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Peter
09-14-2000, 04:31 PM
Written in 1814, this sonata really has more in common with the sonatas that follow than the previous ones and it is therefore a transitional sonata from the middle period to the late. Beethoven also returned to the 2 movement minor-major formula he uses here in Op.111.

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
09-14-2000, 06:04 PM
Originally posted by Peter:

Written in 1814, this sonata really has more in common with the sonatas that follow than the previous ones and it is therefore a transitional sonata from the middle period to the late. Beethoven also returned to the 2 movement minor-major formula he uses here in Op.111.



Would you not say op90 had more in common with op78 than op101?

Rod


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

Peter
09-14-2000, 07:34 PM
Interesting that you site Op.78, another 2 movement work, which also at times has characteristics of the later period.It is a very concentrated work - there is a passage in the coda of the 1st movement that is very much in the manner of the late quartets, with fragments of the theme set against a contrapuntal left hand.

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
09-15-2000, 12:26 AM
Originally posted by Peter:

Interesting that you site Op.78, another 2 movement work, which also at times has characteristics of the later period.It is a very concentrated work - there is a passage in the coda of the 1st movement that is very much in the manner of the late quartets, with fragments of the theme set against a contrapuntal left hand.



Fair comment, however for me there is something in the nature of op101 that one doesn't find in the earlier sonatas, yet does in the later. Hence op101 is regarded as the first 'late' sonata by most people (well, me at least!). For me op90 is part of the 'late middle' style, along with 'Archduke' and 'An die ferne Geliebte'. Some see late period connection with such works, but I don't think I can. For me the essence of this late sound is the 'sacred' element he incorporated into his works, aquired no doubt in part through increasing interest in Baroque music (and perhaps an increasing awareness of his own mortality?). I don't really perceive this element in the 'late middle' works (not that this is by any means a critisism, they are simply different). I don't know what you feel is the essence of the late sound?

Rod



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

Michael
09-15-2000, 02:50 AM
It looks almost like an artificial demarcation point that after Opus 100, Beethoven changed his compositional style but that does seem to be the generally accepted opinion. But there are many traces of that "late" style in mid-period and even early Beethoven. The third movement of Opus 18 No. 6 for example, the opening of the 3rd Rasumovsky (even allowing for Mozart's influence, i.e. the "Dissonance" quartet) and the substitute middle movement of the "Waldstein" where, in ditching the lovely but backword-looking "Andante Favori",
he took a quantum leap from his mature early style right into the world of his late piano music. And even in the very early Bonn piano quartets there are elements of middle-period B.
We don't have a composer who changed gears twice, from early to mid and from mid to late
but an orderly onward progression unequalled in music (or any other art for that matter).
Michael

Peter
09-15-2000, 11:02 AM
Exactly Michael - Beethoven didn't suddenly change style overnight, the process of change is gradual and that is why I referred to Op.90 as a transitory work - I didn't say that it was Late Beethoven, but that it shows this style evolving. The Piano Sonatas perhaps more than the Symphonies reveal this process of change.There are however 2 Symphonies that reveal changes in style as well - the coda of the finale to No.2 and the last movement of no.8 .
I think this tendency towards a shorter and concentrated style for a slow movement was becoming typical in the middle period, e.g Piano Concerto no.4 and the reason was clear - Beethoven was concentrating on the expansion of first movement sonata form .
You are right, I cannot think of another artist in history whose style evolved quite in the same way as Beethoven - Who would think that the Septet and the Grosse Fugue were by one and the same !

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'Man know thyself'

Peter
09-15-2000, 11:24 AM
Originally posted by Rod:
Fair comment, however for me there is something in the nature of op101 that one doesn't find in the earlier sonatas, yet does in the later. Hence op101 is regarded as the first 'late' sonata by most people (well, me at least!). For me op90 is part of the 'late middle' style, along with 'Archduke' and 'An die ferne Geliebte'. Some see late period connection with such works, but I don't think I can. For me the essence of this late sound is the 'sacred' element he incorporated into his works, aquired no doubt in part through increasing interest in Baroque music (and perhaps an increasing awareness of his own mortality?). I don't really perceive this element in the 'late middle' works (not that this is by any means a critisism, they are simply different). I don't know what you feel is the essence of the late sound?

Rod



Well Rod as Michael said, the process of change is gradual and not sudden, therefore works earlier than Op.101 are bound to show signs of the later period and I believe Op.90 to be one of them . This Baroque element you mention is the contrapuntal texture that becomes more evident in the late style. Other characteristics are a meditative quality with motives and themes being worked out to their utmost potential - greater use of variations.New sonorities are created - some many considered at the time unplayable - finale of Op.106, B major soloists cadenza from 9th Symphony 'et vitam venturi' fugue from the Missa Solemnis.
Really as you say, there is this sense of deep spirituality.

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
09-15-2000, 07:03 PM
Originally posted by Michael:
It looks almost like an artificial demarcation point that after Opus 100, Beethoven changed his compositional style but that does seem to be the generally accepted opinion. But there are many traces of that "late" style in mid-period and even early Beethoven. The third movement of Opus 18 No. 6 for example, the opening of the 3rd Rasumovsky (even allowing for Mozart's influence, i.e. the "Dissonance" quartet) and the substitute middle movement of the "Waldstein" where, in ditching the lovely but backword-looking "Andante Favori",
he took a quantum leap from his mature early style right into the world of his late piano music. And even in the very early Bonn piano quartets there are elements of middle-period B.
We don't have a composer who changed gears twice, from early to mid and from mid to late
but an orderly onward progression unequalled in music (or any other art for that matter).
Michael

Everybody knows B's development was not as simple as A to B to C. The generally accepted first 'late' work are the cello sonatas op102, but in fact one can go earlier to the beautiful 'Elegaic song' (op118) for vocals and string quartet or the cantata 'The Glorious Moment'. However the austerity, poise and solmenity as typified in the late style may exist in bits an pieces across B's whole output yet none of the earlier works you mention exhibit these qualities in their entirity. Yet beginning circa 1815 these things became predominant in B's music from then to the day he died. The Baroque influence is most important here as far as I can see (hear!), even if B's musical language does not always reflect this. I suggest without B's increasing interest in Handel and Bach, this late style would not have developed as it did. The qualities one hears in these late works are no mystery, Handel was doing it 100 years before.

Rod


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

Rod
09-15-2000, 07:05 PM
Originally posted by Michael:
It looks almost like an artificial demarcation point that after Opus 100, Beethoven changed his compositional style but that does seem to be the generally accepted opinion. But there are many traces of that "late" style in mid-period and even early Beethoven. The third movement of Opus 18 No. 6 for example, the opening of the 3rd Rasumovsky (even allowing for Mozart's influence, i.e. the "Dissonance" quartet) and the substitute middle movement of the "Waldstein" where, in ditching the lovely but backword-looking "Andante Favori",
he took a quantum leap from his mature early style right into the world of his late piano music. And even in the very early Bonn piano quartets there are elements of middle-period B.
We don't have a composer who changed gears twice, from early to mid and from mid to late
but an orderly onward progression unequalled in music (or any other art for that matter).
Michael

Everybody knows B's development was not as simple as A to B to C. The generally accepted first 'late' work are the cello sonatas op102, but in fact one can go earlier to the beautiful 'Elegaic song' (op118) for vocals and string quartet or the cantata 'The Glorious Moment'. However the austerity, poise and solmenity as typified in the late style may exist in bits an pieces across B's whole output yet none of the earlier works you mention exhibit these qualities in their entirity. Yet beginning circa 1815 these things became predominant in B's music from then to the day he died. The Baroque influence is most important here as far as I can see (hear!), even if B's musical language does not always reflect this. I suggest without B's increasing interest in Handel and Bach, this late style would not have developed as it did. The qualities one hears in these late works are no mystery, Handel was doing it 100 years before.

Rod


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

Bob the Composer
07-20-2001, 08:52 PM
Originally posted by Peter:

Written in 1814, this sonata really has more in common with the sonatas that follow than the previous ones and it is therefore a transitional sonata from the middle period to the late. Beethoven also returned to the 2 movement minor-major formula he uses here in Op.111.



I've been looking through some older posts and have decided to post responses to them. My set of recordings of the Late Sonatas include Op. 90. Perhaps it is a transitional work, but I think perhaps that the stylistic divisions are a crutch used by people who want to be able to easily catagorize his music, whether it be as Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or even Contemporary. Rather, once you begin to see that there are no real divisions between styles and periods, you'll realize that there are no real distinctions between, say the 2nd and 9th symphonies, as Rod readily points out on the symphonies page.

Bob

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I am not a number, I am a free man!

[This message has been edited by Bob the Composer (edited 07-20-2001).]

Peter
07-21-2001, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by Bob the Composer:
I've been looking through some older posts and have decided to post responses to them. My set of recordings of the Late Sonatas include Op. 90. Perhaps it is a transitional work, but I think perhaps that the stylistic divisions are a crutch used by people who want to be able to easily catagorize his music, whether it be as Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or even Contemporary. Rather, once you begin to see that there are no real divisions between styles and periods, you'll realize that there are no real distinctions between, say the 2nd and 9th symphonies, as Rod readily points out on the symphonies page.

Bob



You have a point - Liszt used to categorise B's work into 2 periods - the first when B accepted the music of earlier composers as models and the 2nd when his musical invention required new means of expression.
One could argue that from Bach to Mahler it is all the same period in music history - the period of tonality based on the major/minor scale system.

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
07-21-2001, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
You have a point - Liszt used to categorise B's work into 2 periods


Well, by the time of Schindler's 1860 biography (at least) the idea of 3 'periods' for Beethoven was firmly established.

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

Peter
07-21-2001, 10:00 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
Well, by the time of Schindler's 1860 biography (at least) the idea of 3 'periods' for Beethoven was firmly established.



Didn't Schindler suggest Op.100 as the dividing line between middle and late?

Apparently the 3 periods had first been proposed as early as 1818 by an anonymous French writer - B didn't live long enough to enter a 4th period and muck up the theory!

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
07-21-2001, 10:04 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
Didn't Schindler suggest Op.100 as the dividing line between middle and late?

Apparently the 3 periods had first been proposed as early as 1818 by an anonymous French writer - B didn't live long enough to enter a 4th period and muck up the theory!



Well, S's late period started earler than is considered today - he regarded the 7th and 8th symphonies as 3rd period. Looks like you got something in common with S re the 8th!

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

Serge
07-22-2001, 09:21 AM
I did not know that Liszt made a categorical split with Beethoven's work. Where did he draw the line? Generally at the op. 100 mark? I think that his idea is intriguing and with good merit.

Peter
07-22-2001, 03:44 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
Well, S's late period started earler than is considered today - he regarded the 7th and 8th symphonies as 3rd period. Looks like you got something in common with S re the 8th!



There is another school of thought that sub-divides the traditional 3 periods. With this idea, the early period is divided into Bonn and Vienna works. The middle period is split into the Eroica up to 1808/9 - the Heroic phase, with works after that date marking a new introspective style, e.g Op.78. This may be how Schindler saw it.

There are borderline works with B that don't fit comfortably into a 3 group division -(Op.90, the finale of symphony 8, coda of symphony 2 finale) and some that seem later than their date suggests such as Op.95.

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'Man know thyself'

Peter
07-22-2001, 03:48 PM
Originally posted by Serge:
I did not know that Liszt made a categorical split with Beethoven's work. Where did he draw the line? Generally at the op. 100 mark? I think that his idea is intriguing and with good merit.



I think the Eroica marks the beginning of Liszt's second phase theory. So he groups B's music up to 1803 as phase 1 and up to 1827 as phase 2. At least it's a lot simpler that way!

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'Man know thyself'

Rod
07-22-2001, 10:30 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
I think the Eroica marks the beginning of Liszt's second phase theory. So he groups B's music up to 1803 as phase 1 and up to 1827 as phase 2. At least it's a lot simpler that way!



Simpler but no way correct, circa 1814/15 we see a definite change in some of B's compositions, this becomes crystalised by the time of op102, the generally accepted first 3rd period work (as you know I myself would say the earlier still 'Elegaic Song', 'Becalmed and Prosperous Voyage' and 'The Glorious Moment' could be classified as more late than middle, for what these classifications are worth)

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

Bob the Composer
07-23-2001, 08:25 PM
What I was trying to say is that the periods in question may not exist. The fact that there can be so much doubt over when they are further illustrated the interconnectedness of all of Beethoven's Music. When I listen to the first movement of the 9th, for example, I hear some elements of the so-called "late period", but I also still hear a distinct Mozart influence. The same pops up even in the late sonatas and Missa Solemnis. Likewise, there are traces and forshadowings of the 9th as early as the 2nd symphony, which is generally considered "early period beethoven." Beethoven's music does not conform to strict periods. Rather, it evolved organically from the Bonn sonatas to the Missa Solemnis, and reulted in the late quartets.

Bob

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I am not a number, I am a free man!

Rod
07-24-2001, 12:00 AM
Originally posted by Bob the Composer:
What I was trying to say is that the periods in question may not exist. The fact that there can be so much doubt over when they are further illustrated the interconnectedness of all of Beethoven's Music. When I listen to the first movement of the 9th, for example, I hear some elements of the so-called "late period", but I also still hear a distinct Mozart influence. The same pops up even in the late sonatas and Missa Solemnis. Likewise, there are traces and forshadowings of the 9th as early as the 2nd symphony, which is generally considered "early period beethoven." Beethoven's music does not conform to strict periods. Rather, it evolved organically from the Bonn sonatas to the Missa Solemnis, and reulted in the late quartets.

Bob


I think there was more of an organic change between what we regard as periods 1 and 2 - I personally have difficulty identifying any defining work that marks the change - for example is the Eroica truely of the same nature ('period-wise') as the Appassionata or the Rasumovsky Quartets? But with the late period I think there is a much more strongly defined change, beginning with the works I mention above. There is a more noticeable baroque influence in these later works - in structure and in style, B's thematic material and use of counterpoint often reminds me of Handel and Bach in these works. Of course B's own personal stamp still predominates, but one experiences an emotional shift with these later works that is more akin to the earlier style. On the other hand there is still a strong Classical influence also - as you say regarding the 9th - which is still a very Classical piece in the first 3 movements. But with the chamber and vocal music B makes more conscious use of the technique of the Baroque masters, to my ears, in addition to the more familiar Classical forms that are always prevalent in B's music.

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