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Old 07-13-2006, 12:27 PM   #1
Athea
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Smile Why do you like Beethoven?

Hello! I simply adore Beethoven. I am 18 years old student and great mad about Beethoven and his music. It's really good there are places like this. What kind of music do you prefer? Only classical? I listen almost everything but I am quite demanding - music must make me happy. That's one of the reasons why I like Beethoven; it's impossible to describe my feelings when I hear - for example - the fourth movement of his 9th symphony. But there are also his sonatas, quartets etc.; not only symphonies. And it's so deep, so strong, so let me ask you as well: Why do you like Beethoven?
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Old 07-13-2006, 05:31 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum, Athea. Greetings from Heiligenstadt in Vienna, Austria.

I too am a great admirer of Beethoven the man and of his music too. To me he is one of the few composers who's music can really affect me emotionally. Works like his Egmont Overture and the second movement of his Sym. #7 are two examples of his music that always bring a tear to my eyes. I know exactly what you mean when you said that it's impossible to describe one's feelings when you hear a certain Beethoven composition. Every emotion from joy, sorrow, fear, anger, pain, loneliness, etc. For me there are some of Beethoven's music that can bring me joy or even make me want to dance when I am feeling sad. His music can work like magic and bring sunshine into a dreary day.

So this is one of the reasons why I like Beethoven...

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Old 07-13-2006, 06:05 PM   #3
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Due to personal needs for long commutes in public jitneys and the concommitant cacophonies of idiotic tongue waggings for whatever reasons the practice evolved to tune this out with portable music players piping thriugh ear buds. Doing this led to the realization that most of the composers had created too many works that were cloying and palled after repeated hearings.

The experience of experimenting with significant numbers of musical recordings via these long commutes indicated that there were many hours of music that withstood repeated listening and were loud enough to drown out the incessant babbling fools.

Beethoven's music turned out to be very high on this list of ever delightful to hear whenever turned on. There are other works on that list and if anyone cares to find out please let me know.

But actually, the love of Beethoven is an acquired taste, and greater minds than I have expressed horror at the music. My taste began with the 5th symphony, whose opening bars I recall humming well before it became legal for me to drink alcohol in public venues.

So that's the story here. The passion for that music just happened and has never waned.

Currently, my most favourite work by Beethoven is the Missa Solemnis OP 123.

My favourite part of the 9th is reduced to its first movement.

And for those of you who seem to very much like the Ode in the 9th may I suggest you listen to the GLORIA of the MS? After that you'll most probably find the Ode to be a pale substitute.



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Old 07-13-2006, 06:54 PM   #4
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When I play or listen to the music of Beethoven I feel as though he is speaking to me personally and understands my pains and my joys. His music is universal.
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Old 07-13-2006, 08:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by stude_ham:

And for those of you who seem to very much like the Ode in the 9th may I suggest you listen to the GLORIA of the MS? After that you'll most probably find the Ode to be a pale substitute.
That's a bit harsh. Perhaps you've only heard Furtwangler's rendition of the Ode? I suspect everyone here has heard the MS.

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Old 07-13-2006, 10:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rod:
That's a bit harsh. Perhaps you've only heard Furtwangler's rendition of the Ode? I suspect everyone here has heard the MS.

Actually Rod I've tended to shy away from F due to a number of personal issues... not least of which include his interpretive styles. Due to some vynils left hanging around... there are the Reiner... the Bernstein... the Karajan... the Toscanini editions in my auditory experience... along with some of the more recent cd denizen conductors. Seems that because B is my stated preference among the geniuses of the musical pantheon... the gifts I receive for almost any occasion invariably include a B 9 under the wrappings. Personally I much rather prefer a good Riesling or scotch... but a thank you is always adequate.

The reason for this rather harsh assessment is that it took me far longer to grapple with the MS than it did to hum along to the ODE in the 9th. But once the MS permeated my consciousness it overwhelmed the Ode.

Musical preferences are very personal as can be deduced from very simple readings of your forum.

For example, I find Schuman's 2nd and 3rd symphonies more preferrable to my senses than his 1st and 4th symphonies. Similarly, I find Mendelsohn's 5th symphony more satisfying and enjoyable than his 4th symphony, even though the Italian was written well after the Reformation.

And much to many people's dismay, I just love Widor's 5th Organ "symphony" and relish in the lush noises of Saint Saens' Organ symphony finale!

And please don't get me started on Monteverdi's Vespers of the Virgin. That work has a number of absolutely glorious passages including the very opening and that Sancta Maria Ora Pro Nobis.

Of course, these works mentioned will not all be tasty morsels to other musiphile's palates. But the ones who contribute to this forum all demonstrate superior knowledge of the musical spheres. (OK... maybe not me)


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Old 07-13-2006, 11:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by stude_ham:
Actually Rod I've tended to shy away from F due to a number of personal issues... not least of which include his interpretive styles. Due to some vynils left hanging around... there are the Reiner... the Bernstein... the Karajan... the Toscanini editions in my auditory experience... along with some of the more recent cd denizen conductors. Seems that because B is my stated preference among the geniuses of the musical pantheon... the gifts I receive for almost any occasion invariably include a B 9 under the wrappings. Personally I much rather prefer a good Riesling or scotch... but a thank you is always adequate...
I tend to shy away from F because he is rubbish, which is why I mentioned him as a possible explanation for your opinion of the 9th. I doubt you have listened to one of the 9ths I'd recommend on CD.

I've heard more bad MSs than good but of course that does not stop it being a supreme masterpiece - the same goes for the 9th, which I confess like the Emperor concerto is given many a tired throw-away performance. But to have such a low opinion of the 9th per se, especially whilst at the same time you consern yourself with the symphonies of Schumann and Mendelsohn! Well, what can I say that would be polite...?


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Old 07-14-2006, 04:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rod:
... But to have such a low opinion of the 9th per se, especially whilst at the same time you consern yourself with the symphonies of Schumann and Mendelsohn! Well, what can I say that would be polite...?

Rod... the first movement of the 9th is the symphonic masterpiece. The rest of that work, by contrast, is mere obligatory accompamiment. If that movement had been part of the MS, then hardly anyone would have noticed anything unusual about its placement. That movement does evoke a highly spiritual and mystical response.

On the other hand, there have been endless discussions on the remaining 3 parts of the 9th and to this day people are still trying to connect the dots that marches one movement into the next.

Now, I've also admitted a particular fondness for some of Schuman's symphonies (ie the 2nd and the 3rd) and an appreciation of some of Mendelsohn's output (ie the Reformation symphony) leaving you agape.

Like I said, personal taste in anything is a matter of personal predilections and not subject to any kind of rational logic. I happen to like a lot of things. You happen to like a lot of things. If these things happen to be different, well... that's the nature of our acquired tastes.

In all this, you asked what it is that you could say to be polite? Might I suggest something like, "le gout et la couleur se ne dicutent pas" or "chacun a son gout". (please pardon my french).

The best part of this forum has a lot to do with respecting each other's differences of opinion on various musical issues.



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Old 07-15-2006, 05:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by stude_ham:
Rod... the first movement of the 9th is the symphonic masterpiece. The rest of that work, by contrast, is mere obligatory accompamiment...

...The best part of this forum has a lot to do with respecting each other's differences of opinion on various musical issues.

When you bring forth a serious 'musical issue' let me know.


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Old 07-16-2006, 03:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by stude_ham:

And for those of you who seem to very much like the Ode in the 9th may I suggest you listen to the GLORIA of the MS? After that you'll most probably find the Ode to be a pale substitute.

Oh, I listened whole MS including GLORIA - and it's great!
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Old 07-16-2006, 03:45 PM   #11
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Originally posted by Hollywood:
Hi and welcome to the forum, Athea. Greetings from Heiligenstadt in Vienna, Austria.

For me there are some of Beethoven's music that can bring me joy or even make me want to dance when I am feeling sad. His music can work like magic and bring sunshine into a dreary day.

So this is one of the reasons why I like Beethoven...

Often, when I am feeling horrible, Beethoven's music is one of few things which can make me happy again. I first discovered Beethoven when I was 12 - in this time, I had some difficulties in my life, and Beethoven helped me overcome it. I can't express the intensity of his music, it seems this music speaks more than any words! And Beethoven as a man... He was so interesting!
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Old 07-17-2006, 05:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Athea:
Quote:
Originally posted by stude_ham:

And for those of you who seem to very much like the Ode in the 9th may I suggest you listen to the GLORIA of the MS? After that you'll most probably find the Ode to be a pale substitute.

Oh, I listened whole MS including GLORIA - and it's great!
The missa, to me, is the culmination of choral/orchestral works in the west, and the spiritual driving energy that is so pervasive throughout the work is certainly one of the highest qualities that I particularly like about Beethoven.
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Old 07-17-2006, 12:08 PM   #13
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When I heard Missa for the first time I didnít know what I listened to at all. Of course, it was clear that was a mass, but I didnít know the composer! However, constantly it seemed to must be Beethoven.
The depth of the whole piece is immeasurable. I think it also depends on the performance a lot. Some of them are certainly much better than the others and it appears there are also some bad ones, but I havenít heard sufficient number of MSs to be competent to judge them. Still it remains that MS is one of the greatest compositions in the world.
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Old 07-17-2006, 06:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Athea:
Still it remains that MS is one of the greatest compositions in the world.
Maybe THE greatest.


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Old 07-17-2006, 10:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rod:
Maybe THE greatest.


I have heard that Beethoven regarded Missa as his best masterpiece (???)
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Old 07-17-2006, 10:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Athea:
Quote:
Originally posted by Rod:
Maybe THE greatest.


I have heard that Beethoven regarded Missa as his best masterpiece (???)
Yes he described it as such himself.

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Old 07-18-2006, 07:14 AM   #17
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Originally posted by Rod:
Yes he described it as such himself.

Did he make that statement before or after the final quartets? (I consider the final quartets to be the greatest music ever written.)
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:07 AM   #18
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I really like Beethoven's music for all sorts of reasons. Nobody can deny he emerged from the classical foundation of Vienna as its legitimate successor. Yet he eclipsed it. This makes me think the history of great composers can be compared to a succession of people (each quite different in many ways) carrying a musical torch in to the future. We may disagree who these 'torch bearers' are/were. But in my view Beethoven was/is one of them. (I even suggest Berlioz is hugely greater than virtually any 19th century composer other than Beethoven - but this would not be the place to argue it at length). Bach, Beethoven and Berlioz do have things in common. All three were individualists. All three were emphasising the liberty of the individual (rather than simply a traditional corporate identity). Beethoven definitely emphasised the break from a state/church society. Individualism. But Bach too (in his Lutheran faith) had done the same within the realm of church music. The individual, the personal relationship with God - these themes are so strikingly used over and over again by the great Bach.

Who could have imagined that a person such as Beethoven would ever have arrived ? And yet he did. A person who suffered from deafness. It's astounding if he had written even mediochre music. But he wrote what he did. I just marvel at Beethoven's phenomenal gifts.

I've recently been listening very closely to much of Berlioz. He undoubtedly influenced Brahms. Even more so Tchaikowsky. Again, Berlioz was highly individualistic as a person and a composer. Much of his music was also far ahead of his own time.

But I don't think the uniqueness of an individual composer is always so apparent to contemporaru audiences. In Bach's case Jan Dismas Zelenka was in many respects Bach's equal, technically and even stylistically. Again, in the case of Beethoven there were certainly men around who rivalled him. Even temporarily marginalised him. The same is true of Berlioz. All three men seem to have been temporarily overshadowed by the generation in which they lived despite their great abilities.

I'm sure Beethoven's music will live for as long as men value the truths he as a man stood for. Only a noble man (in the true meaning of that term) could have written what the great Beethoven wrote.



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Old 07-18-2006, 09:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sorrano:
Did he make that statement before or after the final quartets? (I consider the final quartets to be the greatest music ever written.)
The quote comes from a letter of 1824 to the publishers Schott and Sons. Admittedly he is trying to 'sell' the work. He mentions the 9th Symphony and the quartet op127 in the same letter, but highlights the Mass as his 'greatest work'. One could say cinically the Mass may have been the hardest to sell so he promoted it the most. On the other hand, although all the pieces are unique masterpieces in their own right, considering the scale of the Mass and the effort involved in its production I doubt if Beethoven would have changed his opinion by 1826.

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