Ludwig Van Beethoven1770-1827Born in BonnDied in Vienna
Ludwig Van BeethovenThird member of the greatViennese mastersThe great transitional composerBy the time he was 35 years old hewas the most important composerin the world
LIFE-TIME-LINES BEETHOVEN 1770-1827 MOZART 1756-1789HAYDN 1732-1809 1770 1820
ChildhoodFather and Grandfather were musicians.Father was Ludwig’s first music teacher.His father was an alcoholicSupported his family as a childShowed an interest in composing veryearly
“Louis van Beethoven… a boy of 11 years and a most promising talent. He plays the clavier very skillfully and with power, reads at sight very well… This youthful genius is deserving of help to enable him to travel. He would surely become a second Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were he to continue as he has begun.” – Christian Gottlob Neefe
Young adulthoodBeethoven went to Vienna, Austria tolearn more about composing when hewas 17. He played for MozartHe had to return home when his motherdied, and help raise his brothers.
Return to ViennaWhen Beethoven was 22 (1792), hemoved to Austria and never returned toGermany.He studied with Haydn
Ludwig Van BeethovenTrue, it’s “van,” not the aristocratic “von,” but ifsomeone mistakenly thinks I’m a “von” of royalblood I certainly won’t correct him.
Beethoven and PatronagePatronage is gone. Besides,Beethoven considered himself equalto, not the servant of, any noble!made his living by: selling compositions to publishers concertizing as a pianist1st musician to make a living almostexclusively through composition
His temperamentBeethoven was noteasy to be around. He criticized otherHe had a temper, and musicians when theyhe was very didn’t perform hisdemanding. pieces the way heHe would get lost in wanted them tohis own thoughts and sound.would get impatient His whole life waswith others when they very ‘stormy’ …didn’t do what he there were many sadthought they should and discouragingdo.
Beethoven’s Contract“But as it has been demonstrated that only onewhen he is free from care as possible can devotehimself to a single department of activity andcreate works of magnitude which are exalted andwhich ennoble art, the undersigned have decidedto place Herr Ludwig van Beethoven in aposition where the necessities of life shall notcause him embarrassment or clog his powerfulgenius.”
Beethoven’s ContractHis Imperial Highness, Archduke Rudolph1500 florinsThe Highborn Prince Lobkowitz700 florinsThe Highborn Prince Ferdinand Kinsky1800 FlorinsTotal…. 4000 florins (150,000 USD)
Beethoven’s ContractAll Beethoven had to do was to declareVienna his home.”It is good to walk among the aristocracy,but first you must MAKE them respectyou.”
Beethoven, the pianistthe most virtuosic in Europe dazzling technique and power genius improvisera composer much music for pianopiano is being developed cast iron frame (stronger, more powerful instrument) larger range (Beethoven wrote notes that were not on current pianos, then told manufacturers to build new instruments)
Losing his hearingBeethoven began Beethoven triedhearing buzzing in many hearinghis ears. devices, but none ofAt first he tried to them worked.hide his loss of He could watchhearing from his people’s lips tofriends. understand whatHe continued to write they were saying, ormusic when he was have them write in adeaf. notebook.
Beethoven’s DeafnessManifests itself as early as 1796By 1820 he could barely hearHeiligenstadt TestamentLetter Beethoven writes in 1802Describes his illness and his melancholy
Ca. 1799, Beethoven learned hisincreasing deafness was irreversible. Deepin despair, he remained in Heiligenstadtthe summer and fall of 1802contemplating suicide.
Beethoven’s Deafness“Though born with a fiery, active temperament I was soon to withdraw from society, to live a life alone. If at times I tried to forget all this, oh how harshly was I flung back by the doubly sad experience of my bad hearing. Yet it wasn’t possible for me to say to people, “Speak Louder, shout for I am deaf! Ah, how could I possibly admit to an infirmity in the one sense that ought to be more perfect in me than in others, a sense that I once possessed in the highest degree.”
“How humiliated I have felt if somebodystanding beside me heard the sound of aflute in the distance and I heard nothing...Itis impossible for me to say to people, ‘Speaklouder, for I am deaf.’ How would it bepossible for me to admit to a weakness of theone sense that should be perfect to a higherdegree in me than in theirs. So forgive me ifyou see me draw back from your companywhich I would so gladly share. I would haveended my life. It was only my art that heldme back for it seemed impossible to leave theworld until I have brought forth all that iswithin me.” — Beethoven
Medical methods back then...Doctors poured warm milk and crushednuts in Beethoven’s ears, telling him thatthis would help restore his hearing!Doctors rubbed Beethoven’s arms withan ointment until they blistered, thenpunctured and drained the blisters…telling him that this would help restorehis hearing!
Beethovenian PathosMan at some unexpected time in his life will sink to the depths of his existence, into the depths of chaos. It is only HE that can make the decision to turn the chaos into a triumphant victory. Rising out of the depths of human chaos is humanity’s primary task for survival.
Beethovenian PathosShows up in music. Sense of despair. Sense of acceptance Sense of reconciliation Sense of victory over despair.
“I am resolved to rise superior toevery obstacle. With whom need I beafraid of measuring my own strength? I will take Fate by the throat. It shallnot overcome me. O how beautiful itis to be alive—would that I could livea thousand times.” -Beethoven
Beethoven’s deathBeethoven died in Vienna, Austria in1827.Thousands of people lined the streetsduring his funeral procession to paytribute.
Beethoven, the composerWrote many works for pianoWrote music that required improvement of the pianoFor years, his compositions drew mixed reactionsCritics and journalists hassled him Intellect, Intellect, Intellect. Why must Herr Beethoven write such difficult and complex music? It sounds like cats fighting! Cannot he write a decent singable melody?
“I carry my thoughts within me long,often very long before I write themdown. As I know what I want, thefundamental idea never deserts me.It mounts, it grows in stature. I hear,I see the picture in its whole extentstanding all of a piece before myspirit, and there remains for me onlythe task of writing it down.” -Beethoven
Some of his Works32 Piano Sonatas Moonlight Sonata Sonata PathetiqueFur EliseFidelio (his only opera)9 Symphonies Choral Symphony …#9 (Ode to Joy) Beethoven’s Fifth …#5 Pastorale …..#6
Beethoven SymphoniesSupreme architect Tied all movements into a theme5th Fate versus hope
Symphony #5 C minor op. 67.Archetypical Sonata Allegro Form.Three note motive.Shows up throughout the wholesymphony.What is this piece about?
Beethoven Piano Sonata in C minor. PathetiqueBeethovenian Pathos in each movementDramatic quality, sudden dynamicchangesAdagio section that is hymn-like2nd and 3rd movements are in Rondo form
Beethovenian PathosMvt.1 Slow introTempo rubatoSense of sadness and then anger/desperation as the music moves to thefast section.
Beethovenian PathosMvt. 2. Slow and hymnl-ikeSense of calm acceptanceFamiliar theme
Beethovenian PathosMvt. 3.Rising out of chaos.Sounds of triumph.
Ludwig van Beethovencomposed by evolving and revising musical ideas andcompositions kept notebooks of themes and ideas B’s manuscripts, unlike Mozart’s, are a MESS--a sea of cross-outs, arrows, re-writes, etc.Much of B’s music was composed in deafness (total byage 29!) He could only hear the music in his head.works are larger, longer, more complexTRANSITION composer: B’s last two composition periods and styles clearly point the way to the coming Romanticism.composed for himself and future, NOT for publishers ormiddle class marketFor Beethoven music is much more important to humanexistence than mere entertainment!
1. Early years a. Beethoven born in Bonn b. Studied under Christian Gottlob Neefe (1748-98) 1. Court organist at Bonn 2. Wrote Singspiels and songs c. 1787: Brief visit to Vienna, may have played for Mozart d. 1790: Haydn hears Beethovens music and urges the archbishop of Cologne to send him to Vienna
2. Vienna a. Beethoven moves to Vienna in November of 1792 b. Studies with a number of composers 1. 1792-94: studied with Haydn 2. 1794: Johann Schenk (1753-1836): composer of Singspiels 3. 1794: Johann Georg Albrechtsberger: teaches Beethoven counterpoint 4. Antonio Salieri (1750-1825): teaches vocal composition
3. Compositional overview a. 9 symphonies b. 11 overtures c. Incidental music to plays d. 1 violin concerto e. 5 piano concertos f. 16 string quartets g. 9 piano trios h. 10 vioin sonatas i. 5 cello sonatas j. 30 large piano sonatas k. Numerous piano variations l. 1 oratorio m. 1 opera n. 2 Masses (including the Missa Solemnis in D) o. Arias, songs and 1 song cycle
His Musical Style: Three Periods1. Classical Elements: Musical style learnedat the hands of Mozart and Haydn.Use of sonata allegro form. Perfectarchitecture in his music.Balanced melodies.Diatonic Harmony
5. The "Three Periods" and Beethoven Historiography a. It is customary to divide Beethovens works into three periods on the basis of style and chronology b. "Bonn" period is usually not taken into account
5. The "Three Periods" and Beethoven Historiography (cont.) c. Periodic breakdown 1. Early Period in Vienna (1792-1802 ) Six String Quartets, Op.18/1-6 The first 10 piano sonatas (through Op.14) Symphonies 1 & 2
5. The "Three Periods" and Beethoven Historiography (cont.) (cont C. Periodic breakdown 2. Middle Period: Beethovens "Heroic" period (1803-1816) Symphonies 3-8 - Egmont Coriolan overture - Fidelio Piano concertos in G and Eb - Violin concerto Piano sonatas through Op.90 String quartets:Op.59/1-3 ("Rasumovsky"), Op.74 ("Harp"), Op.95 ("Quartetto serioso")
5. The "Three Periods" and Beethoven Historiography (cont.) c. Periodic breakdown 3. Late Period: Reflective and introspective style ( 1817-1827) Last 5 piano sonatas Diabelli Variations Missa solemnis
Characteristic texture 1. Frequent use of octaves 2. Thick piano writing
Contemporaries that may have influenced Beethoven 1. Muzio Clementi (1752-1832) 2. Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812) 3. Dusseks Grande Sonate, Op.44 "Les adieux" (Eb) publ.1800 may have influenced Beethovens Op.81a "Les adieux" of 1810
Second PeriodExpanded works. Form, melody, dynamics Explosive accents. Longer Movements in Symphonies Hymn-like calmness in his slower movements.
A. BackgroundB. Symphony no.3 (Eb) "Eroica"C. FidelioD. Piano SonatasE. Piano Concertos
A. Background 1. By 1803 Beethoven was recognized as the foremost pianis and composer for piano 2. Patronage: differed from that of Mozart and Haydn, Beethoven was extremely independent, and drove a hard bargain both with publishers and patrons
B. Symphony no.3 (Eb) "Eroica”: Composed in 1803 1. Originally dedicated to Napoleon but Beethoven tears up dedication when Napoleon declares himself Emperor in 1804. 1806 dedication "Heroic Symphony... to celebrate the memory of a great man" 2. Significance a. Expansive movements and extraordinary length b. 2nd movt is a funeral march (C minor) c. 4th movt is a set of variations (w/fugato episodes)
C. Fidelio Compositional history a. Most problematic compostion as it was revised numrous times b. Composed initially in 1803, First perf. in Vienna in 1805 c. 1805-1806 - Originally has 3 acts but revises and shortens to 2 acts - March 1806 perf. of this version is immediately withdrawn d. 1814 version: The 1st successful production (extensive revision)
D. Piano Sonatas 1. Op.27/1-2: From ca.1802 known as the "Moonlight" Sonata Each designated as "quasi una fantasia" 2. Op.53 (C) "Waldstein Sonata" and Op.57 (f) "Appassionata" Exemplary piano works of the middle period Each is in three movt scheme (fast-slow-fast) Formal schemes of the sonata, rondo and variation are stretched to the limits
E. Piano Concertos 1. Composed concertos for his own concert appearances 2. Piano concertos nos.1-3 (C,Bb,c) All date from early years in Vienna Concertos influenced by Mozart 3. Violin Concerto, D maj. Op.61 (1806)
A. Background 1. 1810-1815 as a prosperous period for Beethoven 2. Health deteriorating, deafness worsening 3. Compositional output in the final years a. 1816-1821: last 5 piano sonatas b. 1822: Missa Solemnis c. 1823: Diabelli Variations d. 1824: Symphony no.9 e. 1825-26: String Quartets
B. Characteristics of the late style -- Meditative quality a. Manifest in the extensive development of themes b. Late use of variation forms --> thematic development lengthier passages subjected to dev. rather than short bar-long motives c. Variation techniques used by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven
B. Characteristics of the late style (Cont.)Meditative quality (Cont.) e. Fugato and use of contrapuntal textures 1. Fugal movements a. Finales of Op.106 and 110 Piano Sonatas b. Grosse Fuge c. Gloria and Credo of the Mass in D d. 2 double fugues in the finale of the 9th Symphony f. Use of nontraditional movement plans 1. Op.111 Piano Sonata: 2 movt 2. Op.131 String Quartet (C#min): 7 sections (movt)
C. Mass in D 1. Beethoven regarded the Mass as his greatest work 2. Mass as a single musical unity, a symphony in 5 movt D. Ninth Symphony 1. Premiered on May 7, 1824 2. Significant features a. Choral finale 1. Setting of Schillers "Ode to Joy" 2. Beethoven selects stanzas about universal brotherhood of man b. Double fugue in the finale
Final periodChromatic harmonies.Easier to produce for Beethoven due tothe fact that the hands did not have tomove so far on the piano.Music? “Not for you.. For a later time.
Beethoven is Power, the strangler of fate, whobowed neither to any man or to lesser gods.With men who do not believe in me I cannot andwill not associate. - BeethovenHis music reflects “the complete emancipation ofhuman emotion and mind.”No composer was more committed to the struggle ofmankind. Bach wrote for the Glory of God, Mozartbecause genius must out, (and because he had toeat), Beethoven to impose his will on the world. - All quotes from Goulding text
Symphony No. 5, 1st Movement Coda Symphony No. 9, Ode to JoyJacques-Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps, 1800
Beethoven did not succumb to this, the gravest of a musician’s ills. Instead hecomposed the heroic and remarkably optimistic Third Symphony. It is today one of the best loved orchestral works ever written.
Ferdinand Ries recalls the piano contest with Stiebelt :Stiebelt again played a quintet with much success and inaddition (and this was quite evident) had prepared a brilliantimprovisation, choosing as the theme the subject of thevariations of Beethovens trio (Op.11). This outraged not onlyBeethovens supporters but also the composer himself. Henow had to seat himself at the piano in order to improvise. Hewent in his usual, I must say ungracious, manner to theinstrument as if half lunging towards it, grabbing as hepassed, the cello part of Stiebelts quintet, placed it(intentionally?) upside down on the music stand and from theopening notes drummed out a theme with one finger.Offended and stimulated at the same time, he improvised insuch a manner that Stiebelt left the room before Beethovenhad finished. He refused ever to meet him again; in fact hemade it a condition that Beethoven should not be invitedanywhere where his company was requested.
Ferdinand Ries describes the concert of 22 Dec 1808 :Beethoven gave a large concert in the Theater an der Wien atwhich were performed for the first time the 5th and 6thSymphonies as well as his Fantasia for Piano/orchestra andchorus. In this last work, at the place where the last themealready appears in a varied form, the clarinet player made, bymistake, a repeat of 8 bars. Since only a few instrumentswere playing, this error was all the more evident to the ear.Beethoven leapt up in a fury, turned round and abused theorchestra players in the coarsest terms and so loudly that hecould be heard throughout the auditorium. Finally he shouted"From the beginning!” The concert was a great success, butafterwards the artists remembering only too well thehonourable title which Beethoven had bestowed on them inpublic swore never to play for Beethoven again - this went onuntil Beethoven composed something new and their curiositygot the better of them.
Ludwig Reelstab on Beethovens deafness :Beethoven: “This is a beautiful piano! I got it as a giftfrom London. Look at the name!" He pointed with hisfinger to the strip of wood above the keyboard.” It is awonderful present,” said Beethoven looking at me "andit has a beautiful tone," he continued turning towardsthe piano without taking his eyes off me. He struck achord softly. Never will another chord pierce me to thequick with such sadness and heartbreak. He has playedC major in the right hand and B natural in the bass; helooked at me steadily and repeated the false chordseveral times to let the mild tone of the instrumentsound, and the greatest musician on earth could nothear the dissonance!
LOGBeethovenSymphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67SymphonyI = Standard symphony format IMP Romantic characteristics cyclicism
It looks like aclassicalsymphony, butmark this well:Underneaththat polite,perhapspredictable,exterior ragesanoverwhelmingstorm ofromanticism.
Music JournalismCA 1790 Music Journalism exploded on the European scene.Middle class people wanted to read essays, analyses, and criticismsabout new compositions, performers, instruments, concert halls,etc. (ANYTHING MUSIC!) They bought music newspapers,journals, and magazines by the millions. While these music ragsloved and praised Beethoven’s pianistic virtuosity (until deafnesscurtailed his playing), they mercilessly and audaciouslycondemned most of his compositions! “Intellect, intellect,intellect!” Herr Beethoven’s music is too complex. It isn’t musicalentertainment; it’s intellectual “mind games.” Once againBeethoven wrote something that no one wants to hear. Theseinvectives and journalistic fulminations bothered Beethoven agreat deal. However, he is known to have replied to at least oneupstart reporter, “Of course you don’t understand it (implying theinterviewer had neither the intelligence nor world view). I wrotethe piece for future generations. They will understand andappreciate it.” He was correct.
Symphony No. 5, Mvt. 1 Kamien, p. 193, CD #2Exposition Development Recapitulation Coda1. 2. 3. 4.T1 B T2 CT T1 B T2 Ct LONG! •••— What? New •••— What What ideas motive How? change instruments? What from instruments? Expos? Sonata form
Symphony No. 5, Mvt. 1 Kamien,Exposition Development Recapitulation LONG!T1 B T2 CT T1 B T2 Ct •••— What? New •••— What What ideas motive How? change instruments? What from instruments? Expos? Sonata form
Symphony No. 5, Mvt. 1D e v e l o p m e n t1.a. 1.b. 2.a. 2.b.c.d. 2.e.•••— motive Based on Th 2 Reminder of Th 1 Horn call 2 notes of w/ new horn call! answer 1 note of horn call!! Theme 2 reminder
Symphony No. 5, Mvt. 1 Click for guided listening to the entire development.
Symphony No. 5, Mvt. 1D e v e l o p m e n tBased on Th 1 Based on Th 2 Reminder of Th 1Th 1 New Horn call 2 notesmelody melody, w/ new of horn&R motive R answer call! 1 note of horn•••— call!! Remindermotive is of Th 2 Back toubiquitous! 1 note
Symphony No. 5, Mvt. 1 Click for guided listening to the recapitulation and coda.
Symphony No. 5, Mvt. 1R e c a p i t u l a t i o n 4.a.b.Theme 1 Bridge Theme 2 Closing ThImportant Subduedaddition horns +Yes! It was an Bassoons!oboe. Now it •••— incontinues w/ a accompa-short cadenza. niment •••— motive is ubiquitous!
Symphony No. 5, Mvt. 1C o d a Long! based mostly on •••— motive some new ideas introduced
Symphony No. 5, Mvt. 1Exposition Development Recapitulation CodaT1 B T2 CT T1 B T2 Ct What? •••— •••— •••— •••— motive motive motive motive This movement is UNIFIED like no earlier piece had ever been! Listen to entire piece
Symphony No. 5, Mvt. 2I = contrasting key “time out,” lyrical double theme & variations (Why not a rondo?)A B A’ B’ A” (?) A’’’ Coda Ths A&B Mood? Instruments?
Symphony No. 5, Mvt. 3I = scherzo (“joke”) minuet & trio form & triple meter BUT character is rough and rollicking, not genteel A B A’ energy level? •••— Perceived tempo? motive R Texture? Dynamic? Virtuoso double bass
Symphony No. 5 Bridge between mvts. 3 & 4Listen for: timpani: •••— motive R repeated patterns--high strings ambiguous mode (How will this symphony end?) C minor? (turmoil, struggle, failure) C major? (victory, triumph, overcoming) Crescendo at end leads to Mvt 4
Symphony No. 5, Mvt. 4Exposition Development Recapitulation CodaT1 B T2 CT T1 B T2 Ct VERY What? LONG! •••— Earlier motive R! How? themes •••— reviewedC Major! motive R includingTriumphant mood a la mvt 3 •••—
Symphony No. 5 Mvt 1: •••— motive used in every part of sonata form Cyclicism: •••— motive used in Mvts 1, 3, 3-4 bridge, 4. (It is even obscurely used in mvt 2!!!) Mvts 3 & 4 tied together by ambiguous bridge
Symphony No. 5 Romantic Notions:1. Postponement of gratification, “emotional progression” Mvt. 1 Mvt. 2 Mvt. 3 Mvt. 4 C minor C Major2. Conflict & struggle idea of C minor3. Symphony is more highly unified than earlier ones4. Symphony deals with emotion, passion
LOGBeethovenString Quartet in C Minor, Op. 18, No. 4, Mvt. 4 String quartet = ??String Quartet movementI = rondo What is the meaning of Op. (opus)?
Beethoven String Quartet in C Minor, Rondo Form Op. 18, No. 4, Mvt. 4A B A C A B A Coda devaababa ccdcdc aa’bab’a’ eeffUnity: ?Contrast: ?
Beethoven String Quartet in C Minor, Rondo Form Op. 18, No. 4, Mvt. 4A B A C A B AaababaUnity: ?Contrast: ?
Beethoven String Quartet in C Minor, Rondo Form Op. 18, No. 4, Mvt. 4Aa a b a b a Q A Q A Q A Q A u n u n u n u n e s e s e s e s s w s w s w s w t e t e t e t e i r i r i r i r o o o o n n n nOpening ClosingPhrase; Phrase;Incomplete Completecadence cadence
Beethoven String Quartet in C Minor, Rondo Form Op. 18, No. 4, Mvt. 4A B A C A B A Coda devaababa ccdcdc aa’bab’a’ eeffRhythm ? ? ?Major ? ? ? How doesMinor ? ? ? Beethoven treat theStyle ? ? ? upward scales?Energy ? ? ?Unity: ? Click the record, listen, track theContrast: ? form, describe points of contrast between the A, B, and C sections.
Beethoven Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61. Third Movement: Written in 1806 From his first and second period of compositional period. Development of a five note motive.