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Chris
10-02-2000, 02:46 PM
I would like your opinions on http://ral.wyvernweb.com/files/beeth9.docthis</a>. Since it is quite critical of Beethoven, I imagine some of you can really get into this. (Note that I am not saying I agree with this, I'm just trying to get a good conversation started.)

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"Wagner's music is better than it sounds." - Mark Twain

Peter
10-02-2000, 04:19 PM
Well I briefly glanced through it - it is very long ! - I must admit at the end of it I'm not really sure what he's on about. One interesting point is his claim of Beethoven using the theme from the 9th finale in 2 previous works - a song of 1785 (which I don't know) and the Choral Fantasia. Personally I think this similarity (he implies that it is exactly the same theme) is superficial - he might have also mentioned that a similar theme occurs in the King Stephen overture - but it is as pointless as the so called similarities of the Brahms 1st symphony. His point about unity seems rather strange in reference to the last movement of the 9th - a work where for the first time to my knowledege a composer actually quotes all the main themes from the previous movements - thus unifying the whole work.

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
10-03-2000, 12:16 PM
It's too long for me to read also! So I read points at random. As to what it's all about, I could be wrong but I think it's as simple as 'some people hear one thing, some people hear another'. Everyone knows many of B's contemporaries and also later commentators and thought B was 'ripe for the mad-house', to borrow Weber's phrase. If I'm right he took a long time getting this point made!

There is nothing novel in his claim about the connection with the Choral Fantasia and Gegenliebe, I've mentioned this point enough times myself. The themes are similar enough to me to signify some connection, especially considering they are all vocal works.

A point of the writer's I do contest is his suggestion that the finale should start immediately after the adagio - ie. without break.

Rod


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

BP
10-04-2000, 01:13 AM
I could not access the site due to certain format restrictions. Could you give me the gist of it?

BP

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Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength
War is peace

Chris
10-04-2000, 02:14 AM
It was not a site, it was a file. Can you not download it?

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"Wagner's music is better than it sounds." - Mark Twain

BP
10-04-2000, 01:27 PM
No.

BP

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Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength
War is peace

Serge
10-18-2000, 10:18 PM
In music, there is hardly ever an absolute answer, and with Beethoven, esp., it is impossible to find out what he truly meant in a lot of his work. His music, like anyone else's, was meant to be continually reinterpreted. For instance, Karajan changed the lyrics of the 4th movt during his conducting of the piece during the 1989 concert in Berlin. In a 1996 recording for Sony, Abbado lighted upon "hundreds" of points in the score where interpretation was required, and indeed, his version sounds different, fresher,than that of, say, Furtwangler's. I recall once hearing somewhere that many many years ago it was discovered that the Ode theme was being played at half-speed!
This just goes to show that there will not be a definitive answer to what "Piece X" means because every different performance will elicit different feelings and reactions. Personally, the piece is quick, fast, and generally joyful (esp. during the last movt). I will never need another author's verdict on the piece to tell me why I love it so much, and nor should anyone else.

Peter
10-19-2000, 12:43 AM
Originally posted by Serge:
In music, there is hardly ever an absolute answer, and with Beethoven, esp., it is impossible to find out what he truly meant in a lot of his work. His music, like anyone else's, was meant to be continually reinterpreted. For instance, Karajan changed the lyrics of the 4th movt during his conducting of the piece during the 1989 concert in Berlin. In a 1996 recording for Sony, Abbado lighted upon "hundreds" of points in the score where interpretation was required, and indeed, his version sounds different, fresher,than that of, say, Furtwangler's. I recall once hearing somewhere that many many years ago it was discovered that the Ode theme was being played at half-speed!
This just goes to show that there will not be a definitive answer to what "Piece X" means because every different performance will elicit different feelings and reactions. Personally, the piece is quick, fast, and generally joyful (esp. during the last movt). I will never need another author's verdict on the piece to tell me why I love it so much, and nor should anyone else.

Well to a degree Serge I agree, but there is a difference between interpretation and taking liberties with the score - playing the ode theme at half speed for example. I think it was Bernstein who changed a word to 'Freihart' for the 1989 Berlin concert - for that particular occasion, I doubt that Beethoven would have minded. When it comes to tempo, too often Beethoven's markings are not properly observed - that is not interpretation, it is sacrilege !!

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'Man know thyself'

Serge
10-23-2000, 04:41 AM
My bad, Peter! You're absolutely right about it being Bernstein and not Karajan in '89 (isn't my face red!...).
I suppose there is a point where interpretation loses its purpose and starts taking excessive liberties, but I hope you don't think that Sony recording is inferior, because it really isn't! I am a firm supporter of interpretation if it's done in respect to the original intentions of the composer, or if the reinterpretation helps uncover new details in a work people think they know inside and out. I am reminded of the 1995 movie Babe. The theme of the score was lifted straight out of Saint-Saens' Symphony # 3, and turned it from a stately, if heavy, piece into a wistful, almost bittersweet melody for the film. I personally loved it, because I felt it was a beautiful reworking of a very nice theme and very appropriate for the movie's characters. I don't think of Babe when I lsiten to the original, because it is different set of circumstances when played according to composer. Do you agree?...

Peter
10-23-2000, 12:13 PM
I don't possess the Sony Abbado recording so I can't really comment on it - The most satisfactory version of the symphonies for me is the Chamber orchestra of Europe /Harnoncourt ( Teldec 2292-46452-2 ).I agree with your comments about films to an extent providing it is tastefully done as in Disney's 'Fantasia' which did a lot to introduce people to classical music.

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'Man know thyself'