Beethoven's works bicentenial - good timeline?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Dennis Nicholls, Nov 20, 2003.

  1. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Well lovely lovely Ludwig Van wrote many masterpieces starting in the early 1800s, so the bicentenial of many of these works is fast approaching.

    The problem is: what should we use for a date? Timelines such as www.raptusassociation.org/beets_works.htm list rough date of composition, followed by date of first performance plus date of formal publication.

    What do you guys think we should use as a bicentenial date for these works? I for one would like to throw a party for each of the major works. It doesn't get any better than this. [​IMG]
     
  2. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Though publication date is chronologically off in a few places, publication symbolizes when a work truly is finished.



    Yeah, it does. Their names are Bach, Mozart and Mahler.
     
  3. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I'll just disregard Seth's comments [​IMG]

    Picking a date is very tough for Beethoven on many works, especially since he had a penchant for finishing a work, having it performed, and then tinkering with it some more. Case in point: the famous Fuer Elise, WoO 59, written about 1810 or so. This is the version that's familiar and played by piano students everywhere. But he also took it up again and revised it substantially in 1822, apparently with an eye to publication. See:
    http://www.unheardbeethoven.org/sear...e=frel1822.mid

    In other cases, he composed things in his early years while still back in Bonn, but they were offered to publishers years later by his brothers--sometimes with Ludwig's approval, and sometimes not. As much as 20 years could separate composition and publication, such as with op. 87, the trio for oboes and English horn.

    Other things can be exactly pinpointed, such as the Choral Fantasy op. 80, which was still being composed on the morning of the first performance! If you're interested, email me and I'll forward my detailed chronological listing with the best information I've been able to derive regarding dating based on completion of works. It's lengthy, but substantially complete.

    Important works coming up for their bicentennials in 1804 include:

    Sonata op. 53 (Waldstein)
    Sonata op. 54
    Symphony nr. 3 op. 55 (Eroica)
    Triple Concerto op. 56
    Sonata op. 57 (Appassionata)
     
  4. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Mark: you misspelled "erotica"....[​IMG]

    Bach was a great composer. Mahler was a near-great composer. But dunkel ist das Leben, ist der Tod : Mozart was some kid who wrote tinkley music that somehow became popular. Sort of a later version of Telemann....
    [​IMG]
    I cannot see anyone ever writing a book called "Mozart's Spiritual Development".
    [​IMG]
    When Mozart was my age, he was already dead 15 years. :b
     
  5. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    dare I say it?...

    oh, what the heck!

    CLASSICAL THREAD PHARTS [​IMG]
     
  6. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Mark,

    Most of his works were published within a few years of their premier and like I said, only in a few places does going by the opus number put works out of chronological order. You're looking at extreme cases.



    To quote Schnabel: "Mozart, too easy for beginners, too difficult for masters."

    I would hardly call Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte, the C minor mass, the Requiem, the late piano concertos, the late symphonies, the clarinet concerto, the Haydn string quartets, and the Gran Partita "tinkley" [sic] music.

    If you want to talk about spirituality, Mahler has everyone beat.
     
  7. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Beethoven compositions significantly out of chronological order (i.e., more than a couple years) going by opus nos:

    19
    39
    44
    46
    49
    50
    51
    52
    64
    65
    66
    71
    81b
    85
    87
    88
    103
    112
    113
    115
    116
    117
    118
    121a
    128
    129
    136
    137
    138

    By my count, that's over 20% of the opus-numbered works, which I'd consider a significant proportion. Then you have 200+ works listed in Kinsky-Halm that aren't chronologically catalogued at all and 335 in the Hess catalog, same thing (though there's some overlap there). So it depends what you're counting as 'works.' Only about a third of Beethoven's completed compositions bear opus numbers at all, so if you limit yourself to that measure you're missing out on a lot of great material.
     
  8. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Mark,

    Not having an "opus" number isn't something to get "worked" up about....

    At least we have the Waldstein, Appassionata, and Eroica coming up next year. I have a favorite Waldstein (the Vox recording of Alfred Brendel) and a favorite Appassionata (the old Victrola disk of Sviatislav Richter) but don't have a current favorite of the Eroica. I wonder what's coming up soon on SACD? The Von Karajan 1963 set? Perhaps the George Szell current release?
     
  9. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Mark,

    Most of the pieces on that list (and the WoO) are minor works ranging from incidental keyboard works, songs, little known choral and chamber works and arrangements. Pretty much all of his major works (piano, concerto, chamber, symphony and string quartet) were published shortly after their premiers and given opus numbers.
     
  10. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Well, selected major works isn't the same thing as
     
  11. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Ok, EDIT:

    Most of his major works were published within a few years of their premier.

    I doubt that Dennis Nicholls is interested in celebrating the bicentenial of something like 7 variations on "God save the King" or Song "Der Wachtelschlag" (WoO.129)
     

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