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View Full Version : A Beethoven "future figure"


John Rasmussen
03-25-2001, 03:39 AM
It appears that 12-tone serialism is a dead end. However, "everything old becomes new again," and I would guess that after a hundred years or so neoclassicism at least will be revived. What seems to be happening more now, however, is a synthesis between European "classical music" and other world musics. One of the best examples is the recently deceased Alan Hovhaness, who by combining classical techniques with Japanese, Indian, Korean, and Middle Eastern influences has produced an impressive body of work.

As for LvB's music being mind-altering, I would say that all the best music is, from Carlo Gesualdo to Edgard Varese, from Bach's D minor Toccata and Fugue to The Rite of Spring. Beethoven's Ninth is only the most powerful example.

(BTW, it's not quite accurate to say that no one composed symphonies immediately after Beethoven. Schubert, Mendelssohn and Schumann each wrote symphonies, although of those only Schubert's Ninth comes close to matching Beethoven's power.)

nickelljromjue
09-30-2002, 09:56 AM
Thomas Mann's novel, Doktor Faustus, contains a fascinating idea: the "taking back" by Mann's protagonist (modelled on a Nietzsche figure), of the Beethoven Ninth Symphony in order to clear the way for a revolutionary new music, modelled on Arnold Schoenberg--atonality, 12-tone, etc. What, in the structure of music, has made the Ninth Symphony beloved over generations, and Schoenberg a composr for empty halls? In the neoclassical revival, will there be a future Beethoven? Are there living candidates?

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Romjue

[This message has been edited by nickelljromjue (edited October 02, 2002).]

Forlorna
09-30-2002, 02:04 PM
The Ninth is primal--especialy in the 1st movement. It has the power to alter brain chemistry. Through accident or genius B gave the world one of its greatest gifts. R. Strauss and Scriabin came close as far as psychological power but LVB has no equal and possibly never will.
After his death, for many decades, composers felt too overshadowed to even attempt composing symphonies. I'm glad they finally did because the late 19th century produced some fine works--but Beethoven still stands above them all.

Twelve-tone and /or atonal, has been around for some time and doesn't seem to catch on. Hindemith did some interesting work. Minimalist music was quite the rage for a time as well. We live in a world where most people cannot differentiate between even a half-step on the piano. I cannot possibly forsee 12-tone music ever becoming popular with anything except a small group.

Peter
09-30-2002, 02:07 PM
Atonality is to my mind a failed idea, I think even Schoenberg came to recognise its limitations. I don't think there will be a neo-classical revival as I don't think it ever had a hold on the public imagination. There hasn't been anyone to rival Beethoven's greatness since the 18th century.

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'Man know thyself'

Chris
10-01-2002, 08:11 AM
Bump to account for time bug.

Forlorna
10-01-2002, 08:32 AM
I stand corrected. Yes, there were symphonies composed in the decades after his death. I have read though that many composers felt somewhat inadequate.

chopithoven
10-01-2002, 10:09 AM
And what do the musical critics writing here say about Brahms' 4th symphony in e minor?

Peter
10-01-2002, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by chopithoven:
And what do the musical critics writing here say about Brahms' 4th symphony in e minor?

I think it's his best!

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'Man know thyself'

Chaszz
10-01-2002, 07:51 PM
Originally posted by Peter:
I think it's his best!



Regarding the discussion about symphonists' writing after Beethoven's death, Brahms delayed starting on his first symphony for years because of Beethoven's example. He said, 'It's difficult when you hear the feet of a giant like Beethoven behind you.'

His First Symphony ends with an ode-to-joy sort of theme like that of Beethoven's Ninth, although without voices. In his later symphonies, he felt confident enough to drop this device.

I like his Third Symphony best myself - especially for the wonderful autumnal color in the orchestration.

Peter
10-01-2002, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by Chaszz:
Regarding the discussion about symphonists' writing after Beethoven's death, Brahms delayed starting on his first symphony for years because of Beethoven's example. He said, 'It's difficult when you hear the feet of a giant like Beethoven behind you.'

His First Symphony ends with an ode-to-joy sort of theme like that of Beethoven's Ninth, although without voices. In his later symphonies, he felt confident enough to drop this device.

I like his Third Symphony best myself - especially for the wonderful autumnal color in the orchestration.

I also like the 3rd and for some reason it does have an autumnal feel - however the 2nd mov of the 4th is glorious as are the variations in the 4th mov. Certainly Brahms is the greatest symphony composer to come after Beethoven.

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'Man know thyself'

Joy
10-01-2002, 09:38 PM
I enjoy Brahms 3rd and 4th Symphony myself too and over the weekend on my classical radio they played his '6 pieces Opus 118'. The pianist was the 19 yr. old Lang Lang. Just excellent!!

Joy

nickelljromjue
10-02-2002, 08:55 AM
As a new discussant, thank you for your responses to my note of Sep. 30.
As a fiction writer (I am not a musician or musicologist), I am attracted to the idea of a bold new musical spirit who, fully cognizant of the giant he wishes to emulate, takes Beethoven as his inspiring basis in a symphonic composition that, in his own age, captures the ravaged soul of the violent 20th century but, in a final movement, points to a recovering world in a new/old credo and firmament of beauty and light.

AeolianHarp
12-04-2013, 04:04 AM
The Ninth is primal--especialy in the 1st movement. It has the power to alter brain chemistry. Through accident or genius B gave the world one of its greatest gifts. R. Strauss and Scriabin came close as far as psychological power but LVB has no equal and possibly never will.


Agreed- no symphony comes close to the Ninth, except maybe the 7th and certainly nobody else can equal him! Yes, it does have some powerful effect on the mind and soul, and I'm sure he knew it...;)

AeolianHarp
12-04-2013, 04:06 AM
here hasn't been anyone to rival Beethoven's greatness since the 18th century.

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'Man know thyself'

Not possible Peter- Beethoven is a one off!

Peter
12-05-2013, 07:56 PM
Not possible Peter- Beethoven is a one off!

Don't forget this is a reply to a thread of over ten years ago - Interesting to see these old comments resurrected - I don't agree with a lot of what I said then!! :)

AeolianHarp
12-05-2013, 10:22 PM
Don't forget this is a reply to a thread of over ten years ago - Interesting to see these old comments resurrected - I don't agree with a lot of what I said then!! :)

Yes but I like to get new discussions going out of interesting threads lol...I do hope you still stand with Beethoven's greatness.;)

Michael
12-05-2013, 11:58 PM
Don't forget this is a reply to a thread of over ten years ago - Interesting to see these old comments resurrected - I don't agree with a lot of what I said then!! :)

Gone off Beethoven, Peter? :rolleyes:

Megan
12-06-2013, 12:02 AM
Same here, it's strange how our opinions can change over the years.

AeolianHarp
12-06-2013, 01:30 AM
Gone off Beethoven, Peter? :rolleyes:

Well he's here so I assume not! And who could go off dear Beethoven?!

Peter
12-06-2013, 07:26 AM
Yes but I like to get new discussions going out of interesting threads lol...I do hope you still stand with Beethoven's greatness.;)

Yes and it's interesting to see them again - don't worry I'm still a faithful Beethoven fan, but I wouldn't state now as I did elsewhere in that thread that Brahms was the greatest symphonist after Beethoven - I'd probably say Bruckner was and yet I know I also disparaged Bruckner in early posts!

AeolianHarp
12-06-2013, 12:31 PM
Yes and it's interesting to see them again - don't worry I'm still a faithful Beethoven fan, but I wouldn't state now as I did elsewhere in that thread that Brahms was the greatest symphonist after Beethoven - I'd probably say Bruckner was and yet I know I also disparaged Bruckner in early posts!


Well I don't know! I would have to hear a good number of the others to judge-nobody could match the Ninth that's for sure!

Michael
12-06-2013, 01:09 PM
Yes and it's interesting to see them again - don't worry I'm still a faithful Beethoven fan, but I wouldn't state now as I did elsewhere in that thread that Brahms was the greatest symphonist after Beethoven - I'd probably say Bruckner was and yet I know I also disparaged Bruckner in early posts!

That's interesting. About ten or fifteen years back, I would have said the same about Brahms, but I haven't listened to him very much since. As I am susceptible to prompts from this forum, I'll probably give him a chance today.

I'm still divided about Bruckner's symphonies (I'm getting on in years, and I'd like to be sure, when I start listening to one of them, that I'll be still alive at the end of it.) The same would go for Mahler, although I absolutely love the First and the Fourth.

AeolianHarp
12-06-2013, 02:17 PM
Well I still don't know re symphonies but for me, what I have heard so far, Tchaikovsky (or possibly joint with Rachmaninov) is after Beethoven for piano concertos.

What a shame noone from my land can make any claims- we are thin on the ground for genius composers...oh well, we had the literary women and men.

Michael
12-06-2013, 04:38 PM
What a shame noone from my land can make any claims- we are thin on the ground for genius composers...oh well, we had the literary women and men.

What about the Beatles? :rolleyes:

AeolianHarp
12-06-2013, 04:59 PM
What about the Beatles? :rolleyes:

They were pop musicians, not geniuses, no direspect to them intended. but not in the same league as Beethoven!

Michael
12-06-2013, 09:07 PM
They were pop musicians, not geniuses, no direspect to them intended. but not in the same league as Beethoven!

Fair enough, but forum members here will tell you that I was - and always will be - a Beatlemaniac. They introduced me to all kinds of music and I will never tire of them.
And I'm not just saying that because you are based in Liverpool! :D

AeolianHarp
12-06-2013, 09:28 PM
Fair enough, but forum members here will tell you that I was - and always will be - a Beatlemaniac. They introduced me to all kinds of music and I will never tire of them.
And I'm not just saying that because you are based in Liverpool! :D

Of course you are not Michael...:p
I don't mind them; for pop musicians they wrote some catchy tunes and are far better than the rubbish churned out today. Their music is useful for learning chords on the piano as well ( some of their stuff is in my piano for all course)- being doing Let It Be earlier.
And John Lennon found Beethoven's c sharp minor sonata an inspiriation for Because.