive me, but I'm lost. Is this a list of works by composers who didn't actually complete these works, or the authorship is questionable? I'm especially intrigued by the Schubert symphonies. Thank you --

Teresa


Dear Teresa;

My little list comprised works not finished by their respective composers. It is, by no means, a complete listing of such compositions.

As for Schubert, he left about 6 unfinished symphonies, not just the famous one in B-minor. The 7th and 10th, in E and D respectively, have been realized by the renowned Schubert scholar Brian Newbould. They show us a much different Schubert than we know from his previous symphonic writing.

Hofrat

Teresa
12-05-2005, 10:36 PM
Originally posted by Hofrat:
Inedita has recorded the 6th piano concerto and was suppose to release it in November 2005. A free downloadable MIDI file of this realization is available on the Unheard Beethoven website.

Hofrat
So do you think it's worth checking out, even though it was unfinished by B and finished by someone else?

Hofrat
12-06-2005, 01:09 AM
Originally posted by Teresa:
Originally posted by Hofrat:
Inedita has recorded the 6th piano concerto and was suppose to release it in November 2005. A free downloadable MIDI file of this realization is available on the Unheard Beethoven website.

Hofrat
So do you think it's worth checking out, even though it was unfinished by B and finished by someone else?


Dear Teresa;

I have studied the score of the realized 6th concerto and I have listened to the MIDI file on the Unheard Beethoven site countless times. I will be ordering my copy from Inedita the moment it is released!


Hofrat

Ateach Asc
12-06-2005, 01:56 AM
There never was anything beyond published OP 135 which finished with a very sudden and final goodbye and good luck! type of statement.

The purported piece of B music, supposedly derived from B sketches, was, to anyone familiar with the great works near the end of LVB's life, nowhere near the style, depth, expression, and ongoing musical development of the composer.

If Mr. C had simply left the matter as a tribute to B and his followers, rather than suggest the opening of an hitherto unpublished B. work in the making, perhaps the result would have drawn far less contempt, and definitely less publicity, for a work devoid of any artistic merit.



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Must it be? It must be!

Hofrat
12-06-2005, 04:10 AM
Originally posted by Ateach Asc:
There never was anything beyond published OP 135 which finished with a very sudden and final goodbye and good luck! type of statement.

If Mr. C had simply left the matter as a tribute to B and his followers, rather than suggest the opening of an hitherto unpublished B. work in the making, perhaps the result would have drawn far less contempt, and definitely less publicity, for a work devoid of any artistic merit.




Dear Ateach Asc;

Are you saying that Mozart's "Requiem" and Puccini's "Turandot" are devoid of any artistic merit too??

Hofrat

Ateach Asc
12-06-2005, 06:05 AM
Originally posted by Hofrat:

Dear Ateach Asc;

Are you saying that Mozart's "Requiem" and Puccini's "Turandot" are devoid of any artistic merit too??

Hofrat

Not at all.... the reference is to C's pretensions that a Beethoven something or other had been reconstructed, and only to that purported reconstruction.

Again, C should have bitten the bullet and simply noted his efforts to weave some B sketches into some kind of homage to B. C's efforts very clearly did not come anywhere near B's creations, let alone B's creative genius.



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Must it be? It must be!

gprengel
12-06-2005, 06:48 AM
To the list of fragmentary works and sketches who have been completed by others I would like to add:

- a recently realized fantastic "Amen" double Fuge from a sketch from Mozart's Reqiem which Süsmayer left unused (I can email a mp3 file to anyone who is interested)

- a wonderful realised 7th symphony in Eb Major from Tschaikowsky

With regard to Schubert's 10th symphony:
At my website www.gerdprengel.de (http://www.gerdprengel.de) you find a mp3 file of the awesome slow movement fragment in b minor. I made this file by just using the sketched notes from Schubert from his piano sketch but putting them into a rough orchestra score without adding more to it.

As I have said before I think it is a great loss to refuse to appcreciate such completions only because they are not completed by the original composers. I love the Cooper realisation, the 6th piano concerto realisation, even more Beethoven's 1816 f-minor piano trio from W.Holsbergen, ... Even when these works are not completed by the masters themselves they still contain quite a bit of their spirit. And this definively makes it worthwile to listen to these works!

Laurenticwave
12-06-2005, 06:52 AM
Originally posted by Ateach Asc:
Not at all.... the reference is to C's pretensions that a Beethoven something or other had been reconstructed, and only to that purported reconstruction.

Again, C should have bitten the bullet and simply noted his efforts to weave some B sketches into some kind of homage to B. C's efforts very clearly did not come anywhere near B's creations, let alone B's creative genius.

You write as though you feel strong animosity toward C. Did you read his paper on the 10th in the 1988 Beethoven Newsletter? Or listen to his lengthy audio introduction on the Wyn Moris/LSO recording? If so, you would know that he was extremely modest about his efforts, and made no claim that this was how the movement would have ultimately sounded: "The piece itself is not a new Beethoven symphony as such, but a kind of 'artist;s impression' of the first movement." The themes are undoubtedly B's - including the strident opening - and for this reason alone they are surely worth a listen. What I would personally love to hear are the sketches as written by B in his noteboks, without any further elaboration - but with over 8,000 entries, that would be some feat indeed!

Peter
12-06-2005, 03:20 PM
Originally posted by Hofrat:

Dear Ateach Asc;

Are you saying that Mozart's "Requiem" and Puccini's "Turandot" are devoid of any artistic merit too??

Hofrat

These works were in a far more advanced state of completion being substantially written by the composers concerned, whereas B's 10th was very much in embryonic form. The result speaks for itself anyhow in that it is a huge disappointment not worthy of Beethoven, falling way below any of the official 9. At least with the Walker/Elgar and Payne/Elgar realisations they have produced works that are convincing and of quality.

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'Man know thyself'



[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 12-06-2005).]

Peter
12-06-2005, 08:38 PM
Originally posted by gprengel:
- a wonderful realised 7th symphony in Eb Major from Tschaikowsky



Is this the same symphony that he abandoned and then used for a one movement 3rd piano concerto in 1893?



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'Man know thyself'

Hofrat
12-06-2005, 09:46 PM
Originally posted by gprengel:
As I have said before I think it is a great loss to refuse to appcreciate such completions only because they are not completed by the original composers. I love the Cooper realisation, the 6th piano concerto realisation, even more Beethoven's 1816 f-minor piano trio from W.Holsbergen, ... Even when these works are not completed by the masters themselves they still contain quite a bit of their spirit. And this definively makes it worthwile to listen to these works!


Well spoken, Gerd, well spoken!! I could not say it any better!!


Hofrat

Droell
12-07-2005, 12:11 AM
Originally posted by Hofrat:
Inedita has recorded the 6th piano concerto and was suppose to release it in November 2005. A free downloadable MIDI file of this realization is available on the Unheard Beethoven website.

Hofrat


I went to the UB website & listened to the 6th.

It might have been the performace, it might have been any number of things that had nothing to do with the music itself. Or it might have been that without his famous final flourishes, Beethoven sounds like many another composer of his day.

Or it might have been the "Picasso problem". Picasso stopped doing cubism when he ran out of things to do with it. Both the 6th piano concerto, and the 10th symphony (the one I heard, years ago, that sounded like Leonore 3 warmed over) sounded like someone frustrated by the limitations of his materials.

If so, then logically speaking, one would start the project with a lot of ideas & enthusiasm, but as the project progressed, grow more & more unhappy until it was finally abandoned. In this regard, look again at B's opinion of his 7th & 8th symphonies: The 8th is better, he said.

For a long time, I thought B's high opinion of the 8th was merely in its unfussy, unformal, "unbuttoned" nature. I had thought Beethoven's compositional "sabbatical", from about 1814 to 1821, to have been due to his distraction with Karl.

Listening to the 10th & the 6th, I get the impression of a great mind searching for the next great challenge. Unable to continue as he had, unwilling to parody himself. In this light, the 8th is more telling than many suspect: Beethoven is experimenting with the dynamics of the performance itself. He is all but telling us the final two movements should not be performed as he wrote them, but as best they can be mangled by under-rehearsed performers.

This then is the setup to his third & final period. Just as he had in the transition from first to second period, Beethoven starts his reconceptualization with the piano sonata, before moving to orchestral forces.

Laurenticwave
12-07-2005, 12:18 AM
If Cooper's "realisation" of Beethoven's sketches for the first movement of his 10th symphony are such "a huge disapointment", why have a number of highly respected orchestras - not to mention conductors - consented to associate themselves with it by recording it??

Droell
12-07-2005, 12:30 AM
Originally posted by Laurenticwave:
If Cooper's "realisation" of Beethoven's sketches for the first movement of his 10th symphony are such "a huge disapointment", why have a number of highly respected orchestras - not to mention conductors - consented to associate themselves with it by recording it??


Oh, heck, this one's easy. Because a performance of a newly realized piece by Beethoven will draw lots of attention. With apologies to Laurenticwave.

stude_ham
12-07-2005, 12:44 AM
Originally posted by Droell:

Listening to the 10th & the 6th, I get the impression of a great mind searching for the next great challenge. Unable to continue as he had, unwilling to parody himself.

...

This then is the setup to his third & final period. Just as he had in the transition from first to second period, Beethoven starts his reconceptualization with the piano sonata, before moving to orchestral forces.

Dear Droell

The "10th" and the "6th" were done by interlopers of another era. Therefore, these works cannot provide any convincing clues into the mind of B's unlimited creative powers.

Consequently, I'm not at all certain that your musings concerning B's next musical steps may be in tune with his final completed works. These appear to be


Opus 123 (1822) Mass in D major (Missa Solemnis)
Opus 124 (1822) Overture - Die Weihe des Hauses
Opus 125 (1824) Symphony No. 9 in D minor "Choral"
Opus 126 (1824) Six Bagatelles for piano
Opus 127 (1825) String Quartet No. 12 in E flat major
Opus 130 (1825) String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major
Opus 131 (1826) String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor
Opus 132 (1825) String Quartet No. 15 in A minor
Opus 133 (1826) Grosse Fuge in B flat major
Opus 134 (1826) Piano arrangement (4 hands) of Grosse Fuge
Opus 135 (1826) String Quartet No. 16 in F major


From that mind boggling repertoire we cannot conclude, or even conceive of, a mind about to become unsure of the next major innovation. These works underscore the massive prints of a lion roaring headfast into an unlimited future.

B's last completed works fully support an inexhaustible inspiration requiring absolutely no experimentation hither and yon, and show that B was in full control of his creative genius, right up to March 26, 1827.



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There are many princes but only ONE Beethoven!

Laurenticwave
12-07-2005, 01:06 AM
Originally posted by Droell:

Oh, heck, this one's easy. Because a performance of a newly realized piece by Beethoven will draw lots of attention. With apologies to Laurenticwave.

Oh, heck, not as easy as your cynicism seems to think! The very fact that "a newly realized piece by Beethoven will draw lots of attention" is all the more reason why conductors and orchestras with high reputations to maintain are even more likely to keep their distance with anything that smacks of cheap sensationalism. Besides, a piece of work that was first recorded 18 years ago can hardly be called "newly realised" ...

Droell
12-07-2005, 03:38 AM
Originally posted by stude_ham:
Dear Droell

The "10th" and the "6th" were done by interlopers of another era. Therefore, these works cannot provide any convincing clues into the mind of B's unlimited creative powers.

That they are incomplete from the years when he produced little, is the observation. Large scale works represent not only a lot of time & work, but also money & prestige. This is not a case of Beethoven got up one morning & forgot about what he had been working on for weeks & months. Nor is it that he suddenly found he was deaf & so tossed the 6th concerto. He was already too deaf to play the 5th, some years before. He laid these scores aside for reasons.

Originally posted by stude_ham:

Consequently, I'm not at all certain that your musings concerning B's next musical steps may be in tune with his final completed works. These appear to be

[b]
Opus 123 (1822) Mass in D major (Missa Solemnis) ....



That Beethoven eventually resumed composing seems to me to be directly due to the mental processes undertaken during the years when he produced little. Otherwise, Beethoven's transformation from the 5th symphony to the Missa is an enigma.

It is not that Beethoven did not compose, but that, if my hunch is right, by 1815 he could no longer go on composing as he had been. And so, for a time, he stopped to think about it. This precisely parallels the transformation from early to middle period, except that the first time there was no pause. The first transition was easy. Beethoven discovered the possibilities of descriptive music & seized on them eagerly.

The second transformation was a lot harder. If writing just plain music was not a challenge (or why do you suppose he hated his own septet, op. 20), and if descriptive music was no longer a challenge, then what do you do? Where do you go? What do you write? What's the point?

After a lot of thought, what Beethoven ended up with was the first movement of the 9th, the Hammerklavier, the Grosse Fugue, the stunning opening movements of the 14th string quartet, the agonizing opening of the 15th quartet, and all the rest. I have long been amazed with the sheer creativity of the 14th. It is as if anything could be made music, and seemingly without effort. The years of silence was the means to the third period.

gprengel
12-07-2005, 04:49 AM
Peter wrote

<7th symphony in Eb Major from Tschaikowsky -
Is this the same symphony that he abandoned and then used for a one movement 3rd piano concerto in 1893?>

Yes, but I think it was quite a fault of Tschaikowsky because the 3rd piano concerto is not half as convincing as the realisation of the 7th symphony. Especially the most beautiful Andante und the powerful Finale belong to the greatest music works I know. But this music does not fit as a piano concerto at all.

Kalimac
12-07-2005, 03:44 PM
It might help if we divided these posthumous works into categories:

1) Works which were mostly completed by the composer and can be played untouched, but with some sections reconstructed from sketches and/or newly composed by others (Mozart's Requiem, Puccini's Turandot)

2) Works customarily played in an unfinished state, but which can be completed by the above methods (Schubert's B-minor symphony, Bruckner's Ninth)

3) Works fully sketched out, but which need to be orchestrated or otherwise tinkered with by others to be playable (Mahler's Tenth, Tchaikovsky's E-flat, Schubert's E major)

4) Works consisting of jigsaw pieces that can be put together to form something of a whole, but which still need some reconstruction (Elgar's Third)

5) Works consisting of various sketches too scattered to form jigsaw pieces, put together on a purely hypothetical basis (Beethoven's Tenth)

Peter
12-07-2005, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by Kalimac:
It might help if we divided these posthumous works into categories:

1) Works which were mostly completed by the composer and can be played untouched, but with some sections reconstructed from sketches and/or newly composed by others (Mozart's Requiem, Puccini's Turandot)

2) Works customarily played in an unfinished state, but which can be completed by the above methods (Schubert's B-minor symphony, Bruckner's Ninth)

3) Works fully sketched out, but which need to be orchestrated or otherwise tinkered with by others to be playable (Mahler's Tenth, Tchaikovsky's E-flat, Schubert's E major)

4) Works consisting of jigsaw pieces that can be put together to form something of a whole, but which still need some reconstruction (Elgar's Third)

5) Works consisting of various sketches too scattered to form jigsaw pieces, put together on a purely hypothetical basis (Beethoven's Tenth)

Thank you kalimac for that sensible appraisal.

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'Man know thyself'

Peter
12-07-2005, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by Laurenticwave:
If Cooper's "realisation" of Beethoven's sketches for the first movement of his 10th symphony are such "a huge disapointment", why have a number of highly respected orchestras - not to mention conductors - consented to associate themselves with it by recording it??

Well can you honestly say that you love the piece as much as the other 9 symphonies or that you prefer it to any of them? To me the work is nothing but an academic exercise, lacking that which distinguishes Beethoven from the mediocre - genius.

The musicologist Gustav Nottebohm who spent his life studying the Beethoven sketches had this to say: "But we must understand quite clearly that there is much they do not reveal, and that we learn least of all from them about what we call 'organic'. What is missing in them we gather only by speculation. In order to visualize the unity of realization and idea, it is necessary to consider the whole person together with his intellectual and spiritual activities. Herein one may also find the key to his technical execution. But who can really boast that he has full knowledge of, or is in possession of such keys?'

I think we need to ask another important question and that is why is there this sudden craze to complete abandoned works? Why are we not satisfied with the great music these composers have already given us?

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'Man know thyself'

Laurenticwave
12-07-2005, 08:31 PM
I agree with you in the main, and certainly wouldn't class Cooper's version of the 10th's first movement as comparable with the others, but in fairness nor does he. As to the craze for completing what a composer left unfinished, surely this depends on whether said composer intentionally abandoned it - or died before he had a chance of completing it. Providing the piece in question is clearly labelled as the musical equivalent of GM, surely no harm can be done in offering up speculative completions.
As stated earlier, I would infinitely prefer to hear Beethoven's sketches as he left them - or even be able to read them - but since his sketches for the 10th are, to the best of my knowledge, unavailable to the general public, Cooper's version of the 10th is (in my humble view) better than nothing. One final point: someone described the 10th as a huge anti-climax after the 9th - does this refer to B's sketches/melodies/themes, or Cooper's contribution? I have a feeling that whatever symphony B might have written after the 9th would have been an anti-climax to many, just as the 4th is to the 3rd, Op 135 is to Op 131, or indeed the revised final movement of Op 131 is to the Grosse Fuge... though not to me! One of Beethoven's characteristics I so admire is his drive to be - as Bob Dylan puts it so beautifully - "in a constant state of becoming" ...

Droell
12-07-2005, 09:09 PM
Originally posted by Laurenticwave:
....One final point: someone described the 10th as a huge anti-climax after the 9th - does this refer to B's sketches/melodies/themes, or Cooper's contribution?

My understanding of the "10th" is that it's really symphony 8 1/2: Sketched between 8 & 9. Or am I thinking of some other "10th"?

Peter
12-07-2005, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by Laurenticwave:
I agree with you in the main, and certainly wouldn't class Cooper's version of the 10th's first movement as comparable with the others, but in fairness nor does he. As to the craze for completing what a composer left unfinished, surely this depends on whether said composer intentionally abandoned it - or died before he had a chance of completing it. Providing the piece in question is clearly labelled as the musical equivalent of GM, surely no harm can be done in offering up speculative completions.
As stated earlier, I would infinitely prefer to hear Beethoven's sketches as he left them - or even be able to read them - but since his sketches for the 10th are, to the best of my knowledge, unavailable to the general public, Cooper's version of the 10th is (in my humble view) better than nothing. One final point: someone described the 10th as a huge anti-climax after the 9th - does this refer to B's sketches/melodies/themes, or Cooper's contribution? I have a feeling that whatever symphony B might have written after the 9th would have been an anti-climax to many, just as the 4th is to the 3rd, Op 135 is to Op 131, or indeed the revised final movement of Op 131 is to the Grosse Fuge... though not to me! One of Beethoven's characteristics I so admire is his drive to be - as Bob Dylan puts it so beautifully - "in a constant state of becoming" ...

I understand your desire to hear the sketches and this site (though not about the 10th) may be of interest to you. http://www.discourses.co.uk/beethoven.php4

I've never thought of any of the works you mentioned being an anti-climax to their predecessor, but a good argument for not having realised the Beethoven 10th is precisely that it gives the wrong impression. I have no doubt that had Beethoven lived we would have had a symphony comparable in standard to the others, but we have to accept he didn't and there is no Beethoven 10th symphony.

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'Man know thyself'

Laurenticwave
12-08-2005, 12:21 AM
Many thanks for that link - I've just ordered all 4 CDs. As to your 'good argument', I guess we must just agree to disagree. Thanks for a great site!

Peter
12-08-2005, 02:18 AM
Originally posted by Laurenticwave:
Many thanks for that link - I've just ordered all 4 CDs. As to your 'good argument', I guess we must just agree to disagree. Thanks for a great site!

I haven't tried these cds myself so let me know what you think of them. I'm happy to agree to disagree on the Beethoven 10th! Just to prove though that I'm not completely stuck in the mud, I really did enjoy the Elgar/Walker piano concerto - I think he did a far better job with this than Cooper's effort, but to be fair Cooper was trying to emulate Beethoven, an impossible task!

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'Man know thyself'

Kalimac
12-24-2005, 11:53 AM
To reply to Laurenticwave's question, what's misleading about the Cooper Tenth is the supposition that it's a reconstructed work at all. Even Payne's "Elgar Third" required a vast amount of original work by Payne, and it is carefully labeled as "The Sketches for Symphony No. 3, elaborated by Anthony Payne." Whereas Cooper was working with much more fragmentary material and much less detailed description of what Beethoven was to do with it, and yet it is described on the recording I have as "first movement of Symphony No. 10" without, on the cover, the "realized and completed by Barry Cooper" which appears on the inside. This is misleading. The Cooper Tenth is, in fact, an original composition by Cooper on an idea by and using some sketches of Beethoven's. I should add that I've just relistened to it, and orchestrally I think it's a remarkable pastiche. What it lacks is genius, and genius is what Opp. 60 and 135 have despite being less pretentious than their mighty predecessors.