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The Battle Between “Il penseroso” and “The Old Arpeggio”

Before the time of television and the internet, live music performances were a primary form of entertainment. Performances were held in private homes, as well as concert halls. Many rivalries formed among pianists and composers. This created a unique angle for entertainment as individuals could then debate the merits of each musician and choose sides. One of the more famous piano duels was held between Franz Liszt and Sigismond Thalberg. Read more >>

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minstrel
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« on: January 14, 2007, 05:04:28 AM »

Haydn,

What are your thoughts about him as a composer?  How good is he in relation to Mozart or Beethoven?
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sharon_f
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2007, 05:30:02 AM »

He was the father of the symphony and the string quartet. He invented sonata form. His output was extraordinary. 60 piano sonatas, 100+ symphonies, numerous chamber pieces, masses and oratorios, including the sublime "Creation." He was mentor and friend to Mozart, teacher to Beethoven.
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pianistimo
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2007, 05:48:36 AM »

yes.  papa haydn.  he was second to none in terms of really messing up form and analysis way before his time.  if you try to analyze any movement of the creation - they ends up not fitting any particular form exactly.  and yet, they sound good.  he was just as much a genius as mozart.  and, despite the repeats - he does create sensations from his creative rhythmic innovations as well as his melodic ideas.

but, alas - i am not particularly as fond of his piano music as much his symphonies or his oratorio 'the creation.'  i think that it's kinda bland.  but, that's just me.  it's good for weddings, imo.

say - did you know he was kicked out on the street basically when his voice changed.  apparently he had a wonderful voice and sang in a boys choir...but when his voice changed - he had to start teaching and get lots of other things going to support himself.  he had a few rough years before he established himself.  i have to find my books on him.
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iumonito
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2007, 06:26:51 AM »

He was the father of the symphony and the string quartet. He invented sonata form. His output was extraordinary. 60 piano sonatas, 100+ symphonies, numerous chamber pieces, masses and oratorios, including the sublime "Creation." He was mentor and friend to Mozart, teacher to Beethoven.

Sharon, I'm sorry, but it just bugs me when people say stuff like that.  There is no doubt that Haydn wrote sonatas and symphonies and string quartets, and did wonderful things in all these genres, and that he treated the sonata principle extensively and creatively, but there were many fittingly classical symphonies and sonatas and string quartets before Haydn, and the so called sonata form is a post-classical rationalization (and a fairly limited one at that) of the vibrant "allegro" principle as you find it in so many first movement of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, and earlier in J.C. Bach, and to some extent in C.P.E.  Bach and even D. Scarlatti.

May I recommend Charles Rosen to begin with?

To the original post:  Haydn is awesome, very asymetrical and formally witty.  Get your hands on Konrad Wolf's book.

Pianistimo, look for Robbins Landon (you have JSTOR, right?).  Also check this one out: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/hfs.cgi/00/7555.ctl
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minstrel
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2007, 06:32:50 AM »

I think Haydn is even more important composer than Mozart.. here's why.. Mozart was very good at excelling in the forms that were popular at the time.. But Haydn came up with the original idea that gave birth to beethoven.. I'm not sure Beethoven would have been the composer he was if it was not for Haydn, whereas Mozart could have existed or not, but it wouldn't have affected Beethoven.

If Beethoven is the greatest composer of classical music, then is Haydn just as great for giving birth to him?

Haydn experimentation in his piano works, and only a few of the later ones really have it, are the seed of Beethoven.  The 2 e-flat sonatas and the C-major English are works of the highest genius, and led the way to Beethoven who led the way to the Romantics.  It's like Haydn cracked the ice, and Beethoven shattered it.
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rc
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2007, 07:15:56 AM »

I enjoy Haydns music.  Nearly a year ago I ordered his complete symphonies (Adam Fischer & Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra), it's given me good listening all year and there's still a lot to discover.  Before that I'd been listening to the complete sonatas (John McCabe), which I like as well.  I would say his music is high quality overall, there are some that are more inspired than others, but few that I've found forgettable.  Good craftsmanship.  I particularly like when he thickens the texture in the developments of the sonatas with an extra voice.

My current favorite to listen to is Sonata HobXVI:46 in Ab.  Especially the Adagio, there's a peaceful wonder about it...  I'm probably at the level where I could pull it off now, I should learn it after I take care of the current workload.

say - did you know he was kicked out on the street basically when his voice changed.  apparently he had a wonderful voice and sang in a boys choir...but when his voice changed - he had to start teaching and get lots of other things going to support himself.  he had a few rough years before he established himself.  i have to find my books on him.

I seem to remember reading that they wanted to chop off young Haydns nuts, make a castrati of him, which was when his father came in - "to hell with THAT!".

Here's a free Haydn biography: http://www.web-books.com/Classics/Nonfiction/Biography/Haydn/Home.htm

For some reason this site doesn't like me and won't let me DL all the way, I've got a funky connection, but it'll probably work for everybody else.

If Beethoven is the greatest composer of classical music, then is Haydn just as great for giving birth to him?

That is pretty amazing, that Haydn could give birth.
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rc
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2007, 08:05:18 AM »

oh, but I've never been a big fan of Haydns minuets...  They all seem very generic to each other, and to me they only serve as contrast for the more interesting trios.  Maybe there's something I don't understand of the minuets?
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iumonito
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2007, 08:36:51 AM »

I think Haydn is even more important composer than Mozart.. here's why.. Mozart was very good at excelling in the forms that were popular at the time.. But Haydn came up with the original idea that gave birth to beethoven.. I'm not sure Beethoven would have been the composer he was if it was not for Haydn, whereas Mozart could have existed or not, but it wouldn't have affected Beethoven.

If Beethoven is the greatest composer of classical music, then is Haydn just as great for giving birth to him?

Haydn experimentation in his piano works, and only a few of the later ones really have it, are the seed of Beethoven.  The 2 e-flat sonatas and the C-major English are works of the highest genius, and led the way to Beethoven who led the way to the Romantics.  It's like Haydn cracked the ice, and Beethoven shattered it.

Beethoven Op. 13 is modeled on Mozart K. 457, Beethoven's third concerto is modeled on Mozart 491, Beethoven's piano and winds quintet and clarinet trio are modeled in Mozart examples (cough, cough, the first of their kind in each case).  Fidelio owes a whole lot to the marriage of Figaro.  To say that Beethoven was unaffected by Mozart seems not very plausible.

You may also explore how much Mozart influenced Haydn.  Although Haydn was older, Mozart developed a personal style much earlier, and, to follow your reasoning, Haydn's London symphonies are unthinkable without Mozart's Prague, g minor and Jupiter symphonies.
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pianistimo
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2007, 01:47:31 PM »

ok.  iumonito, i'll look for robbins landon.  interesting how much we look at music through our 21st century eyes.  agreed that 'form' today - isn't the classical 'form' that was developing back then.  it must have gone through many morphs.  as you say - starting with the idea of the 'sonata allegro.'  thanks for sharing.

haydn was probably more responsible for developing already existing ideas - as you say.  of refining the sonata form.  the esterhazy princes allowed him to compose a vast amount of music.  it shows a verys solid structure - but always with some sort of innovation.  he wrote symphonies at first for twice-weekly concerts, works for the instrument played by the prince (the baryton--a kind of viol for which he wrote trios), and he also wrote cantatas and church music. 

in 1790, nicolaus esterhazy's grandson was his patron.  his main duty then was to produce masses for the princesses name-day.  he wrote six masses and strengthened his symphonic technique.  other late works are the string quartets.  by the time he got to creating 'the creation' (which was not comissioned by the prince, btw) he was composing in what we would see today as an 'organic' way that followed the text more and not necessarily always musical form exactly as we know it - or have analyzed other pieces from the time frame.
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pianistimo
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2007, 01:52:23 PM »

speaking of 'connections' - it is very interesting to look at the similarities between beethoven's 'eroica' symphony and 'the creation.  i'll try to find my paper.

here it is:

haydn wrote many sketches for this work and many do not match the final product (showing his great imagination and innovation).  baron von swieten often added his own ideas to the libretto, as to what should be done musically.  some of the suggestions were accepted and some were not.  haydn did try to match the text with the moods of his music and was adept at using tone painting to describe the tempestuous state of the earth before it was fully created in order.  the depiction of chaos begins with the angel raphael's recitative recounting 'howling winds, storm, and fire...then driven clouds, lightening, thunder, gentle rain, hail, snow, billows of sea, and finally the sun and moon.  (you can hear his depictions of each type of weather in the music).  the musical depiction of chaos is very much like beethoven's opening in the eroica.  there is much chromatic disunity, formal disunity, and a lengthening of ideas according to a preconceived idea of what something 'should sound like' by matching the music to the text or idea.  this was involving more emotion in music than previously allowed.  it forced the music to fit the text or the idea of the piece rather than the music fittin g the form only.
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pianistimo
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2007, 02:01:51 PM »

also, haydn expanded the form to mean whatever he needed it to.  there are no precise forms in haydn's creation.  only close approximations.  choruses mark off units of the creation by singing at the end of each day.  there is a lengthy coda which reinterates all of the creation (part III) and is similar to the reiteration of the themes in a fugato style of the theme and variations begun in the fourth movement of the eroica.  you think you are sticking with a sort of aa bb form until you start reaching longer and longer phrases and then the fugato section.  so, in effect, beethoven and haydn  started going with feelings and emotion rather than form alone.
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pianistimo
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2007, 02:06:16 PM »

phrases became extended by the use of chromaticism, new melodies interspersed with old, varying rhythms, inverting fugal themes, rearranging themes, using motives and elongating them.  and, haydn  had a similar propensity to use neopolitan 6th chords as starting points for various places in his representation of chaos as much as beethoven used the german augmented 6th many times in the first movement of the eroica.  other similarities would be that in many places there is no normal resolution of harmonies.  no leading tones.  instead we see neopolitan sixths or german sixth relationships, a lack of regular pulse, and motives sprinkled throughout. 

ps rc - i reread through your post - and didn't realize haydn was threatened with castrati stuff because his voice was so pleasing.  yikes.  i think his father made a good choice for him, then. somehow i got confused because it sounded like he was 'on his own' after he was done singing.
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pianistimo
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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2007, 02:17:29 PM »

now, for beethoven - he decides to assess the sonata principle and make the recapitulation dependent upon the exposition.  the first movement of the eroica reconciles the formal, spatial requirements of sonata form with discursive, narriative, temporal drama.  (the characters in the 'creation' undergo a prfound experience and can never be the same again).  this creates an opposition within the structure of the sonata- similar to the constant opposition of a sort of 'fate' in the creation - premonized by the 'duet' 'by theee with bliss - fortelling a time when eve would be alone and succumb to the temptations of the tree of good and evil.

the recapitulations of the first movement of the eroica and the WHOLE of the creation is similar in that they restate material already heard - but manipulate it as necessary to ideas of formal balance, time and space.  they are quite long - and in the eroica restate everything previously heard (in the coda).  adjusting these two elements creates a problem of extreme complexity and utimately the deterioration of the sonata principle.
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pianistimo
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2007, 02:31:09 PM »

something else that is very interesting is that the word 'organic' comes to mind when analyzing these works and their composition methods.  the eroica opens with the chords of Eb major - but we are not sure about the key.  just as with the opening measures of 'the creation' (chaos) .  there is no clear key established.  the tonality is not defined or even preserved.  normal long melodic phrases are absent.  in it's place are short four bar motives.  rhythmic definition is absent - and the subdivision of time is often changed. this is much the same with the 'chaos' opening of haydn's.  the eroica's tonality of Eb major is only established at measure 15 - but no sooner is it established  - than modulation takes place - and contrast and tension appear in the modifications the meter undergoes in m 23-35.  beethoven starts using thematic fragmentation with the gentle 2nd theme.  in the eroica - the form with the discursive, narriative, temporal drama - is analagous to theatre drama.  the characters undergo a profound experience and can never be the same again. 

the heiligenstadt testament marks a 'watershed' in the creative life of beethoven.  shortly after his despair at learning of his hearing loss being incurable and his suicidal thoughts being transformed into a 'new way,'  beethoven began to carry out a resolve in his work on the eroica symphony (1802).  the h. testament was written in 1802.  and his self-pity turns to acceptance of his situation (though not without a struggle to achieve acceptance) and the assumption of the burden of life.  he doesn't lose 'love for humanity and a desire to do good.'   he siezes 'fate by the throat' and in art and life was committed to involvement.  beethoven, who knew symphony form would reach the most of humanity, used it to express this resolve.
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counterpoint
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2007, 03:31:41 PM »

Haydn is much more Beethoven-like than Mozart-like. Without his influence, there wouldn't exist the Beethoven we know. The experimental way of composing, the surprises, the shocking effects. Haydn was a very modern composer. Mozart's music is ever classical music, Haydn's music (in his best works) is astonishing even today while we know the music of Strawinsky, Prokofieff ... and... Schumann  Grin
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pianistimo
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« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2007, 04:26:20 PM »

well, i think it's a combination.  if i remember right - haydn and mozart were friends.  they probably played off of one another like birds of a feather - and yet - beethoven took some piano lessons from haydn before he had to go back and take care of his mother...and so had only met haydn and not truly become close friends.  do you think beethoven learned as much from haydn as haydn beethoven?  even though haydn was much older? they probably learned much from each other.

it is interesting how they all lived around the same time frame. haydn outliving everyone.  as i read 'joseph haydn and the classical era' (article found at www.carolinaclassical.com/articles/haydn.html  ) 'gluck, haydn, and beethoven all composed operas that were highly regarded, but it was mozart and rossini who composed the most beloved operas of the time.  both were experts at the form of opera buffa (comic opera) and elevated the status of it from low-class entertainment to a very respected art form.  one of mozart's last operas, the magic flute, helped to start an important line of german opera, later culminating in the gigantic works of wagner.'

as this article puts it - haydn 'was instrumental in the development of the sonata cycle and helped to establish the tradition of modern orchestral playing.'

when haydn died in 1809, they played the mozart requiem at his funeral.  'his long career enabled him to produce a vast quantity of works that defined the viennese classical style.'  unfortunately his coffin was opened and his skull absconded with.  it was stolen two days after the funeral.  then another skull was sent to the prince to bury in it's place.  the real one was bequeathed to the gelsellschaft der musikfreunde (society of the friends of music) in vienna. 'over a century later, in 1932, the reigning prince esterhazy made great efforts to obtain the head for burial with haydn's body in the mausoleum that he had erected in the bergkirche at eisenstadt, but he was not successful, and the skull still remained with the gesellschaft until 1954, when it was finally entombed at eisenstadt on june 6, 1954.' 

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pianistimo
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« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2007, 04:41:31 PM »

one thing always leads to another in musicologists heads.  baron von swieten seems to be an energizing force between many composers of the period.  here's an interesting article on van swieten and mozart.  www.schillerinstitute.org/music/m_rasmus_801.html

now baron von swieten was also intimately involved with the production of 'the creation' and even helped with the text (as much as da ponte and well - milton - in a manner of speaking).  after all - he had the money.

now, haydn also became familiar with the works of handel because of van swieten.  the oratorios in particular.  it's interesting how they all tie in together.

in another book i read 'beethoven's concertos also represent a continuation and intensification of earlier classic concertos.  mozart's piano concertos, much admired by the younger composer, exerted a strong influence, but there are substantial differences in form and in expressive content.  all of beethoven's concertos, especially the third, fourth, and fifth piano concertos and the violin concerto, have the dimensions and musicalsubstance found in other beethoven works in larger forms; they contain qualities of seriousness and serenity rather than galanterie.  there is a nobility of line and a lack of virutuosity for it's own sake. 

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pianistimo
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« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2007, 04:58:24 PM »

sorry to go on - but here's an interesting tidbit.  'the 1805 concert during which the 'eroica symphony' was first performed must have lasted at least four hours.  it is interesting to note that when it was announced (a grand new symphony in D#) that it was in D# instead of E-flat.  the announcement is in the austrian national library in vienna.

anyways the discomfort of fittin gthe creation and eroica into the classical period is probably due to the lessened need of haydn and beethoven to write at breakneck speed (haydn taking up to two years composing the creation) because of being composed to order.  there was a closer relationship at the end of the eighteenth century between the composer and the audience.  in earlier time, music, whereas sincere and more intensely pesonal in expression, was largely separated from the personal life, fromt he external conditions of the artist.
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counterpoint
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« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2007, 06:47:00 PM »

do you think beethoven learned as much from haydn as haydn beethoven? 


Haydn composed his "London Symphonies" (his latest and best symphonies) in the years 1791-1795

Beethoven composed his op.1, three piano trios in the year 1795

All of Haydns main works were already composed, except from The Creation!
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invictious
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« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2007, 10:35:40 PM »

how on earth did he compose so much in a lifetime, that's a ridiculous amount of works.
Especially writing it down, I understand having the whole symphony in your head already, but writing it down is the annoying bit.

For me it is!
20 instruments with different parts each, my god.
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Bach - Partita No.2
Scriabin - Etude 8/12
Debussy - L'isle Joyeuse
Liszt - Un Sospiro

Goal:
Prokofiev - Toccata

>LISTEN<
pianistimo
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« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2007, 10:41:06 PM »

thanks, counterpoint.  you have a good point. 
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jakev2.0
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« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2007, 04:14:11 AM »

Not the most talented of composers.
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burstroman
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« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2007, 04:38:12 AM »

I have grown to prefer Haydn's piano sonatas to Mozart's.  His writing for the keyboard is more varied and imaginitive. His writing is freer than Mozart's.
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Mozartian
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« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2007, 01:31:05 AM »

Haydn is soooo wonderful! His piano sonatas are quite good, and his string quartets are sublime. I'm getting more into him- his music has a happy, witty charm that's absolutely irresistable to me.
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[lau] 10:01 pm: like in 10/4 i think those little slurs everywhere are pointless for the music, but I understand if it was for improving technique
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« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2007, 08:41:22 PM »

The first 3 pianosonatas (Op.2 No 1, 2 and 3) Beethowen dedicated to Haydn.

This speaks for itself.
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webern78
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« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2007, 05:22:24 AM »

I think Haydn is even more important composer than Mozart.. here's why.. Mozart was very good at excelling in the forms that were popular at the time.. But Haydn came up with the original idea that gave birth to beethoven.. I'm not sure Beethoven would have been the composer he was if it was not for Haydn, whereas Mozart could have existed or not, but it wouldn't have affected Beethoven.

A very dangerous assumption. Beethoven may have learned how to compose from Haydn, but he learned greatness from Mozart. Without the latter he would have never pushed himself has hard as he did...
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webern78
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« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2007, 05:38:07 AM »

Beethoven Op. 13 is modeled on Mozart K. 457, Beethoven's third concerto is modeled on Mozart 491, Beethoven's piano and winds quintet and clarinet trio are modeled in Mozart examples (cough, cough, the first of their kind in each case).  Fidelio owes a whole lot to the marriage of Figaro.  To say that Beethoven was unaffected by Mozart seems not very plausible.

You may also explore how much Mozart influenced Haydn.  Although Haydn was older, Mozart developed a personal style much earlier, and, to follow your reasoning, Haydn's London symphonies are unthinkable without Mozart's Prague, g minor and Jupiter symphonies.


Indeed. It seems to me dispite his incredible prestige Mozart is still a largely miss understood composer and not really as popular (among serious listeners) as you'd think. It's odd really, i personally think without Wolfgang there would have never been a 'romantic' Beethoven...
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streetwalkincheetah
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« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2007, 04:33:36 AM »

personally his music isn't my favorite but i just started my first of his sonatas and it is very fun to play.  it feels good on the fingers.  at least the one im learning does
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