Late Beethoven Thread

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by Manton, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    I always find it upside down to analyze Beethoven's late work using formal/structural aspects as a starting point - akin to judging a wine from the shape of the bottle - when it should be the other way round: the similarities/maturity in expressing certain emotions contained in forms and structures that are rigid to second-rate composers but lucid and flexible in Beethoven's hands.

    +1, also for any good composer that came after Beethoven. For example, you can analyze a lot of Mahler in sonata form, but his musical expression completely transcends the arbitrary theoretical construct.

    --Andre
     


  2. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    The 4th may be better than the 8th (though who really cares), and even than the 6th (though I really don't think so), but better than the 7th????? WTF?

    And, again, I remind all concerned that this is the *late* Beethoven thread.


    The Pastoral Symphony is a masterpiece in my view. Such beautiful motifs. I like 4 as well but its no 6.
     


  3. romafan

    romafan Senior member

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    The 4th may be better than the 8th (though who really cares), and even than the 6th (though I really don't think so), but better than the 7th????? WTF?

    And, again, I remind all concerned that this is the *late* Beethoven thread.


    This is what I've heard, too.

    What's the 'opus' cut-off for the late peroid? I fear my Moonlight post was in violation....
     


  4. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    This is what I've heard, too.

    What's the 'opus' cut-off for the late peroid? I fear my Moonlight post was in violation....


    There is no opus cutoff because opus numbers only tell you the order of publication, not the order of composition. Also, several of B's high opus number works are just reworkings of earlier works or arrangements of folk songs.

    The list I made in my initial post cites the accepted "late" works. Some dispute whether the two cello sonatas and the 101 really belong. I say the 101 definitely belongs, and the cello sonatas may as well.

    The true character of the late works comes through in the piano sonatas 106, 109, 110 and 111 -- especially in 106 and 111, which are the two greatest. And also in the Diaballi Variations, the Missa Solemnis, and the 9th symphony (movements 1-3, and especially #3).

    But the truly true late works are the last quartets, and in particular the "super cluster" of 130 (in its original form, with the Great Fugue as the last movement), 131, and 132.

    131 is the awesomest of them all, of all music, in fact.
     


  5. musicguy

    musicguy Senior member

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    I always find it upside down to analyze Beethoven's late work using formal/structural aspects as a starting point - akin to judging a wine from the shape of the bottle - when it should be the other way round: the similarities/maturity in expressing certain emotions contained in forms and structures that are rigid to second-rate composers but lucid and flexible in Beethoven's hands.

    +1, also for any good composer that came after Beethoven. For example, you can analyze a lot of Mahler in sonata form, but his musical expression completely transcends the arbitrary theoretical construct.

    --Andre


    I find nothing wrong with comparing stylistic forms with a composer's transcendence of said forms. Music should always be viewed in a forward linear fashion. To look back and criticize compositions that follow a specific form that is transcended later on is to miss an incredible amount of amazing music.
     


  6. romafan

    romafan Senior member

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    There is no opus cutoff because opus numbers only tell you the order of publication, not the order of composition. Also, several of B's high opus number works are just reworkings of earlier works or arrangements of folk songs.

    The list I made in my initial post cites the accepted "late" works. Some dispute whether the two cello sonatas and the 101 really belong. I say the 101 definitely belongs, and the cello sonatas may as well.

    The true character of the late works comes through in the piano sonatas 106, 109, 110 and 111 -- especially in 106 and 111, which are the two greatest. And also in the Diaballi Variations, the Missa Solemnis, and the 9th symphony (movements 1-3, and especially #3).

    But the truly true late works are the last quartets, and in particular the "super cluster" of 130 (in its original form, with the Great Fugue as the last movement), 131, and 132.

    131 is the awesomest of them all, of all music, in fact.


    [​IMG] I have a button that says "Beethoven Forever" [​IMG]
     


  7. audiophilia

    audiophilia Senior member

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    I believe Silverman did that on the Stereophile label with John Atkinson, no?

    Atkinson played it at last year's RMAF as part of his presentation on music file compression and playback was Wavelength converters, Ayre preamp/amp, and Avalon Acoustic NP-2s.


    Orpheus

    Recorded by John Atkinson
     


  8. audiophilia

    audiophilia Senior member

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    For the late quartets, Lindsay.

    Oh, that's where we part company. Peter Cropper's intonation, or lack thereof, drives me nuts.
     


  9. tagutcow

    tagutcow Senior member

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    This is what I've heard, too.

    What's the 'opus' cut-off for the late peroid? I fear my Moonlight post was in violation....


    Beethoven took a lengthy sabbatical from composition in order to coach his nephew into being a great virtuoso pianist, which never really happened. It is the works after this period that are classified as "late", although something like the Fmin SQ Op. 95, while technically middle-period, certainly has late-period characteristics.
     


  10. Naturlaut II

    Naturlaut II Senior member

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    And, again, I remind all concerned that this is the *late* Beethoven thread.
    Sorry about the digression. I guess I was trying to say that there are some early seeds found even in the "moonlight".

    I find nothing wrong with comparing stylistic forms with a composer's transcendence of said forms. Music should always be viewed in a forward linear fashion. To look back and criticize compositions that follow a specific form that is transcended later on is to miss an incredible amount of amazing music.

    Nothing wrong at all. Personally I just don't use formal structure as a starting point, but certainly it is an important element that I use. Another element that I use to analyze Beethoven's late works is pianism, or pianistic elements. Pianism of Beethoven's late works is truly unique. It is as though one requires a whole new set of techniques for the last sonatas, variations and Bagatelles. I find almost nothing similar (save the last sonatas of Schubert, perhaps); and one of the reasons why there exists such a huge diversity of interpretations is the diversity of pianistic approach of each pianistic. I mean, the range of possibilities on Chopin Etudes is nothing compared to the late sonatas or Bagatelles. A change of certain fingerings or certain hand gestures will give you a different sonata.

    Speaking of editions, other than the arguments on certain notational differences are the differences and diversities of "suggested" fingerings, from 19th century editions to edition by Schnabel to fingerings done by various different scholars for Wiener Urtext to the recent ABRSM/Cooper edition. While pianistic approach may have little difference, say, in sonatas like Op. 10 No. 3, the differences are huge when different fingerings are considered for the last sonatas.

    The only other set of sonatas that I find equal to the late Beethoven sonatas in terms of scope and profundity are the sonatas of Medtner. (Scriabin's sonatas are a different breed altogether.) Romantic sonatas of early romantic period (Chopin, Liszt, etc.) are merely isolated examples of sonata forms used in isolated frequencies by these romantic composers (okay, except perhaps Brahms). Beethoven's intellectual and spiritual legacy dominated by his sonata thinking, particularly in the way I mentioned earlier of the transcendence in expression over rigidity of form during the last years, wasn't fully digested until at least some serious scholarship in the late 19th century was done. The string quartets are even harder to top. I'd say that Brahms' and Mahler's symphonies are good successors to Beethoven's, in a way, but the piano sonatas and quartets are still lonely and childless fathers up there.
     


  11. musicguy

    musicguy Senior member

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    ...

    Well said, although I'm not familiar with Medtner. Beethoven's piano sonatas are pretty much unparalleled. By Beethoven's adherence and transcendence of the sonata form he lead the way to so much great music. The more I develop and mature as a musician, the more I grow in respect and love for Beethoven's compositions.
     


  12. Cravate_Noire

    Cravate_Noire Senior member

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    hitler is like woost3r or ludwig (like mariano and sruff) but without music and ahte ansd addn and withedosut lobster on clean pates aple plteas plates
     


  13. wmmk

    wmmk Senior member

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    The bass excerpt from the 9th is really difficult.
     


  14. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    There is no opus cutoff because opus numbers only tell you the order of publication, not the order of composition. Also, several of B's high opus number works are just reworkings of earlier works or arrangements of folk songs. The list I made in my initial post cites the accepted "late" works. Some dispute whether the two cello sonatas and the 101 really belong. I say the 101 definitely belongs, and the cello sonatas may as well. The true character of the late works comes through in the piano sonatas 106, 109, 110 and 111 -- especially in 106 and 111, which are the two greatest. And also in the Diaballi Variations, the Missa Solemnis, and the 9th symphony (movements 1-3, and especially #3). But the truly true late works are the last quartets, and in particular the "super cluster" of 130 (in its original form, with the Great Fugue as the last movement), 131, and 132. 131 is the awesomest of them all, of all music, in fact.
    Speaking of Op. 111 (Piano Sonata No. 32), the third variation of the second movement is such utter genius since Beethoven helps to invent and / or lay the ground work for jazz / blues. I mean talk about forward thinking, he somehow leapt 200 years into the future.
     


  15. Naturlaut II

    Naturlaut II Senior member

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    Well said, although I'm not familiar with Medtner. Beethoven's piano sonatas are pretty much unparalleled. By Beethoven's adherence and transcendence of the sonata form he lead the way to so much great music. The more I develop and mature as a musician, the more I grow in respect and love for Beethoven's compositions.

    Same here, except that I realized I have listened to early and middle Beethoven much less than I used to. Unless I am teaching it, I almost never listened to any of the sonatas/quartets from the first period. This kind of spiritual development and maturity is something hardly found in other composers.
     


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