PDA

View Full Version : On Beethoven



Musicology
12-25-2010, 06:25 PM
Among Christmas greetings was one from a friend who wished me well and wrote -

Robert, I have no objection to your epic criticism of Mozart. It is rather refreshing. But I am glad you and your Italian friends have no reply to the unquestionable musical genius of one Ludwig van Beethoven.

Very best wishes

Etc

//

My reply was slightly longer, (and it's a good friend) -

Dear………

Very best wishes for Christmas and this New Year. I may make you smile. And, if not, forgive etc.

I have scribbled a note and placed it in a large box marked ‘Miscellaneous’ some years ago with words written by Alexander Wheelock Thayer (1817-97), the most famous biographer of them all on Beethoven. (That is, from the American author whose work on your hero is still widely believed and described as (and I quote), ‘the standard work of reference on the composer’).

What caught my attention was the content of an unpublished letter from Thayer dated 1868 which recently came on sale talking about negative reports from Germany on Beethoven from those who knew him. Which Thayer, his champion, was of course not happy to hear about. And wished to refute. These negative views coming indirectly, but from an important source. Johann Cramer (1771-1858). Cramer had been a contemporary of Beethoven, had met him and he even became the first British publisher of the 5th Symphony, no less. He was also founder of the London Philharmonic etc. But had died by the time this Thayer letter was written.

Thayer (disturbed by what Cramer seems to have said) wrote as follows on 4th February 1868 -

''Thanks for your last note and best greetings to your wife. Is Mr. Porter still alive? If so I will thank you to forward the enclosed letter to his address. The object of the note is to obtain something about J.B. Cramer. Something which will either confirm or refute the assertion of a German literary quack that Cramer, after making Beethoven's acquaintance in Vienna, never afterwards used to speak well of him either as composer or man! If your father is still living, as I hope, perhaps he will kindly give me some note or notes on the pianist either by his own or your hand. Or perhaps Mrs. Cramer, if still living, the widow, might be willing to write me a line. The fact is that the writer in question has represented matters so as to cast a shade upon Cramer, now as I have learned to look upon that great pianist as one of the first in musical history. I must be able in my volume 11, to refute in total the attack upon his memory and fame. The particular point now in question, you understand, to be Cramer's feelings towards Beethoven, and the style of his conversation about him. I have no doubt you will be willing to aid me in this, an perhaps you can write me a note on the subject which I may insert in my book wholly or in part. As ever, grateful for your kindness when in London, and truly yours

Alexander W. Thayer"-

Anyway,

Very best wishes for this Christmas and New Year !

//

Overture
Coriolan
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Carlos Paita

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6sKWuAcuOI

MystyrMystyry
12-25-2010, 07:04 PM
If Ludwig were alive today in this age of psychoanalysis he would surely be described as having Asberger's Syndrome. This is unfortunate because it reduces the Genius of the Great Artist to one of mere accident

Possessing far and away the best sense of humour of all the major composers - including Amadeus - it as only the 'serious listener' who fails to see the wood for the trees

Were a new biograghy to be in the works we can only hope it redresses the issue

Musicology
12-26-2010, 07:13 AM
Psychoanalysis is itself open for criticism. And has been since it was first foisted on a dumbed down world. Quite rightly ! As for the pantheon of 'great' western classical composers, that comes straight out of the pagan world. Of course it does. As did the 'enlightenment' philosophy which created icons and the cult of celebrity we today see all around us and which, it seems, we cannot get behind. (But let's not tell the children !).

'Not seeing the wood for the trees' is an appropriate term to describe the grossly manufactured careers of iconic men such as Handel, Haydn, Mozart and even Beethoven at the expense of around 3,000 composers and their own music. And this long before TV, radio and the internet. But the biggest argument against musical convention is self evident. Facts are only facts (biographical and musical) if they have survived cross-examination and are seen to be open to ongoing criticism. So much for Mozart ! And so much for musicology, so-called.

Regards

p.s. It's not a Mozart biography. It's a description of how and why his musical career was invented.

Louis Spohr
Clarinet Concerto No. 4/1
Allegro

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iOByfA1rWI&feature=related




If Ludwig were alive today in this age of psychoanalysis he would surely be described as having Asberger's Syndrome. This is unfortunate because it reduces the Genius of the Great Artist to one of mere accident

Possessing far and away the best sense of humour of all the major composers - including Amadeus - it as only the 'serious listener' who fails to see the wood for the trees

Were a new biograghy to be in the works we can only hope it redresses the issue

yanni
12-26-2010, 12:57 PM
Thank Luther, lifelong protestant Bach escaped the manufacturing rule of his day.


:thumbs_up

Musicology
12-26-2010, 05:23 PM
Well, since you mention it Yanni here is really difficult question for you -

JS Bach's religion was which of these -

a. Christian ?
b. Lutheran ?
c. Protestant ?

or

d. Muslim ?
e. Hindu ?
f. Buddhist ?
g. Churchianity ?

:blush:
And, (for a wrong answer) -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_UfRcuOdys

English Baroque
Monteverdi Choir
Christmas Oratorio

Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen


Thank Luther, lifelong protestant Bach escaped the manufacturing rule of his day.


:thumbs_up