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Culture Forum

  1. 04 Mar '11 23:53 / 1 edit
    n this vignette, featuring opus 74 in E flat Beethoven is depicted in the throes of the creative process! Very aptly done!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9ahXntXXNs&feature=related

    It was said that when Beethoven caught the creative bug he'd go nuts, break stuff, fail to groom, eat, wash for days! Friends would find him disheveled, crazed, sweaty and like a madman!
  2. 07 Mar '11 00:08
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    n this vignette, featuring opus 74 in E flat Beethoven is depicted in the throes of the creative process! Very aptly done!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9ahXntXXNs&feature=related

    It was said that when Beethoven caught the creative bug he'd go nuts, break stuff, fail to groom, eat, wash for days! Friends would find him disheveled, crazed, sweaty and like a madman!
    i watched it. Did Ludwig really hire players to play his pieces, i thought all the scores were composed on piano? I suppose it makes sense though if you really want to hear the ambience of that particular instrument you are writing for rather than being content with the melody. It seems that he was concerned with great depth, with meaning and really struggled at times to express his vision, whereas Mozart, by comparison seems to have been able to create much more naturally. Is that fair thing to say?
  3. 07 Mar '11 00:50
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    i watched it. Did Ludwig really hire players to play his pieces, i thought all the scores were composed on piano? I suppose it makes sense though if you really want to hear the ambience of that particular instrument you are writing for rather than being content with the melody. It seems that he was concerned with great depth, with meaning and real ...[text shortened]... by comparison seems to have been able to create much more naturally. Is that fair thing to say?
    The players were only in Beethoven's head. He never got along with anybody well enough to tolerate players. Never composed at the piano. No great composer did except perhaps Wagner. Beethoven was pretty deaf by then. Always struggled to write. This titanic struggle would cause him to go half mad. Friends would find him disheveled, unwashed, chamber potty unclean, a mad blank stare on his face, unshaven, would not eat. Beethoven took years to write, started off with notes jotted down on scrap paper or teeny notebooks, germinated all sorts of great ideas which came to fruition only later. For example, the 9th started as a sketch in 1805, did not get published until 1824. It took six symphonies, and a choral piece with piano and orchestra before he finally knew how to bring forth the sketch as the glorious 9th, a towering work unlike anything heard before.

    Indeed Mozart, by contrast, cooked up entire works in the "noodle" then merely wrote these down. Mozart wrote his great works at a pool table while shooting pool. Never made mistakes, smudges, erasures. Whereas Beethoven's were full of scratches, erasures, mistakes, corrections. A copyist's nightmare. I thought this short film really captured the idea of Beethoven struggling to create. His first six quartets were Mozartean in spirit. From #'s 7 & 8 every single one is a breakaway from classical and firmly into modernity, each a jewel and grounbreaking in breadth and creativity. #8, Razumovsky #2, Opus 59 is incredible! I posted a guitar quartet version of it (1st movement). Incredibly, Mozart's painful works like his piano concerto#24 in C minor, contains erasures, smudges, etc. It is a dramatic work borne of internal pain.
  4. 07 Mar '11 01:16
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    The players were only in Beethoven's head. He never got along with anybody well enough to tolerate players. Never composed at the piano. No great composer did except perhaps Wagner. Beethoven was pretty deaf by then. Always struggled to write. This titanic struggle would cause him to go half mad. Friends would find him disheveled, unwashed, chamber pott ...[text shortened]... n C minor, contains erasures, smudges, etc. It is a dramatic work borne of internal pain.
    how incredibly interesting my friend, really. There is something more than a sense of the romantic with Ludwigs works. I suppose he knew what he wanted but going about getting it was something entirely different. So all his aural visions were the product of his imagination and he never sounded them out to hear what they sounded like in isolation, he simply copied them on staves and went over them in his mind? Was not Mozart treated terribly near the end of his life? i remember reading somewhere that he was.
  5. 07 Mar '11 01:50
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    how incredibly interesting my friend, really. There is something more than a sense of the romantic with Ludwigs works. I suppose he knew what he wanted but going about getting it was something entirely different. So all his aural visions were the product of his imagination and he never sounded them out to hear what they sounded like in isolation, ...[text shortened]... not Mozart treated terribly near the end of his life? i remember reading somewhere that he was.
    An interesting side note is as follows: When the 9th was premiered in 1824 at the Karnenontheater in Vienna, Bethoeven insisted on conducting. Stone deaf, he gesticulated wildly, made movements as if to play every instrument in frustration from not hearing, inevitably fell behind several measures and was still conducting when the work ended. The crowd erupted in thunderous applause. One of the female singers walked up to Beethoven and turned him around so he could see the applause he could not hear! Umlauf, the kappelmeister, knew Beethoven would fall behind and be unable to keep up. He instructed the orchestra to focus on him instead of Beethoven to avoid a disaster! I can only imagine what a delight it would have been to be at the world premiere of a history making piece! It boggles the mind that all of Beethoven's works written once stone deaf contain such dynamic range and subtlety. His quartet Opus 131 in C sharp minor is a work full of such subtlety and wonder. A true genius of the first order!

    Another neat story is one time Beethoven and Goethe were walking ina Vienna park. They bump into two members of the nobility. Goethe, all for convention, stepped aside so as to be able to remove his hat and bow. Beethoven refused and kept walking. The nobles stepped aside for Beethoven, removed their hats and bowed. Goethe asked Beethoven why he did what he did. Beethoven said: "There's many of them and only one of each of us!" He knew his genius!
  6. 07 Mar '11 14:06 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    An interesting side note is as follows: When the 9th was premiered in 1824 at the Karnenontheater in Vienna, Bethoeven insisted on conducting. Stone deaf, he gesticulated wildly, made movements as if to play every instrument in frustration from not hearing, inevitably fell behind several measures and was still conducting when the work ended. The crowd did. Beethoven said: "There's many of them and only one of each of us!" He knew his genius!
    yes indeed i knew about his conducting the ninth, must have been awesome. Apparently he was a virtuoso pianist though, by that i mean he could improvise at the piano. I have 'jammed', with one or two classically trained musicians who found the concept quite alien. Yes they could read a score like it was a child's play, but improvisation proved quite difficult. My girlfriend at the time was a flautist , when i suggested that she might like to try hooking her flute up to a cry baby wah wah peddle via a microphone, she was horrified. I dunno, some people have no sense of adventure!
  7. 07 Mar '11 23:11
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    yes indeed i knew about his conducting the ninth, must have been awesome. Apparently he was a virtuoso pianist though, by that i mean he could improvise at the piano. I have 'jammed', with one or two classically trained musicians who found the concept quite alien. Yes they could read a score like it was a child's play, but improvisation proved quit ...[text shortened]... peddle via a microphone, she was horrified. I dunno, some people have no sense of adventure!
    Beethoven indeed wasa piano virtuoso, the best of his day in then musical capital, Vienna. Carl Czerny was the only one who came close. Improvisation was nothing for Beethoven. He also had quite a sense of adventure. I'd say all his works from about a third of his creative way were quite innovative, forceful, different and grand! I still marvel most at what he wrote when stone deaf!
  8. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    08 Mar '11 04:04
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    Beethoven indeed wasa piano virtuoso, the best of his day in then musical capital, Vienna. Carl Czerny was the only one who came close. Improvisation was nothing for Beethoven. He also had quite a sense of adventure. I'd say all his works from about a third of his creative way were quite innovative, forceful, different and grand! I still marvel most at what he wrote when stone deaf!
    It looked like the video was showing his pain at becoming deaf besides the agony of creativity!

    BTW, what do you think of the state of pianistic virtuosity now vs then? Is the training much different, easier fingering, newer exercises designed for virtuosic performance?
    I am thinking about players like Murray Pariah, his mentor Vladmir Horowitz, Delarocha, Vladimir Ashkenasy and the like.

    If you had a fantasy playoff from the best then v now, who would come off better, or is that not even a valid question to ask?
  9. 08 Mar '11 12:38
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    It looked like the video was showing his pain at becoming deaf besides the agony of creativity!

    BTW, what do you think of the state of pianistic virtuosity now vs then? Is the training much different, easier fingering, newer exercises designed for virtuosic performance?
    I am thinking about players like Murray Pariah, his mentor Vladmir Horowitz, Delaroc ...[text shortened]... rom the best then v now, who would come off better, or is that not even a valid question to ask?
    It would be a very interesting question. I doubt it is solvable. I assume the quality of todays piano makes todays players way faster, though not necessarily better. I doubt any of today's players could pull a feat like Brahm's where he gets a piano with a stuck key and transposes the entire work instantly to avoid that key! Clara Schumann was supposedly better than any of the men. Chpoin not only wrote, but was sublime. I belive the greatest difference lies in the fact that these guys were performing their own works.

    Indeed the video depicts both the pain of creativity and the emerging deafness. How painful it must have been for such a composer to be unable to hear his greatest works!