December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities

December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby Barry Barnitz » Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:23 pm

Ludwig van Beethoven was born on December 16, 1770 in Bonn. To commemorate this birthday I will provide a link to Beethoven's Egmont Overture.

One of the principal ethical and political ideals which fired Beethoven's imagination was the ideal of liberty. This was a major theme to his only opera, Fidelio. The great Eroica Symphony was originally dedicated to Napolean (as preserver of the French Revolution), but the composer scratched out the name in disgust when Napolean crowned himself emperor.

The Egmont Overture and incidental music was composed for a revival of the Goethe play.

In Egmont, Goethe relates the fight of Count Egmont (1522-1568) against the despotic Duke of Alba. Egmont is a famous Flemish warrior and the duke of Alba represents the Spanish invader. Though under threat of arrest Egmont refuses to run away and give up his ideal of liberty. Imprisoned and abandoned because of the cowardice of his people, and despite the desperate efforts of his mistress Klärchen, he is sentenced to death.

Thus, faced with her failure and despair Klärchen puts an end to her life. The play ends on the hero's last call to fight for independence. His death as a martyr appears as a victory against oppression.

Egmont is a political manifesto in which Egmont's craving for justice and national liberty is opposed to the despotic authority of the duke of Alba. It is also a drama of destiny in which the Flemish nobleman, with fatalism, accepts the dire consequences of his straightforwardness and honesty.


The overture, led by Leonard Bernstein and the Vienna Philharmonic, is a sonata movement with slow introduction. The fiery coda expresses the successful outcome of martyrdom.

Beethoven Egmont Overture Bernstein Vienna Philharmonic.
Enjoy.
Last edited by Barry Barnitz on Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image | blb | December Birthday Celebration: Ludwig van Beethoven
User avatar
Barry Barnitz
Wiki Admin
 
Posts: 2632
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:42 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby LadyGeek » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:36 pm

A belated Happy Birthday, Ludwig! :beer

Party on! Beethoven celebration:
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18337
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby LadyGeek » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:03 pm

One year later and again a day late.

A belated Happy Birthday, Ludwig! :beer

Party on! Beethoven celebration: <--- Check this thread.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18337
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby Fallible » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:01 pm

Barry Barnitz wrote:Ludwig van Beethoven was born on December 16, 1770 in Bonn. To commemorate this birthday I will provide a link to Beethoven's Egmont Overture....


Thank you for the reminder and very nice commemoration to one of the greatest. Since first hearing the Fifth in college in the '60s, it's still a favorite. Try as I have over the years to get more into Mozart, Bach, Brahms, etc., it's Beethoven I truly love and especially the Fifth. A CD I bought about 13 years ago begins with the Fifth followed by the "Pastoral" and what a perfect contrast. There is also a Beethoven sense of humor, which I think I first sensed since some of the work would make me smile or even laugh, as with the never-ending ending of the Fifth's last Allegro. I then read about it in an excerpt from one of Barry Cooper's books and have since seen other references to it (as in the Eighth). Somehow I have never read a Beethoven bio or even all of Cooper's works on him and although I'll try to get hold of the latter, could you suggest a good bio? Thanks again.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle
Fallible
 
Posts: 3754
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:44 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby LadyGeek » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:58 pm

There's quite a compendium in Beethoven celebration:. I can't recommend anything specific, though.

And then there's the modern version (with my apologies): WALTER MURPHY- A Fifth of Beethoven (extended version) When it came out, I thought it was a creative way to introduce people to classical music- from a disco perspective. I liked it.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18337
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby JupiterJones » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:14 pm

Barry Barnitz wrote:One of the principal ethical and political ideals which fired Beethoven's imagination was the ideal of liberty. This was a major theme to his only opera, Fidelio. The great Eroica Symphony was originally dedicated to Napolean (as preserver of the French Revolution), but the composer scratched out the name in disgust when Napolean crowned himself emperor.


Happy (belated) birthday, Ludwig!

When my wife and I visited Vienna several weeks ago, we made sure to take the trek out to Mayer am Pfarrplatz in Heiligenstadt for a meal and a drink (or two... or three). The town was a favorite haunt of Beethoven, apparently, and he supposedly wrote "Pastoral" and part of the 9th there, not to mention the Heiligenstadt Testament of course.

We also paid a visit to one of his many residences in Vienna--he moved around a lot. Although this one is notable for being where he composed "Fidelio". (RIght next to the "Harry Lime" door, for those "The Third Man" fans out there...)

JJ
Stay on target...
User avatar
JupiterJones
 
Posts: 1804
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby Fallible » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:58 pm

LadyGeek wrote:There's quite a compendium in Beethoven celebration:. I can't recommend anything specific, though.

And then there's the modern version (with my apologies): WALTER MURPHY- A Fifth of Beethoven (extended version) When it came out, I thought it was a creative way to introduce people to classical music- from a disco perspective. I liked it.


A Fifth of Beethoven...well, somebody was bound to come up with that sometime and also the disco, which really is a good listen. I bet the Fifth could be arranged many more ways. Thanks very much for the info.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle
Fallible
 
Posts: 3754
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:44 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby Regal 56 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:01 am

LadyGeek wrote:And then there's the modern version (with my apologies): WALTER MURPHY- A Fifth of Beethoven (extended version)

Egad, I haven't heard that one in decades.

One thing that sometimes bothers me about pop music is the relentless insistence on exaggerating the beat. To me, a drummer pounding away is like having someone stand beside me yelling "BEAT! BEAT! BEAT! BEAT!" as the music is playing. It gets old very quickly. Mind you, I've no problem with a good rock song. But foisting a click track onto Beethoven's Fifth pulls the ear away from the more interesting things going on. And by the way, I'm also no fan of classical musicians trying dress up pop music into orchestral garb. Whether it's pop music forced into a tux, or classical music forced into bell bottomed jeans and a tie-died shirt, something essential is lost.
User avatar
Regal 56
 
Posts: 425
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 6:47 pm
Location: South Euclid, OH

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby 22twain » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:36 am

Aughhh! I forgot about Beethoven's birthday! Schroeder will never forgive me. :oops:

At least I did listen to some Beethoven on Sunday. For the last year and a half, I've been working through the Brilliant Classics 85-CD complete Beeehoven Edition that I picked up for less than $30 thanks to an amazon.com pricing error. On Sunday I reached the "Hammerklavier" sonata, which is grand enough to be appropriate for the occasion.
22twain
 
Posts: 490
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 6:42 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby JupiterJones » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:15 pm

LadyGeek wrote:And then there's the modern version (with my apologies): WALTER MURPHY- A Fifth of Beethoven (extended version)


No need to apologize. Education value aside, that's simply a great track--one of the best instrumentals of the disco era, IMHO. (Trivia: The arranger/composer who did that song, Walter Murphy, now does music for "Family Guy" of all things.)

And I'll see your bet and raise you with "Hooked on Classics". This series of albums came out around the same time as "A Fifth..." and married that trend (classical music turned disco) with another popular trend of the day--stringing songs excerpts together in a medley, set to a constant drum track, a la "Stars on 45". (Trivia: The guy behind "Hooked" was Louis Clark, who did many of the string arrangements on ELO's albums.)

I have three "Hooked" albums on my iPod. Great music to run to!

JJ
Stay on target...
User avatar
JupiterJones
 
Posts: 1804
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby Fallible » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:39 pm

JupiterJones wrote:
LadyGeek wrote:And then there's the modern version (with my apologies): WALTER MURPHY- A Fifth of Beethoven (extended version)


No need to apologize. Education value aside, that's simply a great track--one of the best instrumentals of the disco era, IMHO. ... JJ


Although this may be anathema to some, I think I could enjoy a good jazz version of Beethoven's Fifth, etc. Do you know of any such versions?
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle
Fallible
 
Posts: 3754
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:44 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby nisiprius » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:01 pm

As noted in the Books thread, I'm reading Matthew Guerrieri's The First Four Notes: Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination. A lot of it is very interesting to me, a lot of it isn't, we will see if I get through it. It turns out that the first note in Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is a rest! That's probably well-known to musicians but, not reading scores and almost never attending live symphony performances--never one of the Fifth--where I might have been able to see the baton--it was news to me. Perhaps the ear could detect it if one had a keen sense of rhythm, but the fermatas on the fourth note make that pretty hard.

I was in an amateur production of You're A Great Man, Charlie Brown; I can't say I much care for the show, although any show you're actually in grows on you, but for a song celebrating Beethoven's Birthday, in jazz/pop idiom, with some butchered musical allusions to the Fifth Symphony, try "Beethoven Day."

There is also a very good march entitled "Pieces of Eight," apparently by one Joseph W. Jenkins, which is very hard to search for due to numerous rock bands, etc. with that name. It is very recognizable as an adaptation of themes from Beethoven's 8th Symphony.

There are all sorts of trends and fashions in classical music, despite the 1900-era mythos of its being immortal. I wish I could remember the book that actually had charts and graphs, real data based on how often pieces were programmed in orchestra concerts. Notably, when I was a kid, there was no doubt at all, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony was IT. There's always a conventional "greatest." Who's the greatest writer? Shakespeare. What's his greatest work? Hamlet. The greatest artist? Da Vinci. His greatest work? The Mona Lisa. Similarly, in the 1950s the answer to "who's the greatest composer" was Beethoven, and "what's his greatest work" was "the Fifth Symphony." There's been a definite shift. I think the conventional "greatest Beethoven symphony" is now the 9th. But I'm not sure whether Beethoven is still the greatest composer; he's certainly losing ground to Mozart.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
 
Posts: 25159
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby LadyGeek » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:55 pm

JupiterJones wrote:And I'll see your bet and raise you with "Hooked on Classics". This series of albums came out around the same time as "A Fifth..." and married that trend (classical music turned disco) with another popular trend of the day--stringing songs excerpts together in a medley, set to a constant drum track, a la "Stars on 45". (Trivia: The guy behind "Hooked" was Louis Clark, who did many of the string arrangements on ELO's albums.)

I have three "Hooked" albums on my iPod. Great music to run to! JJ

I give, you win. :P What got my attention was the distorted audio. Bear in mind that I'm into high-end audiophile quality.

I don't understand how someone can listen to a single movement, or a few sound bites, from a major work. It's not the fidelity of reproduction (which is another discussion), but the complexities and subtle interactions of the theme and instruments. Everything plays together, literally, to produce a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. The conductor will make or break a performance. But, I digress...

nisiprius wrote:Similarly, in the 1950s the answer to "who's the greatest composer" was Beethoven, and "what's his greatest work" was "the Fifth Symphony." There's been a definite shift. I think the conventional "greatest Beethoven symphony" is now the 9th. But I'm not sure whether Beethoven is still the greatest composer; he's certainly losing ground to Mozart.

Who was the most popular composer? Tchaikovsky, without a doubt.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18337
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby nisiprius » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:02 pm

LadyGeek wrote:I don't understand how someone can listen to a single movement, or a few sound bites, from a major work. It's not the fidelity of reproduction (which is another discussion), but the complexities and subtle interactions of the theme and instruments.
In the early 1900s it was very common for orchestras... at least in the U.S.... to program individual symphony movements.

To each their own.

Personally, I'm somewhat borderline in my ability to appreciate something like a symphony. I can listen to a symphony from beginning to end with authentic enjoyment, but I'm not so sure that it's ever much more than a medley to me. I don't think I'd ever in a million years have noticed sonata form for myself if someone hadn't pointed it out to me, and I certainly don't keep the tonality in my head long enough to know whether it really did whatever it was supposed to do. Put me on the witness stand and play me a symphony and ask me to swear whether or not the first movement was really in sonata form and I couldn't do it.

Certainly I am aware that the third movement of Beethoven's Fifth has the "t-t-t-TAH, t-t-t-TAH" pattern in it.

But I think there are a lot of symphony first movements and fourth movements that sound like complete works in themselves. Symphonies to me sound more like a tetralogy of four related works than like a really unified single work. In fact, I am telling you the literal truth that just yesterday I was playing just the last seven minutes of the Saint-Saens 3rd symphony, just the last seven minutes, the part where that old organ just comes blasting in hollering and screaming and carrying on. I love that part and when I do listen to the whole thing the rest is just an appetizer for the part I like.

And half an hour or forty minutes is usually about enough for a sitting. Something like Beethoven's Ninth I may listen to in sequence, but not usually all at once. Ditto Mahler's 2nd.

I sometimes think I'm faintly aware that something like a Beethoven symphony may have some kind of large-scale structure to it that Gershwin's Concerto in F doesn't have, but that might be just because I know it's supposed to.

Here's the measure of my attention span: you talk about not being able to understand someone listening to "a few sound bites." For me, it's marches and waltzes. Something like "The Washington Post" or "On the Beautiful Blue Danube" or any number of old chestnuts and warhorses ("Funeral March of a Marionette," the Albert Hitchcock show theme) are really quite beautiful and complex and when you actually hear the whole thing, in full orchestration, from beginning to end, there's so much more to it than "The Blue Danube Waltz/By Strauss, By Strauss/The Blue Danube Waltz/By Strauss, By Strauss!"
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
 
Posts: 25159
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby nisiprius » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:18 pm

LadyGeek wrote:Who was the most popular composer? Tchaikovsky, without a doubt.
Tchaikovsky? I luhhhhhhhv Rossshian composers! :D

But not if you divide his popularity by the number of different ways his name is transliterated. Tch, Tsh, Tsch, ov, of, ow, ski, sky. What am I forgetting? Chaikofsky, that's what... Ethan Mordden's "Guide to Orchestral Music" spells it that way, even alphabetical order isn't going to save you there. And of course Peter/Pyotr, and I think there's more than one way to spell Ilyich.

Man oh man, iTunes and Amazon need to have a Soundex search option for classical music.

(And it would help if they'd quit renumbering peoples' symphonies. Why couldn't they have called Dvorak's earlier symphonies -4, -3, -2, -1, and 0?)
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
 
Posts: 25159
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby nisiprius » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:45 pm

Fallible wrote:Although this may be anathema to some, I think I could enjoy a good jazz version of Beethoven's Fifth, etc. Do you know of any such versions?
Not Beethoven, offhand. You of course know "Asia Minor" (Grieg's Piano Concerto), "Song of India" (Rimsky-Korsakoff by way of Tommy Dorsey), "Stranger in Paradise" (Borodin's Polovetsian Dances), "In an Eighteen-Century Drawing Room" (Mozart's Piano Sonata K 545 by way of Raymond Scott), "My Reverie" (Ravel's Pavane for a Dead Princess), "The Lights are Low" (Debussy, Clair de Lune)... there must be a slew of 'em... but, Beethoven? ah, here you go.
(1976) "A Fifth of Beethoven" [I] by Walter Murphy - disco version of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, featured in Saturday Night Fever
(1981) "Difficult to Cure" by Rainbow - uses Beethoven's Symphony No. 9
(1983) "This Night" by Billy Joel - uses Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata as the basis for the chorus
(1995) "Memory" by Savatage - uses Beethoven's Symphony No. 9
(1998) "The elephant never forgets" by Jean-Jacques Perrey - based on Beethoven's Die Ruinen von Athen.
(2000) Beethoven's Last Night by Trans-Siberian Orchestra - based on classical music, in particular, Beethoven.
(2003) "I Can" by Nas - samples the theme from Ludwig van Beethoven's Für Elise.
(2005) "Road to Joy" by Bright Eyes is based on the melody of Beethoven's Ode to Joy.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
 
Posts: 25159
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby Fallible » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:50 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Fallible wrote:Although this may be anathema to some, I think I could enjoy a good jazz version of Beethoven's Fifth, etc. Do you know of any such versions?
Not Beethoven, offhand. You of course know "Asia Minor" (Grieg's Piano Concerto), "Song of India" (Rimsky-Korsakoff by way of Tommy Dorsey), "Stranger in Paradise" (Borodin's Polovetsian Dances), "In an Eighteen-Century Drawing Room" (Mozart's Piano Sonata K 545 by way of Raymond Scott), "My Reverie" (Ravel's Pavane for a Dead Princess), "The Lights are Low" (Debussy, Clair de Lune)... there must be a slew of 'em... but, Beethoven? ah, here you go.
(1976) "A Fifth of Beethoven" [I] by Walter Murphy - disco version of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, featured in Saturday Night Fever
(1981) "Difficult to Cure" by Rainbow - uses Beethoven's Symphony No. 9
(1983) "This Night" by Billy Joel - uses Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata as the basis for the chorus
(1995) "Memory" by Savatage - uses Beethoven's Symphony No. 9
(1998) "The elephant never forgets" by Jean-Jacques Perrey - based on Beethoven's Die Ruinen von Athen.
(2000) Beethoven's Last Night by Trans-Siberian Orchestra - based on classical music, in particular, Beethoven.
(2003) "I Can" by Nas - samples the theme from Ludwig van Beethoven's Für Elise.
(2005) "Road to Joy" by Bright Eyes is based on the melody of Beethoven's Ode to Joy.


Thanks!
Last edited by Fallible on Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle
Fallible
 
Posts: 3754
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:44 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby telemark » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:14 pm

nisiprius wrote:There are all sorts of trends and fashions in classical music, despite the 1900-era mythos of its being immortal. I wish I could remember the book that actually had charts and graphs, real data based on how often pieces were programmed in orchestra concerts. Notably, when I was a kid, there was no doubt at all, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony was IT. There's always a conventional "greatest." Who's the greatest writer? Shakespeare. What's his greatest work? Hamlet. The greatest artist? Da Vinci. His greatest work? The Mona Lisa. Similarly, in the 1950s the answer to "who's the greatest composer" was Beethoven, and "what's his greatest work" was "the Fifth Symphony." There's been a definite shift. I think the conventional "greatest Beethoven symphony" is now the 9th. But I'm not sure whether Beethoven is still the greatest composer; he's certainly losing ground to Mozart.


A great composer was supposed to be a Tormented Genius Whose Monumental Works Would Live Through the Ages. Beethoven probably fits that role better than anyone, and you can make a good case that he originated it. I'm not entirely sure that's really the best definition of greatness, but it does catch the imagination.

Garrison Keillor did a piece on his radio show once, on composers whose lives weren't actually all that bad. Fun stuff.
User avatar
telemark
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:35 am

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby LadyGeek » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:48 pm

For an example of how the power of music can bring joy and happiness, watch (and listen!) to this: Som Sabadell flashmob

I highly recommend the full screen version with headphones: Full screen version

On the 130th anniversary of the founding of Banco Sabadell we wanted to pay homage to our city by means of the campaign "Som Sabadell" (We are Sabadell) . This is the flashmob that we arranged as a final culmination with the participation of 100 people from the Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the Lieder, Amics de l'Òpera and Coral Belles Arts choirs.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18337
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby Fallible » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:16 pm

LadyGeek wrote:For an example of how the power of music can bring joy and happiness, watch (and listen!) to this: Som Sabadell flashmob ...


Beautifully done by all. The kids' faces mirror it perfectly. Thanks!
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle
Fallible
 
Posts: 3754
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:44 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby nisiprius » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:27 pm

telemark wrote:A great composer was supposed to be a Tormented Genius Whose Monumental Works Would Live Through the Ages. Beethoven probably fits that role better than anyone, and you can make a good case that he originated it.
Along those lines, I'm about halfway through Matthew Guerrieri's The First Four Notes: Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination. It's very good so far and I recommend it. He does a great job of describing the cultural context of various time periods and what Beethoven and the Fifth Century meant to different groups at different time. It's sending me off to various places to read and listen to more things.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
 
Posts: 25159
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby nisiprius » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:38 pm

Fallible wrote:
LadyGeek wrote:For an example of how the power of music can bring joy and happiness, watch (and listen!) to this: Som Sabadell flashmob ...


Beautifully done by all. The kids' faces mirror it perfectly. Thanks!
Wow! Way better than I expected. Listened to the whole thing, grinning from start to finish. That was a real performance, they weren't just mailing it in or goofing around. But, see what I mean? After two short centuries of being king of the hill, Beethoven's Fifth is fading... it's all the Ninth nowadays.

But, were they singing in Spanish or in German? I couldn't quite tell.

These flash mobs are a sort of fantasy come true. Remember (no, of course not) those old Hollywood musicals where someone would walk down a street and maybe start singing or snapping their fingers or something, and then a few guys with instruments would wander out of a store and start playing, and the next thing you know... a parade down Main Street! I used to think, wouldn't it be great if you could arrange for that to happen in real life? There ya go. That's what technology can do for you.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
 
Posts: 25159
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby LadyGeek » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:09 pm

I couldn't tell either, as it sounded German but didn't match up with any of the lyrics I could find. Wouldn't it be funny if this was a bank commercial? In any case, Beethoven's Ninth was the first symphony to include voice into a genre which had previously only included instruments. IOW, if you wanted lyrics to a symphony, this was the first.

Wikipedia - Choral Symphony wrote:In 1824, Beethoven's Ninth redefined the symphony by introducing text and voice into a previously instrumental genre, thus igniting a debate on the future of the symphony itself.[4] Richard Wagner later claimed that Beethoven's use of words had shown what musicologist Mark Evan Bonds terms "the limits of purely instrumental music and thus marking the end of the symphony as a vital genre".
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18337
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby nisiprius » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:49 pm

LadyGeek wrote:In any case, Beethoven's Ninth was the first symphony to include voice into a genre which had previously only included instruments. IOW, if you wanted lyrics to a symphony, this was the first.
It was still relatively rare thereafter. Ethan Mordden in "A Guide to Orchestral Music" writes:
The user of singers in the last movement of the Ninth precipitated a controversy that has never been settled, for the intrusion of the human voice (and a text of extra-musical poetry) was unheard of in a symphony until Beethoven trried it. Since then, others have used text and singers and symphony. But the question remains: does it work?
Thinking more about the increasing popularity of the Ninth.. I think the consensus is that there is some truth to the story that the compact disc was specifically designed to have a long enough playing time to fit Beethoven's Ninth Symphony onto one disc. While the popularity of the symphony was undoubtedly boosted by Leonard Bernstein's performance of it at the Brandenburg Gate to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall, I do wonder whether part of the increase in its popularity actually was due to CD technology--you could now buy it without the doubled cost of two LPs, and listen to it without the annoyance of turning over two records on a record changer. In your case, you suggest that you're an audio purist, so you would never have used a changer and it would have taken three changes.

Anyone remember when the Huntley-Brinkly NBC News report used the 2nd movement of the 9th for the closing theme music?
Last edited by nisiprius on Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
 
Posts: 25159
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby Fallible » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:50 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Fallible wrote:
LadyGeek wrote:For an example of how the power of music can bring joy and happiness, watch (and listen!) to this: Som Sabadell flashmob ...


Beautifully done by all. The kids' faces mirror it perfectly. Thanks!
Wow! Way better than I expected. Listened to the whole thing, grinning from start to finish. That was a real performance, they weren't just mailing it in or goofing around. But, see what I mean? After two short centuries of being king of the hill, Beethoven's Fifth is fading... it's all the Ninth nowadays. ...


But they could sing the Ninth and you can't sing the Fifth - or can you? What kind of lyrics would go with the opening, other than "da da da DUM" or "short-short-short-long"? Kind of fun to think about, singing to the Fifth.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle
Fallible
 
Posts: 3754
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:44 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby LadyGeek » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:06 am

nisiprius wrote:Anyone remember when the Huntley-Brinkly NBC News report used the 2nd movement of the 9th for the closing theme music?

Yes. Actually, I find the 2nd movement more interesting than the 4th. Here's another blast from the past. Did you ever watch this video (before YouTube): Beethoven, Symphony 9, 2nd movement (complete), Molto vivace, Philharmonia Baroque
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18337
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby Fclevz » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:22 am

Speaking of classical music...does anyone know of a sort of 'Project Gutenberg' type of website that does for music what Gutenberg does for books? i.e. free literature for the ears :P

Cheers,
Fred
Fclevz
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 12:28 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby telemark » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:32 am

Project Gutenberg itself has scores for some music that's out of copyright, for example http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/13079. Recording of actual performances are usually under copyright and so not freely available. If you don't mind spending a few dollars a month, Rhapsody and Mog have extensive classical collections. Naxos has an even better collection but their subscription service seems to be aimed more at college music departments than individual users.
User avatar
telemark
 
Posts: 832
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 7:35 am

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby Barry Barnitz » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:47 am

Nisi et al:

Regarding the fifth symphony: Beethoven uses and transforms the four note rhythmic motif (short-short-short-long) in each of the symphony's four movements. After relentlessly dominating the first movement it appears again in the theme and variations second movement; and in the third movement scherzo. After the pizzicato restatement of the scherzo theme, we have the linking murky, wandering C-minor bridge passage leading to the triumphant finale (sonata form), where the transformed four note motif is especially prominent in ecstatic iteration in the development section.

For those of you who are not privy to sonata form. Here is the scheme: An introduction, usually containing a rhythmic theme section modulating into a second lyrical theme segment, rounded off by a brief codetta. This section is usually repeated. Then we move to a development section, where the composer fragments, recombines, and modulates the musical themes. After the development we have the restatement of the introduction; usually with the resolution of key; leading to a concluding coda.

The usual parsing of the structure is like this: introduction A-B; development C; restatement A-B.

So a usual sonata pattern is A-B-C-A-B- coda.

regards,
Image | blb | December Birthday Celebration: Ludwig van Beethoven
User avatar
Barry Barnitz
Wiki Admin
 
Posts: 2632
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:42 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby nisiprius » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:37 am

Fallible wrote:But they could sing the Ninth and you can't sing the Fifth - or can you? What kind of lyrics would go with the opening, other than "da da da DUM" or "short-short-short-long"? Kind of fun to think about, singing to the Fifth.
One, might, perhaps, do something with the third movement. Because, of course, these great works need to be constantly reinterpreted, freshened, re-created as it were. A Beethoven for our time. :twisted:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CJ6zFVKenQ

And what do we hear, the notes are so clear,
Notes they play, what do they say?

And what do they bode, are they in code?
IT'S MORSE! It's Morse!

What's the key, what can it be?

This is a V! This is a V! This is a V! This is a V!
Bogleheads all
Heed ye the call,
Hearing the Morse,
Staying the course,
Course! Course! Staying the course!
The course!
The course!
The course, the course, the course!


So never get lost,
Invest at cost.
Keep costs low:
Where can we go?
Come travel with me,
What do we see?

What do we see? We see the V, the V...
It's the V, it's the V, it's the V it's the V! V! V!

Vanguard's the V! Vanguard's the V! Vanguard's the V! Vanguard's the V
Bogleheads all, heed ye the call, steer toward the V, follow the V....


So, did I just ruin somebody's day? :D
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
 
Posts: 25159
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby 22twain » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:29 pm

nisiprius wrote:[...]due to CD technology--you could now buy [Beethoven's Ninth] without the doubled cost of two LPs, and listen to it without the annoyance of turning over two records on a record changer.


My first recording of the Ninth was on a single Everest LP, with the side break in the middle of the Adagio. :shock: To this day, when I approach that point in any recording of the Ninth, my feet start to twitch.

Similarly, my first recording of the "Emperor" concerto was on a cassette tape. Philips didn't want to waste any tape in those early days c. 1970, so the break ended up a minute or two short of the end of the first movement. :oops:
22twain
 
Posts: 490
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 6:42 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby Fallible » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:55 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Fallible wrote:But they could sing the Ninth and you can't sing the Fifth - or can you? What kind of lyrics would go with the opening, other than "da da da DUM" or "short-short-short-long"? Kind of fun to think about, singing to the Fifth.
One, might, perhaps, do something with the third movement. Because, of course, these great works need to be constantly reinterpreted, freshened, re-created as it were. A Beethoven for our time. :twisted:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CJ6zFVKenQ

And what do we hear, the notes are so clear,
Notes they play, what do they say?

And what do they bode, are they in code?
IT'S MORSE! It's Morse!

What's the key, what can it be?

This is a V! This is a V! This is a V! This is a V!
Bogleheads all
Heed ye the call,
Hearing the Morse,
Staying the course,
Course! Course! Staying the course!
The course!
The course!
The course, the course, the course!


So never get lost,
Invest at cost.
Keep costs low:
Where can we go?
Come travel with me,
What do we see?

What do we see? We see the V, the V...
It's the V, it's the V, it's the V it's the V! V! V!

Vanguard's the V! Vanguard's the V! Vanguard's the V! Vanguard's the V
Bogleheads all, heed ye the call, steer toward the V, follow the V....


So, did I just ruin somebody's day? :D


You just made mine! Singing it and loving it. It HAS to become the BH song. :D
Thinking about it more, how about a flashmob singing the Fifth's Third and produced at BH12?
BTW, in the video I like the animated first violinist. That's what Beethoven will do to you every time.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle
Fallible
 
Posts: 3754
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:44 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby nisiprius » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:56 pm

Fallible wrote:Thinking about it more, how about a flashmob singing the Fifth's Third and produced at BH12?
I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Kazoos. :twisted:
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
 
Posts: 25159
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby Fallible » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:29 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Fallible wrote:Thinking about it more, how about a flashmob singing the Fifth's Third and produced at BH12?
I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Kazoos. :twisted:


Hey, I was just kidding. :P At least I thought I was... :wink:
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle
Fallible
 
Posts: 3754
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:44 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby 22twain » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:10 pm

Fallible wrote:how about a flashmob singing the Fifth's Third


In front of Fifth Third Bank, of course.
22twain
 
Posts: 490
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 6:42 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby JupiterJones » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:53 pm

nisiprius wrote:This is a V! This is a V! This is a V! This is a V!


Okay, so I first read those Vs as Roman numeral fives. Which led me to notice that the repeated note being played there is a V (the fifth note in the C minor scale).

Which is pretty crazy. Not only is that rhythmic motif a Morse "V" (years before Morse code would be invented), but it's a Roman numeral five on the fifth note of the scale, in Beethoven's 5th Symphony.

JJ
Stay on target...
User avatar
JupiterJones
 
Posts: 1804
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby JupiterJones » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:26 pm

telemark wrote:Project Gutenberg itself has scores for some music that's out of copyright, for example http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/13079. Recording of actual performances are usually under copyright and so not freely available.


I like the International Music Score Library Project for scores. They have just about every public domain work you'd want, often in several versions/arrangements. They sometimes do also have recordings that have been released under the Creative Commons license (or similar), but it's hit-or-miss.

Musopen seems to do a better job with recordings. For example, here's the Fifth.

While you're at it, check out the Open Goldberg Variations project, which was done in partnership with the excellent open-source notation program MuseScore.

JJ
Stay on target...
User avatar
JupiterJones
 
Posts: 1804
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby nisiprius » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:36 am

JupiterJones wrote:
nisiprius wrote:This is a V! This is a V! This is a V! This is a V!


Okay, so I first read those Vs as Roman numeral fives. Which led me to notice that the repeated note being played there is a V (the fifth note in the C minor scale).

Which is pretty crazy. Not only is that rhythmic motif a Morse "V" (years before Morse code would be invented), but it's a Roman numeral five on the fifth note of the scale, in Beethoven's 5th Symphony.

JJ
Lest I get any undeserved credit, I hope everyone knows that the identification of the letter V, the Morse code for V, and the Fifth Symphony, were familiar during the Second World War and for a while thereafter. I learned from Matthew Guerreri's book just after posting my verse that this was in fact actually an intentional Allied propaganda effort. So in fact my idea that the Fifth had declined while the Ninth gained ground might even have been a "recency" effect, i.e. when I was a kid the Fifth might have still had an aura of wartime patriotism surrounding it.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
 
Posts: 25159
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby Barry Barnitz » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:24 pm

Hi Nisi:

If you are having difficulty parsing Beethoven, you may find "New horizons in music appreciation" (Beethoven) to be of assistance :wink:

New horizons in music appreciation

Additional background material:The Wurst of P. D. Q. Bach - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

regards,
Image | blb | December Birthday Celebration: Ludwig van Beethoven
User avatar
Barry Barnitz
Wiki Admin
 
Posts: 2632
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:42 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby LadyGeek » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:03 pm

Barry - that was a very unique perspective, thanks.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18337
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby nisiprius » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:58 pm

Barry Barnitz wrote:If you are having difficulty parsing Beethoven, you may find "New horizons in music appreciation" (Beethoven) to be of assistance :wink:
Excellent! But then, I've always thought that there should be orchestra competitions--why only piano players? Who can set the speed record for the fastest performance? The loudest? etc. It should be an Olympic sport.

Tangentially, I trust everyone's aware that the "Ode to Joy" section of Beethoven's 9th fit the lyrics of "My Darling Clementine," "Mack the Knife," "Beasts of England" (from Animal Farm), and a couple of others that escape me...
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
 
Posts: 25159
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby Fallible » Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:27 pm

Barry Barnitz wrote:Hi Nisi:

If you are having difficulty parsing Beethoven, you may find "New horizons in music appreciation" (Beethoven) to be of assistance :wink:

New horizons in music appreciation

...


Thanks, Barry. First-rate parody only Schickele could do. Love the barking dog, and the “crowd” roar at the end remind me why I often prefer our summer outdoor concerts to indoors: we get to cheer and whoop it up if we like what we’ve heard, not just sit tight and politely clap or stand and clap a little louder (although I've occasionally heard cheers).
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle
Fallible
 
Posts: 3754
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:44 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby 22twain » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:27 am

I happened to be reminded today of what was arguably the most amazing classical-music concert ever, which took place 204 years ago yesterday:

Theater-an-der-Wien, Vienna
22 December 1808

Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, conductor and piano soloist

Symphony No. 6, "Pastoral", Op. 68 (first performance)
Aria "Ah! Perfido", Op. 65
Gloria from the Mass in C major, Op. 86
Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 58 (first performance)

Intermission

Symphony No. 5, Op. 67 (first performance)
Sanctus from the Mass in C major, Op. 86
Fantasia for piano (improvisation)
Fantasia for piano, chorus & orchestra, Op. 80 (first performance)

Four and a half hours in an unheated theater, with a conductor/soloist who was going deaf, an ill-rehearsed orchestra, a soprano soloist who was a last-minute replacement for the original soloist who had quit, etc. But still...
22twain
 
Posts: 490
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 6:42 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby nisiprius » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:17 am

But, 22, let me ask you, then: if you had only one trip in a time machine to one of two destinations, which would you choose?

a) The one you mentioned (and you have to sit through it all, and you're not allowed to use your knowledge to dress any more warmly than you usually would). (How did bathroom breaks work? Would concert halls have had indoor plumbing in 1808 or was there a bank of, let's say "permapotties" in back? Were there lines? How long?) I assume that the occasion must have been permeated by bad vibes from disappointed and bored concertgoers, by embarrassed musicians struggling with poorly learned music and knowing that they were not performing at their customary level, and a frustrated Beethoven.

b) Some performance a year or so later, when the pieces had become recognized as "hits" but were still fresh, by a good orchestra and conductor familiar with the music? That is, a first-rate contemporary performance, within a short time after the symphony's composition?
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
 
Posts: 25159
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby LadyGeek » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:59 pm

This is the annual bump for Beethoven's birthday celebration.

For those who wish to understand why Beethoven is one of the great composers of classical music, just listen.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18337
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby thewizzer » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:10 am

Hey, Ludwig and I share a b-day! Maybe I'm the next prodigy?
thewizzer
 
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:11 pm

Re: December 16: Birthday in the Arts

Postby Fallible » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:35 pm

LadyGeek wrote:This is the annual bump for Beethoven's birthday celebration.

For those who wish to understand why Beethoven is one of the great composers of classical music, just listen.


Especially "listen" to that eighth-note rest beginning the Fifth. Once you "hear" it and then feel it, you can appreciate the First Four even more. (More on this from last year's birthday posts above.)

Thanks for the Beethoven bump.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle
Fallible
 
Posts: 3754
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:44 pm


Return to Personal Consumer Issues

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Fletch, GeauxBR and 50 guests