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Unit XII The Classical Symphony. Chapter 36 Beethoven and the Symphony in Transition. Ludwig van Beethoven. 1770-1827 Bridged the Classic and Romantic eras single-handedly and established for all time the place of the independent artist Was championed by powerful Viennese patrons.

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unit xii the classical symphony

Unit XIIThe Classical Symphony

Chapter 36

Beethoven and the Symphony in Transition

ludwig van beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven
  • 1770-1827
  • Bridged the Classic and Romantic eras single-handedly and established for all time the place of the independent artist
  • Was championed by powerful Viennese patrons
three periods imitation
Three Periods - Imitation
  • Reflected the classical elements he inherited form Haydn and Mozart
three periods experimentation
Three Periods - Experimentation
  • More closely aligned with the characteristics of the nineteenth century
  • strong dynamic contrasts
  • explosive accents
three periods experimentation1
Three Periods - Experimentation
  • longer movements
    • First movement -- expanded dimensions, especially of the coda and development, which he made dynamic center of the form.
    • Second movement -- hymnic character
    • Third movement -- substituted the rhymically vital scherzo for the minuet
    • Fourth movement -- enlarged to comparable size and scope with the first movement
three periods introspection
Three Periods - Introspection
  • Rigidly pared away all nonessential elements from his compositional techniques.
  • More chromatic harmonies
music
Music
  • 32 Sonatas - spanning his career.
  • 9 symphonies which take on the stature of spiritual dramas. No composer since can compose a symphony not indebted to Beethovens’.
  • 5 piano concertos including the 5th in E flat, the Emperor.
  • Many influential string quartets
music1
Music
  • In vocal music, Beethoven:
    • Establishes the song cycle in An die ferne Geliebte
    • Leaves one masterpiece rescue opera (very political), Fidelio; first called Leonora
    • Two great masses
    • An oratorio, Christ on the Mount of Olives
    • The Ninth Symphony, which breaks the predetermined symphonic mold forever.
fifth symphony in c minor op 67

Fifth Symphony in C minor, Op. 67

Bound by the motive "Fate knocks at the door“

Listening Guide 21, pp. 202-205 (CD 2/4-28)

first movement allegro con brio
First Movement Allegro con brio
  • Opening 4 note motive not only creates the materials for the first theme group, but serves as a rhythmic motive unifying the whole symphony
  • Note extremely short bridge based on theme 1
  • Even Theme 2 is accompanied by the rhythmic motive which pervades this movement
first movement allegro con brio1
First Movement -- Allegro con brio
  • Powerful dynamic changes and abrupt contrasts are characteristic of Beethoven's style
  • Note solo oboe in Recapitulation between Theme 1 and 2! Furthermore, the second theme continues in C major to the end!
second movement andante con moto in a flat major
SecondMovement -- Andante con moto in A flat major
  • Theme and variations.
  • All procedures of variation used:
    • melodic outline
    • harmony
    • rhythm
    • tempo
    • dynamics
    • register
    • key
    • mode
    • types of accompaniment
second movement andante con moto in a flat major1
SecondMovement -- Andante con moto in A flat major
  • Two related themes used, the second employing the Fate motive.
third movement scherzo in c minor
Third Movement -- Scherzo in C minor
  • Note use of rocket theme in this scherzo
  • Trio shifts to C major -- “cosmic laughter” theme
  • The scherzo on return is reorchestrated
  • The Fate motive appears in the tympani
fourth movement allegro in c major
Fourth Movement -- Allegro in C Major
  • The scherzo moves without interruption into this triumphal movement in a monumental sonata form.
  • Exposition

Theme I Bridge Theme II Codetta

C Major----------------- G Major------

fourth movement allegro in c major1
Fourth Movement -- Allegro in C Major
  • Note transformed Fate theme in the Second Theme group
  • Note literal return of the scherzo in this movement and insistence of the Fate motive which returns; both of these give symphony a cyclicalform