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Romantic Musical Features and Ludwig van Beethoven January 14, 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Romantic Musical Features and Ludwig van Beethoven January 14, 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Romantic Musical Features and Ludwig van Beethoven January 14, 2004

2 “Romantic” Music Features  Preference for the original and extremes of expressiveness  Enlarged performing forces  Melody: singable  Harmony: chromatic and use of dissonance  Rhythm: less predictable, variable tempos  Emotions: links to dreams, passions, meditations on life/death, human destiny, god and nature, pride in one’s country, desire for freedom, ultimate triumph of good over evil  Rise of the soloist - composers as performers

3 Ludwig von Beethoven (1770-1827)  First teacher was his father – very supportive  At 17 he performed for Mozart  Recognized as a composer/pianist by 22  Studied with Haydn (1792-94) and others  Recognized as most important composer of 19 th C  Witnessed tremendous changes and upheavals in society and various personal issues: reflected in his music  Considered a pioneer for his relationship with patrons

4 Beethoven’s Music - Overview  Built on and transformed Classical conventions  Varied output: e.g. 9 symphonies, 5 piano concertos, 16 string quartets, 2 piano sonatas, one opera  Opus numbers= overall chronology of his output  Composed less music than predecessors, but is much larger in scope; took him longer to write  His ‘personality’ – considered moody, unsociable: likely due to his increasing deafness

5 Beethoven’s Deafness and Music  1796 – began to lose his hearing  1802 – Heiligenstadt Testament  1820 – almost completely deaf  A great deal is known about Beethoven –His music was in greater circulation during his lifetime –His letters had been saved and published –Musical sketchbook and his conversation books that he used when deaf remain

6 Beethoven’s Three Periods  Based on style/chronology: approximate dates –First Period: to 1802  Assimilation and search for voice –Second Period: 1802-1815  Experimentation, independence –Third Period: 1815-death  Introspective and reflective, experimentation

7 Beethoven’s First Period  Assimilation of current musical language  Patronage: well supported but independent  Influenced by Haydn, yet also own style: –Character of musical themes –Unexpected turns of phrase –Unconventional modulation  First period music: conventional in structure, original in musical detail  Music of this period is “evolutionary, not revolutionary”  E.g. Sonate pathétique, op. 13 (1797-98), third movement

8 Beethoven’s Second Period  Recognized as the foremost composer/pianist in Vienna, and as a symphonist on par with Mozart and Haydn  Innovations recognized, sometimes dismissed  Moral and financial support in Vienna, yet freedom  Musically: independence, experimentation, progressive –Emotional intensity, sense of importance –Adherence to structural conventions, with experimentation –Development of musical ideas important during this period  Composed 3 rd -8 th symphonies, piano concertos, opera  E.g.: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major (Eroica, first movement) (1803)

9 Beethoven’s Third Period  Introspective and reflective  Celebrated, financially secure, but deafness is an increasing issue causing further isolation/sadness –By 1816: resigned to deafness and soundlessness of his life  Late stylistic features: –Experimented with new sonorities and effects –Profound and complex –Continued experimentation with forms (e.g. # of movements) –Music characterized by motivic variation –Greater use of contrapuntal writing  e.g. String Quartet in C-sharp minor, No. 14, op. 131, (1826, 1 st and 2 nd movements)

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