Ludwig van Beethoven - Wikipedia
Billed as a benefit for wounded Austrian and Bavarian soldiers and fueled in significant part by the celebratory mood now that Napoleons seemingly unstoppable conquest of Europe (and its threat of French hegemony) at last had run aground, the premiere was a gala affair, with many of Viennas celebrity musicians, including Hummel, Spohr, Salieri, Meyerbeer and Moscheles, recruited to play the percussion. Thayer, though, claimed that they viewed it as a gigantic professional frolic and a stupendous musical joke. Beethoven conducted but, according to Affelder, with difficulty as he could only hear the loudest passages; Spohr called his leadership uncertain and often ridiculous.
Berlioz: Essay on Beethoven's symphonies
The power, concentration and white-hot compression of Beethoven's music is staggering. The creates its tumultuous organic chemistry of interrelationships from the atomic particles of the notes it started with; in different guises, the four-note rhythmic idea permeates the rest of the symphony as well; then comes the elaborate variations of the , and its teeming effulgence of string writing that is a lyrical, long-breathed structural counterpoint to the first movement's explosive fragments. is one of Beethoven's most obvious borrowings from Mozart: he quotes and subtly transforms the opening of the finale of to create his own theme; and out of this world of shadows the horns blare out another version of the 3+1 rhythmic idea, this time reduced to a single pitch. The transition from the is one of the dramatic masterstrokes of orchestral music. From an entropic mist of desolate memories of the scherzo's opening theme, underscored by the timpani's ominous heartbeat, the violins' arpeggios climb until they reach a tremolo, a crescendo and a blaze of unadulterated C major glory - and the , with its trombones, piccolo, and contrabassoon, all held in reserve by Beethoven until this climactic movement.
And so, it begins. sounds its hammer blows of fate; or perhaps those four notes are a transcription of the song of a ; or a symbol of war-time victory; or a transformation of a Cherubini . Those first notes of Beethoven's symphony have been heard, interpreted, and explained as all those things and more. It's the single most famous symphonic trajectory of expressive minor-key darkness to coruscating major-key light.
Essay on Mozart and Beethoven - 2563 Words | Bartleby
Musical form acts as Beethoven’s third contribution to the musical changes realized within the transition phase. Dissimilarities in Beethoven’s musical form from that applied within the classical era stemmed from the intricacy deficient within the latter period. Additionally, classical musical pieces were shorter as opposed those within the romantic period. Beethoven offered the most comprehensive design of the sonata noted by the length element and grand aspects, with the first creations evidencing epic messages and the latter scholarly elements. Beethoven also altered motifs format within the sonata by the application of short notes with subsequent long ones in the ration of three to one respectively (Cunningham and John 433). The fifth symphony aligns to this pattern as noted within the introduction section of the sonata. Unlike the preceding advancement elements, a mixed response was noted in this contribution with some romantic composers aligning to the preceding classical forms in terms of short musical creations.
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It is not far fetched to believe that the composer held a degree of self-identification with Napoleon. The French ruler was barely a year older than he was. Both came from less than aristocratic backgrounds; Napoleon¹s family too had to establish their not too provable aristocratic pedigree to facilitate their son's admittance to a royal school for sons of the nobility. Both men hailed from provincial areas and had to go to capital cities to achieve success. Both men were short; Schindler states that Beethoven stood at five foot four, while most authorities put the "Little Corporal" at five foot two or three.
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Because Beethoven was such a contradictory man, it is hard to assess his attitudes toward Napoleon. Most likely, judging by the evidence about his convictions about a variety of topics, his opinions about the French ruler were far from clear-cut. Beethoven's letters paint a portrait of a changeable individual who switched moods with lightning speed. Thus, for example, we find him damning a music publisher as a "rascal" then in succeeding letters cheerfully doing business with that same publisher. J. S. Shedlock notes that Beethoven's words "only express the state of his feelings at certain times." Most likely, judging by the volatile moods exhibited in his letters, the episode described by Ries was just one more "momentary explosion of anger."