21 Jan '11 19:19>
Originally posted by scacchipazzoEvery 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.
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.
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.