03/16/15 Beethoven and the Classical to Romantic Transition

Midterm key: click for pdf

More about that motive: how many times do you hear it?
What about the sonata form of this movement?

Classical forms: inside and outside of the box

Inside the box:
Mozart – Piano Sonata no. 14 in C Minor: movement 1, Molto Allegro, 1784

Beethoven – Piano Sonata No. 1 in F Minor: movement 1, Allegro, 1796

Outside the box:
Mozart – Fantasy in D minor, 1782

Beethoven – Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor: movement 1, Grave. Allegro di molto e con brio, 1799

What is happening in the 2nd Beethoven example? How is it different from the others?

Further outside the box: a sonata that doesn’t use sonata form!

“Moonlight” Sonata”

Just one example of a modern artist influenced by Beethoven:

Social Context of Romanticism:
– Decreased power of aristocracy – decreased importance of patronage
– Increased access to music education – more performers of greater skill
– Increase in public concerts rather than church or palace performances
– Rise of both amateur musicians and virtuoso soloists

Elements of Romantic Style:
– Expression of individual emotion (especially longing, regret, discontent)
– Nostalgia for the past: childhood or distant eras
– Nationalism and folklore: folk song and dances, music of specific countries and cultures
– Exoticism: Northern European composers became interested in Southern Europe, Africa, Near East, Asia

Musical Characteristics:
– Singing melody
– Expressive harmonies: more complex, chromatic, dissonant
– New forms and expansion of existing forms
– Expanded orchestra (p. 193)

Video: Origin and influence of the French Revolution

in 1805, Beethoven dedicated his Third Symphony to Napoleon, but tore up the dedication page when Napoleon declared himself Emperor of France.


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