A Conversation for Ludwig van Beethoven - Pianist and Composer
Masses and chamber music
paulh. Trump's behavior is unpresidented Started conversation Jul 5, 2001
The choral movement of Beethoven's 9th symphony is well-loved,
but it is not the only major choral piece that Beethoven wrote.
His other choral works fall into three categories:
1. The mediocre. Beethoven's "The Mount of Olives" (1803/4)
is uniform in its lack of greatness, though the "Hallelujah"
portion is often inflicted on high school choruses and amateur
choral societies because it is easy to sing, and unarguably
2. The well-written. Beethoven's Mass in C (1807) is a nice piece that
regular gets sung by choral societies. There is a story about its
poor reception by Prince Eszterhazy (sp?), who commissioned the
piece when Haydn became too feeble to write masses. "My dear
Beethoven, and what have we here again?" was the Prince's tart
opinion of the work--but then, this prince didn't like much of
anything. Beethoven stormed off in anger on hearing this, which
was very much in character for him as well.
3. The magnificent and difficult. Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis"
(1819-1823) is considered by some to be the pinnacle of choral
attainment. This sort of magnificence comes at a price: some
sections are considered to be among the most difficult to sing
in the entire choral repertoire. But if you've grown tired of the
9th symphony, give the "Missa Solemnis" a try.
Beethoven's first published instrummental pieces were piano
trios (i.e. scored for piano, violin, and cello). He later wrote
piano quartets, string trios, wind octets, cello sonatas, violin sonatas,
etc., etc. I am mentioning these because it is possible to hear
Beethoven's well-known, large-scale pieces so often that you
grow tired of them. Just reach a little further into Beethoven's
output, and you will be well-rewarded.
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