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Ludwig Van Beethoven Compositions

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Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and the predominant musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras. He born on December 16, 1770 and die on March 26, 1827 at the age of 56. He was a pianist and composer whose innovative composition combined vocals and instruments, widening the scope of sonata, symphony, concerto and quartet. He’s personal life was marked by a struggle against deafness. Some of his most important works were composed during the last 10 years of his life, when he was quite unable to hear.

A symphony most often written by composer for orchestra and is an extended musical composition in Western Classical Music. Beethoven was created the first symphony began with two works directly emulating his model Mozart and Haydn. Symphonies are scored for string such as violin, viola, cello and double bass, for brass, woodwind and percussion instrument. Other instruments such as the piano and celesta may sometimes appear in a fifth keyboard section or may stand alone, as may the concert harp and, for performances of some modern compositions, electronic instruments. A full-size orchestra may sometimes be called a symphony orchestra or philharmonic orchestra.

The actual number of musicians employed in a given performance may vary from seventy to over one hundred musicians, depending on the work being played and the size of the venue. In recent decades some orchestras have returned to the Baroque, Classical and Early Romantic seating of musicians; second violins to the right, cellos and violas to the center which gives the music a stereophonic effect.

What is an orchestra? Whether it is considered as a collection of individuals, or a single, quasi-organic entity, it is widely accepted that there is no standard form for the orchestra; that its size and instrumental makeup will vary to suit the needs of the music. Such requirements may be stipulated by the composer, or implied by the style and period of the repertoire to be performed. Another element of orchestral design is its seating arrangement, or placement, which again has no single standard, yet can have as much influence on overall sound as numbers or instrumentation. Orchestral seating receives scant attention, if any, in many of the handbooks to be found on conducting or orchestration. Arguably it is less important than basic principles of technique in either discipline; however the way in which an orchestra is arranged undeniably has a bearing on its sound and function. In spite of its possible impact on performance outcomes – namely the practicalities of music-making for players and conductor, and the way in which the music sounds to an audience – seating does not often receive the flexible treatment afforded to many other aspects of performance practice.

The first movement opens with the four-note motifdiscussed above, one of the most famous in western music. There is considerable debate among conductors as to the manner of playing the four opening bars. Some conductors take it in strict allegro tempo, others take the liberty of a weighty treatment, playing the motif in a much slower and more stately tempo; yet others take the motif molto ritardando (a pronounced slowing through each four-note phrase), arguing that the fermata over the fourth note justifies this. Regardless, it is crucial to convey the spirit of and-two-and one, as written, not the more common but misleading one-two-three-four.

The first movement is in the traditional sonata form that Beethoven inherited from his classical predecessors, Haydn and Mozart (in which the main ideas that are introduced in the first few pages undergo elaborate development through many keys, with a dramatic return to the opening section the recapitulation about three-quarters of the way through). It starts out with two dramatic fortissimo phrases, the famous motif, commanding the listener’s attention.

Following the first four bars, Beethoven uses imitations and sequences to expand the theme, these pithy imitations tumbling over each other with such rhythmic regularity that they appear to form a single, flowing melody. Shortly after, a very short fortissimo bridge, played by the horns, takes place before a second theme is introduced. This second theme is in E flat major, the relative major, and it is more lyrical, written piano and featuring the four-note motif in the string accompaniment. The codetta is again based on the four-note motif. The development section follows, using modulation, sequences and imitation, and including the bridge. During the recapitulation, there is a brief solo passage for oboe in quasi-improvisatory style, and the movement ends with a massive coda.

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