1. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    Royal Oak, MI
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    21 Jan '11 19:19
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    While I love both I find Beethoven more intellectually challenging whereas the genius of Mozart nears perfection. Perhaps Beethoven's somewhat less facile composing style forced him to pursue innovation beyond his ability? I firmly believe Beethoven changed music forever and there is music before and after The Eroica symphony. We are fortunate to have both and that they were able to meet in person.
    Every western composer's career is built on the backs of those who came before him. The musical world that Beethoven grew into was such because it had been shaped that way by the innovations of Mozart and others. He didn't write 'Eroica' in a vacuum. And the careers of all the composers who followed Beethoven were built upon the foundations laid down by him and all those who preceded him. If Mahler had been born in 1760 instead of 1860, how much different would his music have been? For one, he wouldn't have had the pre-existing genius of Mozart and Beethoven to draw inspiration from.

    So back to your original question: Mozart or Beethoven? Beethoven lived for 36 years after Mozart's death. The musical world had changed much in that time. For that reason, I don't think a fair comparison can be made between the two.
  2. Joined
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    21 Jan '11 20:39
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Every western composer's career is built on the backs of those who came before him. The musical world that Beethoven grew into was such because it had been shaped that way by the innovations of Mozart and others. He didn't write 'Eroica' in a vacuum. And the careers of all the composers who followed Beethoven were built upon the foundations laid down by him ...[text shortened]... that time. For that reason, I don't think a fair comparison can be made between the two.
    Indeed you are right. No one writes in a vacuum at all. Except Mozart ushered in few if any innovations. He perfected the form he inherited and wrote like no other before him or after. The knock on Mozart has always been his lack of "drama". An unfair knock since Mozart was really adept at anything he wrote and his prodigiuous memory allowed him great latitude in tackling all forms within the constraints of his inheritance. Beethoven was the true innovator and first to break away from the rigidity of classical and singlehandedly created the Romantic era. In the end it is apples and oranges and both are immortals of music, but you have to concede that Beethoven was the greater of the two geniuses. Beethoven also had a better sense of humor in spite of being the more irascible of the two! Substituting a scherzo and trio for the minuet and trio was pure genius and humorous, shocking for the era and changed music foerever. Beethoven's savage scherzi were quite different from those of Bach, Monteverdi and other giant predecessors. Beethoven influenced many more than Mozart did and his greatest imitator was Wagner, who steeped himself deeply in Beethoven by being thre greatest Beethhoven conductor of his era. Take for instance Wagner's disgust with Figaro and Don Giovanni, but acceptance of Fidelio as the greatest exemplar of the genre. Despite Wagner also deeply admiring the Magic Flute his operas resemble Fidelio much more and in the end Berlioz', his other great influence.
  3. Joined
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    22 Jan '11 17:10
    For anyone who thinks of Mozart as a "lightweight" because of lack of dramatics take a listen to his Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat K364. It is a sublime piece. Few pieces have exemplified Mozart's deftness at dialogue between instruments. The beautiful second movement is one of Mozart's best!

    YouTube

    YouTube&feature=related
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    27 Jan '11 23:211 edit
    Today is the birthday of the great Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart! He would have been 255 years old!
  5. Standard memberHandyAndy
    Non sum qualis eram
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    06 Feb '11 01:50
    In a recent New York Times article, music critic Anthony Tommasini named Bach (who else?) as
    the greatest classical composer of all time. Beethoven was second in his top 10, Mozart was third.
    The rest, in order, were Schubert, Debussy, Stravinsky, Brahms, Verdi, Wagner and Bartok.
    Some heavy hitters here, but I was disappointed that Mahler didn't make the list.
  6. Joined
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    06 Feb '11 02:22
    Originally posted by HandyAndy
    In a recent New York Times article, music critic Anthony Tommasini named Bach (who else?) as
    the greatest classical composer of all time. Beethoven was second in his top 10, Mozart was third.
    The rest, in order, were Schubert, Debussy, Stravinsky, Brahms, Verdi, Wagner and Bartok.
    Some heavy hitters here, but I was disappointed that Mahler didn't make the list.
    Perhaps it is because Mahler stuck to the symphony above all else and does not have the breadth of Beethoven, Bach or Mozart. All lists are highly subjective. I am not surprised Mahler did not make the list, but more surprised Brahms was not top five. But greater disappointment comes from Mahler failing to gift us with an opera, same knock against Brahms. Mahler was probably the greatest opera conductor of his era yet never tackled the genre. Leaving out Puccini and Dvorak is a far greater omission. Wagner is a category all his own. Berlioz, IMHO, was far greater than Debussy. Stravinsky is unique as well. Schubert is one of the greatest and somewhat neglected composers.
  7. The Hague
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    26 Mar '11 16:36
    Originally posted by HandyAndy
    In a recent New York Times article, music critic Anthony Tommasini named Bach (who else?) as
    the greatest classical composer of all time. Beethoven was second in his top 10, Mozart was third.
    The rest, in order, were Schubert, Debussy, Stravinsky, Brahms, Verdi, Wagner and Bartok.
    Some heavy hitters here, but I was disappointed that Mahler didn't make the list.
    Funny. That is the exact top 3 that I've always said mine would be. Bach is the ultimate master, Beethoven the greatest, and Mozart the genius.

    It's actually interesting to compare both Beethoven's and Mozart's c minor piano concertos (Mozart #24 as mentioned and Beethoven no. 3) which are both sublime piano concertos. However, it is not hard to assume that Beethoven was rather influenced by Mozart's concerto.

    In the same way the second movement of Beethoven's Pathétique sonata in c minor op. 13 is very similar to the A flat major part of the second movement of Mozart's own c minor sonata.

    To me, from a purely listening point of view, the difference might be pointed out such: Mozart might be more pleasing to a less active ear (more sort of 'let it come at you' attitude) and Beethoven more to a more active ear, even though Mozart's structure is very much impeccable, as well.

    Let's not forget that Beethoven had some 20+ more years to work than Mozart. Had Mozart lived longer, he undoubtedly would've had a great deal more influence as well.
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    26 Mar '11 18:54
    Originally posted by davaniel
    Funny. That is the exact top 3 that I've always said mine would be. Bach is the ultimate master, Beethoven the greatest, and Mozart the genius.

    It's actually interesting to compare both Beethoven's and Mozart's c minor piano concertos (Mozart #24 as mentioned and Beethoven no. 3) which are both sublime piano concertos. However, it is not hard to assume t ...[text shortened]... ozart lived longer, he undoubtedly would've had a great deal more influence as well.
    No argument at all save for Mozart compressing into his shorter life more than the overwhelming majority of composers did in theirs(longer lives), Beethoven included. I firmly believe that the diffrence lies in that Beethoven exhausted his ideas fitting the classical mold early and revolted because of the tutelage of Papa Haydn and the iron hand of Albrechtsberger. Once Beetohoven abandonded the classical mold there are no longer any works comparable to those of the past masters. Fourth piano concerto comes to mind, Third Symphony, Hammerklavier Sonata, String Quartet in C#minor Oous 131. All the other Beethoven works were quiute groundbreaking after his rift with the past!
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