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#1197764 - 05/12/09 02:32 AM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: xxmynameisjohnxx]  
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Gary D. Offline
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I don't think that Mozart was comfortable in society at all. As a child, it looked as though he would be part of it, or probably seemed that way to him. But in his time anyone who was not born an aristocrat could never hope to be on the same level with the "ruling class".

Beethoven, for the same reason, could never be part of the aristocracy, but he appeared to think himself above it. smile

But to the music: I find some of Mozart's late works shockingly powerful, so if we compare Mozart at 35 with Beethoven at the same age, the results can be quite surprising.


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#1197793 - 05/12/09 05:24 AM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: Gary D.]  
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Is this essay written for a lower-division writing class?

You can't really "prove" any of the "sound like" or "feeling" stuff on paper, and not at the length of a short essay. For the scope of a typical short essay, you REALLY need to narrow down your focus. But if you choose to write on a more technical topic (more to do with theory), then you can actually cite measure numbers to "prove" your point. I'm thinking about analyzing two piano sonata movements.

Here's an idea for a thesis:

As seen in the first movement of his Piano Sonata in C Major, K. 545, Mozart's melodic themes flow seamlessly from one to the next; in contrast, as seen in the first movement of his Piano Sonata in E Minor, Op. 90, Beethoven juxtaposes musical themes clumsily, with minimal attempt at smooth transitions.

And for your support paragraphs you can follow this outline:

I. Transition from Theme A to Theme B in the Exposition
A. Mozart
B. Beethoven
C. How they are similar/different

II. Transition from Theme B to Theme C (or Codetta)
A. Mozart
B. Beethoven
C. How they are similar/different

III. Transitions in the Development or Recapitulation
A. Mozart
B. Beethoven
C. How they are similar/different

IV. Conclusion

In your introduction, you probably need to define what a "smooth transition" is vs. "non-smooth transition." And go on from there.


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#1197821 - 05/12/09 08:15 AM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: xxmynameisjohnxx]  
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Schubertian Offline
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Did I say 18th C, I meant 19th C of course.

I was only thinking of a parallel between Baud. and Beeth. since Baud. is often thought of as the first modern poet - the artist standing by himself outside of society and social norms looking in without feeling obligations toward church or state but only toward his muse - Beethoven saw himself more as a Prometheus I think than Baudelaire, whose art was always more inward turning - doesnt he say something in the famous introduction to FdM where he wants, through his verses, to feel superior to his contemporaries whom he despises? That would be an impossible sentiment for Mozart.

In that sense Beethoven represent something new in European culture- the bohemian artist who places artistic truth over social norms.


"There is nothing more terrifying than ignorance in action." -- Goethe
#1197830 - 05/12/09 08:43 AM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: Schubertian]  
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It's Harnoncourt, isn't it, who says that the playing of Mozart is so heavily influenced by the musical thinking of the romantic period, that we have completely lost the spirit of it and cannot appreciate how strong an impact it would have had in it's day.

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#1197831 - 05/12/09 08:45 AM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: Schubertian]  
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landorrano Offline
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Originally Posted by Schubertian


Beethoven represent something new in European culture- the bohemian artist who places artistic truth over social norms.


You have to be from Dallas Texas to think that.

#1197903 - 05/12/09 11:40 AM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: AZNpiano]  
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BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Is this essay written for a lower-division writing class?

[...]Here's an idea for a thesis:

[etc., etc.]

And for your support paragraphs you can follow this outline:

I. Transition from Theme A to Theme B in the Exposition
A. Mozart
B. Beethoven
C. How they are similar/different

II. Transition from Theme B to Theme C (or Codetta)
A. Mozart
B. Beethoven
C. How they are similar/different

III. Transitions in the Development or Recapitulation
A. Mozart
B. Beethoven
C. How they are similar/different

IV. Conclusion

In your introduction, you probably need to define what a "smooth transition" is vs. "non-smooth transition." And go on from there.


How do you think that giving the kid a thesis and an outline is really helpful? While you're at it, why don't you just write the paper for him! frown



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#1198013 - 05/12/09 03:21 PM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: BruceD]  
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xxmynameisjohnxx Offline
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Don't worry, I didn't use that one at all. I already finished most of the paper doing just a general overview. I start with early life, then move on to composition careers, and then their late life/death. I honestly didn't have time to spend analyzing whole sonata's...the paper was due today....:P. And besides, doing a sonata analysis would've gone over my teachers head. What I wrote on is stuff she can understand and relate to.


Chopin: Nocturne No. 15 in Fm. Op. 55 no.1.
#1198017 - 05/12/09 03:33 PM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: xxmynameisjohnxx]  
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BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted by xxmynameisjohnxx
[...] I honestly didn't have time to spend analyzing whole sonata's...the paper was due today....:P. And besides, doing a sonata analysis would've gone over my teachers head. [...]


[Grammar alert!]

... and I honestly hope that you, as a student in an English class, didn't form any plurals of nouns in your paper by adding apostrophe - s! The plural of sonata is sonatas, not sonata's!

Regards,


BruceD
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#1198056 - 05/12/09 05:06 PM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: BruceD]  
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Haha I did it once by accident but caught it and fixed it. I do that by accident sometimes when typing fast and not paying attention, thanks Bruce!


Chopin: Nocturne No. 15 in Fm. Op. 55 no.1.
#1198090 - 05/12/09 05:53 PM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: BruceD]  
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sotto voce Offline
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Is this essay written for a lower-division writing class?

[...]Here's an idea for a thesis:

[etc., etc.]

How do you think that giving the kid a thesis and an outline is really helpful? While you're at it, why don't you just write the paper for him! frown

+1 thumb

I'm so glad I wasn't the only one who immediately had the same reaction.

Steven

#1198097 - 05/12/09 06:01 PM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: sotto voce]  
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xxmynameisjohnxx Offline
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Again, Steven, don't worry. My paper was already finished by the time I read that. I did all the outlining, organizing, and a lot of the editing myself [my mom did a lot of editing too because she's an english teacher so she'll spot things I'd normally miss]


Chopin: Nocturne No. 15 in Fm. Op. 55 no.1.
#1198108 - 05/12/09 06:22 PM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: xxmynameisjohnxx]  
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Just to clarify, John, my comment wasn't related to your ability to write your paper. It sounds like the process went smoothly, and I'm glad. smile

Steven

#1204826 - 05/23/09 08:15 PM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: sotto voce]  
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Schubertian Offline
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John - did you ever get you essay finished? What did you end up writing about?


"There is nothing more terrifying than ignorance in action." -- Goethe
#1205098 - 05/24/09 01:40 PM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: David-G]  
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rrb Offline
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Originally Posted by David-G
Originally Posted by rrb
Originally Posted by David-G
With respect, I would disagree. There is as much Mozart in his music, as there is Beethoven in his.... Mozart's understanding of humanity, as demonstrated by his operas, is supreme.

I have some difficulty believing that anyone, even as monumentally gifted an individual as Mozart, who dies in his mid-thirties can have a 'supreme understanding of humanity'.

Shakespeare had written several of his most famous plays by his mid-thirties.

But as for Mozart, you only have to listen to the operas.

"Mozart ... was the first composer to perceive clearly the vast possibilities of the operatic form as a means of creating characters, great and small, who moved, thought and breathed musically like human beings." (Spike Hughes)

"Mozart is a great dramatist because the atmosphere, the action, and the character of the drama are all expressed by the orchestra. If the performers listen to the orchestra, know the orchestration, they will know what their characters are doing. The score of Figaro for instance, contains a continuous commentary on the failings, the weaknesses and the anguish of the characters." (Peter Hall)


Not making a big deal out of this. Just some comments on your post.

As far as I'm aware Shakespeare's date of birth is not known. A reasonable guess would be that he was around 40 when he wrote the great tragedies. A bit nit-picking, perhaps.

I think a better literary analogy is Thomas Mann, who at the age of 25 wrote 'Buddenbrooks', a portrait of social life in Luebeck that got him banned from the city! His 'great novels', though, were written when he was around 50.

The reason I bring this up is because 'Buddenbrooks' is not so much based on a 'command of humanity', but on minute observation. The goodly burghers of Luebeck were incensed because they saw themselves portrayed in the novel, with stunning accuracy, warts and all.

The libretti for Mozart's Operas were not written by him and the characters in the Opera's were no more invented by Mozart than the characters in Buddenbrooks were invented by Mann. Your quotes refer to Mozart's astonishing ability to bring the librettist's characters to life in music. This is, truly, an amazing gift, but as with early Thomas Mann, I do not think it constitutes evidence for a 'supreme command of humanity'.



Rob
#1205112 - 05/24/09 02:26 PM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: rrb]  
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I love Thomas Mann - Bud. is the only novel of his I have not read - now I want to run out and pick it up - what a genius he had for the transparent put-down - while appearing to praise something he does it is such a way as to skewer it unforgettably - he does this over and over in the Magic Mountain and in his short stories -

To get banned from his home town! Now that is a writer!


"There is nothing more terrifying than ignorance in action." -- Goethe
#1205115 - 05/24/09 02:36 PM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: rrb]  
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Betelgeuse, baby!
Again, rrb, it shows that you don't know Mozart's operas very well. If you've read the libretti he set, you would know that the characters come across as only a little more interesting than, say, the typical one-dimensional figures that are all too common in Metastasio.

The most astounding thing about Mozart's operas (especially from Idomeneo onwards) is that the music actually makes the characters three-dimensional and human by revealing things about them that the words simply can't -- as if the words and characters were simply empty shells waiting to be filled by Mozart's music. This would not be possible if Mozart did not have a great deal of knowledge of human nature. Mozart had an instinct on when the words weren't enough -- for example, in that astounding moment in the finale of Figaro, where a single act of forgiveness is laughably less than nothing if one reads the words (they are just dead wood at this point and characterization is nowhere to be found), but becomes something else entirely when one listens to Mozart's music.

If you need non-operatic evidence of Mozart's understanding of human character, read Mozart's Letters, Mozart's Life, Robert Spaethling's recent scholarly translation of many of Mozart's letters. The letters really show how astonishingly Mozart reads and understands other people like a book -- even how, without the slightest hint of coercion, he makes others do things they would otherwise not do. Throughout his life he was incredibly interested in people and what made them tick -- and of course it shows in his operas.

But honestly, I don't know why I'm writing this (life is too short, after all) since you're just another one of the many people who underestimate Mozart and your ears are too soaked in 19th century goo. It's a great pity.

P.S.: It is recorded that Shakespeare was baptized on April 26, 1564. We can safely assume that he was born only shortly before, since it was a custom to baptize a child a few days after birth (unless you are one who believes in whacked-out quasi-conspiracy theories).


Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.
#1205434 - 05/25/09 11:53 AM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: Janus K. Sachs]  
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Originally Posted by Janus K. Sachs

... since you're just another one of the many people who underestimate Mozart and your ears are too soaked in 19th century goo. It's a great pity.


The only issue I have addressed is whether or not one can reasonably claim Mozart possessed a 'sublime command of humanity'.

Mozart surely wrote music that deserves the description 'sublime' and I do not disagree with your remarks about his revolutionary contribution to, in particular, operatic composition. But 'humanity' is an extremely broad term and a 'sublime command of humanity' implies in my mind a deep, all-embracing knowledge of the full panoply of human behavior.

If a mere reluctance to ascribe this ultimate accolade to Mozart necessarily, in your eyes, 'underestimates him and implies one's ears are soaked in 19th century goo', then you are possibly right about the 'many'.



Rob
#1205473 - 05/25/09 12:59 PM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: rrb]  
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Originally Posted by rrb
The libretti for Mozart's Operas were not written by him and the characters in the Opera's were no more invented by Mozart than the characters in Buddenbrooks were invented by Mann. Your quotes refer to Mozart's astonishing ability to bring the librettist's characters to life in music. This is, truly, an amazing gift, but as with early Thomas Mann, I do not think it constitutes evidence for a 'supreme command of humanity'.


I never said that Mozart had a "supreme command of humanity". What I said was: "Mozart's understanding of humanity, as demonstrated by his operas, is supreme." I stand by that. Janus K Sachs has given such an eloquent explanation that I shall not attempt to explain further.

And I think that my statement about Shakespeare (not that it is strictly relevant) is correct.

#1205548 - 05/25/09 03:18 PM Re: Comparing and contrasting Mozart and Beethoven [Re: David-G]  
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Betelgeuse, baby!
Many thanks for your kind words, David-G.

This all reminds me of the incident when Mozart was sitting next to an uncouth man during a performance of Die Zauberflöte. Mozart wrote, "Unfortunately I was there just when the second act began, that is, at the solemn scene. He ridiculed everything. At first I was patient enough to draw his attention to a few passages. But he laughed at everything. Well, I could stand it no longer. I called him a Papageno and left. But I do not think that the idiot understood my remark."

Delightful as Papageno can be, one sometimes forgets that he is not destined to enter the temple.


Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.
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