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British Excellence in New Tansman Piano Music Release

Chandos has been attentive in promoting the orchestral works of Alexandre Tansman, who due to the vagaries of fashion has to a great extent been ignored. They now embark on the piano music and a deeply personal project for soloist Margaret Fingerhut. Read more >>

Poll
Question: Which is 'more important', Opus 111 or the Liszt sonata?
Liszt sonata - 26 (54.2%)
Beethoven 111 - 22 (45.8%)
Total Voters: 48

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Author Topic: Which is 'more important', Opus 111 or the Liszt sonata?  (Read 7742 times)
argerich_smitten
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« on: May 10, 2005, 11:14:17 PM »

This poll is really pretty childish overall and has no factual answer, but a few people have been arguing about this recently (myself included) and I was curious what the majority thought.  Initially, I was going to do "which is the best piece", but that is even more subjective (if that's possible).  Which world would be more unimaginable... a world without Beethoven's 111 or a world without the liszt sonata?
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Goldberg
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2005, 11:56:47 PM »

I'm no musical expert, but I'll go with the Liszt sonata on this (even though my personal fave is the op. 111). As far as my amateur brain is concerned, Beethoven didn't write anything extremely *important* for piano after op. 106--though the last three are very beautiful--and perhaps that one would be more comparable to the Liszt sonata.

On the other hand, I understand that Liszt's sonata contains musical material that in its time was relatively revolutionary, especially in its structure but also in its harmonies, and it influenced the Romantic era for many decades after its publication, not to mention that it became THE hurdle for aspiring pianists to leap, at least since the 1900s (Busoni famously said that every pianist with professional ambitions should be able to play the Liszt sonata at 18, or quit).

But certainly there are better reasons..
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Rach3
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2005, 06:53:54 PM »

I vote for this thread being the most pointless one ever... I should start a poll...

Quote
Beethoven didn't write anything extremely *important* for piano after op. 106

I take that personally.  Angry

-Rach3
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argerich_smitten
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2005, 05:14:24 AM »

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I vote for this thread being the most pointless one ever... I should start a poll...

Though I think this is far from the most pointless, it is certainly up there I admit.  However, we hi-jacked the 75 min performance thread, and you seemed more than willing to talk about such pointless things there... I was just interested in getting other members oppinions on such a pointless topic
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Daevren
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2005, 01:33:51 PM »

Its pointless because the question is hard?

Discussing music doesn't sound very pointless to me. Its fun.

I think I would say the Liszt work is more important. Beethoven has lots of sonatas. They kind of share their importance. While Liszt has only two.

Both were very important for introducing new musical ideas. Liszt just put alot of them in this one sonata.

But 111 is also a favorite of mine.
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Rach3
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2005, 12:51:45 AM »

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Its pointless because the question is hard?

Discussing music doesn't sound very pointless to me. Its fun.

We're not discussing music here - we're making highly subjective value judgments where they cannot be made. Arguing which of two monumentally great works from different eras, written in different contexts is greater does not yield a productive answer - it merely reflects indiviudal tastes. Plus it tends to be very demeaning to the 'less great' composer under any circumstance, because of the 'superior'/'inferior' labels we're using.

Quote
I think I would say the Liszt work is more important. Beethoven has lots of sonatas. They kind of share their importance. While Liszt has only two.

This is a logical fallacy - you're arguing that both composers must have been equal ab initio. IMHO there are quite a few Beethoven sonatas that are much deeper and more sophisticated than the Liszt b minor - and I don't see where the Dante even enters the picture.
Btw, would you extend this to symphonies? Liszt wrote only one, so it must be 'greater' than any of Beethovens nine? Even the ninth?

Quote
Both were very important for introducing new musical ideas. Liszt just put alot of them in this one sonata.
Merely having 'ideas' doesn't make a piece great - music really isn't anything without form, structure, balance... And the b minor sonata has a highly original and effective structure, but so does everything that Beethoven wrote... best not to make too many judgements...

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SteinwayTony
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2005, 10:11:28 PM »

We're not discussing music here - we're making highly subjective value judgments where they cannot be made.

Most people call it music criticism.
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steinwayguy
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2005, 05:37:37 AM »

Ok. Which is more spiritually significant to you, the Liszt sonata or Op. 111? May God have mercy on your soul if you say the Liszt sonata.
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Rach3
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2005, 05:47:39 AM »

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Ok. Which is more spiritually significant to you, the Liszt sonata or Op. 111? May God have mercy on your soul if you say the Liszt sonata.

 Grin Could you start a poll on this?
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musicsdarkangel
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2005, 06:39:59 AM »

Ok. Which is more spiritually significant to you, the Liszt sonata or Op. 111? May God have mercy on your soul if you say the Liszt sonata.


Sorry,

You lose.


For me, Liszt by far.

The Hammerklavier....it's just, nothing special to me, a great piece, but not so spiritually significant as it is cool.

Honestly, I believe that pieces that follow perfect theory and key changes, are not so creative, and are not written from the soul.

 
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Rach3
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2005, 06:48:35 AM »

Quote
Ok. Which is more spiritually significant to you, the Liszt sonata or Op. 111? May God have mercy on your soul if you say the Liszt sonata.


Sorry,

You lose.


For me, Liszt by far.

The Hammerklavier....it's just, nothing special to me, a great piece, but not so spiritually significant as it is cool.


No, SteinwayGuy is not the loser here, you are. If you don't know the difference between the op. 106 ("Hammerklavier") and the op. 111, then I am forced to assume, among other things, that you have never heard op. 111. Or at the very least, that you are not in a place to be making criticisms of it.

Quote
Honestly, I believe that pieces that follow perfect theory and key changes, are not so creative, and are not written from the soul.

If you think the first pages of the Hammerklavier finale (assuming you've heard it at least once) are remotely orthodox in their chord structure...


(edited for word choice... -Rach3)
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Daevren
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2005, 07:55:06 AM »

Quote
This is a logical fallacy - you're arguing that both composers must have been equal ab initio.

Your fallacy is stronger. First you claim you cannot say one composer is greater than the other and then you claim Beethoven is greater than Liszt.

I judge them equal when it comes to solo piano. But Beethoven is better when it comes to symphonies. I would almost say that Liszt beats Beethoves when it comes to solo piano.

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AK47
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2005, 08:52:57 AM »

Ok. Which is more spiritually significant to you, the Liszt sonata or Op. 111? May God have mercy on your soul if you say the Liszt sonata.

i prefer the liszt sonata on a whole, i do really like the 1st movement of op111, but the 2nd movement hasnt really done it for me (may need further listens)

but can you explain this spiritual signifigance factor?
im not entirely sure, but the 2nd mvt of op111 sounds like a content and peaceful 'death', beethoven saying farewell to the piano, and to life...am i right?

is this why it means so much? and why people consider it a greater work?
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DarkWind
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2005, 03:59:22 PM »

I'm entering to say to one thing...
Liszt only wrote one sonata. The other is titled


Après une lecture du Dante
Fantasia quasi Sonata



It's a fantasia, ALMOST sonata. Not a full blown sonata. It's been irritating me beyond belief. So, Liszt has only written one Sonata. Got that? Good.
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Daevren
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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2005, 05:10:59 PM »

Uuh? Almost sonata?

The only point you have is that Liszt called it a quasi sonata. Not many romantic sonatas are 'true' sonata.

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musicsdarkangel
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« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2005, 07:22:04 PM »


No, SteinwayGuy is not the loser here, you are. If you don't know the difference between the op. 106 ("Hammerklavier") and the op. 111, then I am forced to assume, among other things, that you have never heard op. 111. Or at the very least, that you are not in a place to be making criticisms of it.

If you think the first pages of the Hammerklavier finale (assuming you've heard it at least once) are remotely orthodox in their chord structure...


(edited for word choice... -Rach3)

Whoops, yes I do know the difference.  111 is only mentioned in the thread, and because of all of the threads on the hammerklavier, I screwed up

Its a simple mistake, don't be immature about it.  And I am seeing op 111 live, I know the difference, I know both pieces backwards, and listen to them on average every other day.

Sorry, but the Hammerklavier does follow pretty natural key changes, you don't know theory if you say otherwise.  Sure, there are small sections that don'tfollow custom changes.  If you want, we can get into a whole time battle, which would be a good time waster, where I can point out the several 5 minute + sections where there is no dissonance whatsoever. 

Liszt wins in my books.  111 is not nearly as special to me.

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thierry13
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« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2005, 09:26:28 PM »

We're not discussing music here - we're making highly subjective value judgments where they cannot be made. Arguing which of two monumentally great works from different eras, written in different contexts is greater does not yield a productive answer - it merely reflects indiviudal tastes. Plus it tends to be very demeaning to the 'less great' composer under any circumstance, because of the 'superior'/'inferior' labels we're using.

We do not ask wich is the greater work, we ask wich is the most important to play. So, the one that you will get the more of. This is not subjective, or value judgments.
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Op. 1 No. 2
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« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2005, 10:19:25 PM »

Sorry, but the Hammerklavier does follow pretty natural key changes, you don't know theory if you say otherwise. 


Well, sorry, but you don't know music history if you say Beethoven should've done it otherwise because this way it would be "spineless" music, or whatever you'd like to call it. In the Classical era there were certain unwritten rules of how to go through a piece, structurewise. In Mozart's music, the base for any genre of piece is always the same, same for most of Haydn's and Beethoven's music. For that time, the Hammerklavier sonata is actually very daring and innovative, having four movements, undergoing other keychanges than I-III/V-I in a minor key, combining elements of baroque music with the modern music of that day. Aside from this you can also sense some early Romanticism in this piece, especially the slower third movement. This piece was definately ahead of it's time when Beethoven wrote it. And don't say this sonata isn't written from the soul, because trust me, all of the old Ludwig Van's music is.
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Rach3
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« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2005, 10:58:02 PM »

Er, I just looked again at the op. 106 finale, it looks like he attempts to tonicize in five radically different keys in two pages, and goes into to the actual tonic (B-flat) doing the circle of fifths backwards (a sequence of IVs) from A through V in B-flat. The whole sonata is startingly original in this way, if you know this piece "backwards" you should have picked up on this by now.
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Goldberg
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« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2005, 12:31:34 AM »

Well I know this doesn't involve me, but personally I understand the significance of the Op. 106 and its revolutionary structural design as mentioned by Rach3--and also, I might submit, the pianistic technique is quite a step up from Mozart, at least from what I can tell.

However, I am no real expert in theory beyond that kind of thing, and am curious to know a little more about the op. 111 because that is, after all, what is discussed in the opening post for this thread. From a musical perspective, as with the Hammerklavier above, is there anything that makes the Op. 111 singular, even when separated from the final three Beethoven sonatas? I imagine there is something to be said of the last movement's execution, if not its overall design, but I wouldn't know. In my original post I suggested that the Liszt sonata, compared to the op. 111, had more of an impact on musical theory and movements of the time than did the op. 111 in its time, but I could very well be mistaken.

And on a personal level, I agree entirely that the op. 111 is more enjoyable and satisfying than the Liszt sonata, at least provided that it is very well done (I heard Pogorelich play it live last year and I have to say it really was extraordinary). It's one of the few pieces that can be applied to a spiritual journey, I think, not to sound too hackneyed. That said, I'm not sure an argument can be made for its extreme theoretical significance--but again I'm in no position to judge that kind of thing (plus I haven't taken a large amount of time with the score for either piece). I'm actually a huge Liszt fan, but his B- Sonata really doesn't do a whole lot for me.
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Rach3
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« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2005, 12:50:30 AM »

Goldberg - you ask is the op. 111 revolutionary or unique? Well, for starters, it invents modern jazz...  Cool

Seriously though, the structure of the arietta is an very sophisticated theme and variations, I am nowhere near figuring out how it works even structurally. Of course, it's absolutely beautiful as well. There's a lot of retrospection in both movements, Beethoven referring to his younger self. I'm sure there is a lot to be said about the overall design of the op. 111, but I'm not going to second-guess what it is just yet.

Someone else can probably give a less crappy answer...
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Goldberg
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« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2005, 12:53:40 AM »

Goldberg - you ask is the op. 111 revolutionary or unique? Well, for starters, it invents modern jazz...  Cool

Haha, yes...Beethoven sure knew how to get his groove on, certainly! "Not bad for an old man, eh?"-Horowitz.
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musicsdarkangel
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« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2005, 02:38:42 AM »

Er, I just looked again at the op. 106 finale, it looks like he attempts to tonicize in five radically different keys in two pages, and goes into to the actual tonic (B-flat) doing the circle of fifths backwards (a sequence of IVs) from A through V in B-flat. The whole sonata is startingly original in this way, if you know this piece "backwards" you should have picked up on this by now.

Sure, there is a section....and yes, Beethoven was of course ahead of his time.

He is great, and dissonance doesn't exactly cut it for other people like it does me..... but his Hammer K and 111 both have not nearly as much as the Liszt (of course), and still, all four movements of the Hammerklavier follow common changes.
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DarkWind
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« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2005, 04:40:37 AM »

Uuh? Almost sonata?

The only point you have is that Liszt called it a quasi sonata. Not many romantic sonatas are 'true' sonata.



There are many sonatas that are not sonatas. But Liszt's intentions of the piece was for it to be almost sonata like, but really a Fantasy. We should honor his intentions, and not what we think is best, for sometimes we might just be wrong.
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steinwayguy
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« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2005, 09:21:11 PM »


Sorry,

You lose.


For me, Liszt by far.

The Hammerklavier....it's just, nothing special to me, a great piece, but not so spiritually significant as it is cool.

Honestly, I believe that pieces that follow perfect theory and key changes, are not so creative, and are not written from the soul.

 
Whoops, yes I do know the difference. 111 is only mentioned in the thread, and because of all of the threads on the hammerklavier, I screwed up

Its a simple mistake, don't be immature about it.  And I am seeing op 111 live, I know the difference, I know both pieces backwards, and listen to them on average every other day.

Sorry, but the Hammerklavier does follow pretty natural key changes, you don't know theory if you say otherwise. Sure, there are small sections that don'tfollow custom changes. If you want, we can get into a whole time battle, which would be a good time waster, where I can point out the several 5 minute + sections where there is no dissonance whatsoever. 

Liszt wins in my books.  111 is not nearly as special to me.


Sure, there is a section....and yes, Beethoven was of course ahead of his time.

He is great, and dissonance doesn't exactly cut it for other people like it does me..... but his Hammer K and 111 both have not nearly as much as the Liszt (of course), and still, all four movements of the Hammerklavier follow common changes.


That's so pathetic it's almost mind-boggling.
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aquariuswb
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« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2005, 09:33:28 PM »

I agree -- he's basically saying, "I like the Liszt more than the Hammerklavier because the Hammerklavier has no dissonance -- I mean, I like the Liszt more than Op. 111 because Op. 111 has no dissonance -- err, what's that you say? the Hammerklavier and the Op. 111 DO have dissonance? -- then, umm, I mean, I like the Liszt more because it has MORE dissonance!"

Idiocy.
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Lance Morrison
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« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2005, 09:39:21 PM »

musicsdarkangel states his opinion, and you all chastize him, call him an idiot. that's just brilliant of you, you should be proud Roll Eyes

this is why i avoid being honest about how i feel about the "great" composers
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hodi
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« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2005, 09:44:54 PM »

people.......................... do u think everyone remember what opus 111 contains??
please tell me what in this opus
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aquariuswb
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« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2005, 10:04:18 PM »

musicsdarkangel states his opinion, and you all chastize him, call him an idiot. that's just brilliant of you, you should be proud Roll Eyes

this is why i avoid being honest about how i feel about the "great" composers

I used the word "idiocy" because it fit. He clearly has no idea what he's talking about when it comes to the Beethoven sonata(s) at hand, which has been proven more than once on this thread. He also said, "Honestly, I believe that pieces that follow perfect theory and key changes, are not so creative, and are not written from the soul," as though Opp. 106/111 fit this description in any way.

"I can point out the several 5 minute + sections where there is no dissonance whatsoever [in the Hammerklavier]." Is this just an opinion? No, it's a false claim. Dissonance occurs all the time in Beethoven -- it's just usually resolved quickly.

"He is great, and dissonance doesn't exactly cut it for other people like it does me..... but his Hammer K and 111 both have not nearly as much as the Liszt (of course), and still, all four movements of the Hammerklavier follow common changes." -- Okay, well if you judge music based on how much "dissonance" they have, then sure, Liszt is better than Beethoven. But hey, why bother with Liszt, then, when you could listen to some Schoenberg or Boulez, or hell, even some microtonal music? I mean, if the amount of dissonance is the ultimate factor in judging a piece of work...

Lance, your criticism would be legit if musicdarkangel had, in fact, simply "stated his opinion." Sure, there was some opinion in his posts, but it was mostly hidden in a grandiose display of ignorance.


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Favorite pianists include Pollini, Casadesus, Mendl (from the Vienna Piano Trio), Hungerford, Gilels, Argerich, Iturbi, Horowitz, Kempff, and I suppose Barenboim (gotta love the CSO). Too many others.
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« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2005, 10:31:42 PM »

hi  Smiley

It is his opinion that "pieces that follow perfect theory and key changes, are not so creative, and are not written from the soul". It might be idiocy to you, but that doesn't make it invalid.

"I can point out the several 5 minute + sections where there is no dissonance whatsoever [in the Hammerklavier]." What someone considers dissonant and what someone considers consonant (or in common terms, what sounds ugly and what sounds pleasing) results a lot from what they are exposed to. For someone who has been mostly exposed to modernist classical music, there is the chance that nothing Beethoven writes sounds dissonant at all. In fact, tonally, it may sound downright bland.

"He is great, and dissonance doesn't exactly cut it for other people like it does me..... but his Hammer K and 111 both have not nearly as much as the Liszt (of course), and still, all four movements of the Hammerklavier follow common changes."  So what, the man prefers more dissonance. This is his right, and it isn't RIGHT or WRONG. If renaissance music (instead of romantic) was all the rage with classical fans, then someone who liked romantic era works might think, upon hearing a motet by Josquin, that the older work was not harmonically complex or dissonant enough. This gets back to what someone's perception of dissonance is.

In my opinion, an artwork should, ideally, be judged in context. If one fails to do this, than this is o-k. No one can be completely open minded about everything. I know I fail to judge origami in its proper context. I feel the poster in question had good intentions even if he may have lacked tact. 

btw, thanks for mentioning my pals Boulez and Schönberg, and the wonderful world of microtonality


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musicsdarkangel
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« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2005, 05:18:24 AM »

I used the word "idiocy" because it fit. He clearly has no idea what he's talking about when it comes to the Beethoven sonata(s) at hand, which has been proven more than once on this thread. He also said, "Honestly, I believe that pieces that follow perfect theory and key changes, are not so creative, and are not written from the soul," as though Opp. 106/111 fit this description in any way.

"I can point out the several 5 minute + sections where there is no dissonance whatsoever [in the Hammerklavier]." Is this just an opinion? No, it's a false claim. Dissonance occurs all the time in Beethoven -- it's just usually resolved quickly.

"He is great, and dissonance doesn't exactly cut it for other people like it does me..... but his Hammer K and 111 both have not nearly as much as the Liszt (of course), and still, all four movements of the Hammerklavier follow common changes." -- Okay, well if you judge music based on how much "dissonance" they have, then sure, Liszt is better than Beethoven. But hey, why bother with Liszt, then, when you could listen to some Schoenberg or Boulez, or hell, even some microtonal music? I mean, if the amount of dissonance is the ultimate factor in judging a piece of work...

Lance, your criticism would be legit if musicdarkangel had, in fact, simply "stated his opinion." Sure, there was some opinion in his posts, but it was mostly hidden in a grandiose display of ignorance.




You are full of it buddy.

Yes, sure, he will have a note out of the scale....every now and then, this does not change the fact that the changes are used commonly. 

Learn your theory, then call me an idiot.
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musicsdarkangel
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« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2005, 05:20:12 AM »

musicsdarkangel states his opinion, and you all chastize him, call him an idiot. that's just brilliant of you, you should be proud Roll Eyes

this is why i avoid being honest about how i feel about the "great" composers

thank you.


If you can prove these two sonatas (111 + 106) more dissonant than Liszt's B minor..... well...simply, you can't.

I am open minded to every type of music, but I just feel that these two Beethoven sonatas don't cut it for me.

So what?  How can someone argue against that?  Once again, I am not making any false claims, and am up for a theory battle.
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Daevren
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« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2005, 08:13:29 AM »

I agree with musicsdarkangel and Lance Morrison.

(late) Beethoven wasn't a romatic because of his harmonic dissonance. This stayed pretty conservative in that. He was a romantic because of his new way of using form and structure. He did lay down the way for other people to write exotic harmony.

Beethoven was important but the most important thing he did was in the field of orchestration and symphonies. It is here where gets the most of his fame.


It is a fact that alot of people cannot stand too much Beethoven on one day because of the harmonic blandlessness. It lacks colour and depth and starts to work on the nerves.

Even some Liszt isn't dissnant enough for me. I am not saying that Beethoven wasn't a very clever composer because he was. He just lived earlier than you and me.
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« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2005, 04:18:05 PM »

thank you.


If you can prove these two sonatas (111 + 106) more dissonant than Liszt's B minor..... well...simply, you can't.

I am open minded to every type of music, but I just feel that these two Beethoven sonatas don't cut it for me.

So what? How can someone argue against that? Once again, I am not making any false claims, and am up for a theory battle.
I agree with musicsdarkangel and Lance Morrison.

(late) Beethoven wasn't a romatic because of his harmonic dissonance. This stayed pretty conservative in that. He was a romantic because of his new way of using form and structure. He did lay down the way for other people to write exotic harmony.

Beethoven was important but the most important thing he did was in the field of orchestration and symphonies. It is here where gets the most of his fame.


It is a fact that alot of people cannot stand too much Beethoven on one day because of the harmonic blandlessness. It lacks colour and depth and starts to work on the nerves.

Even some Liszt isn't dissnant enough for me. I am not saying that Beethoven wasn't a very clever composer because he was. He just lived earlier than you and me.


So judging from what you have both said, I'm betting you hate Mozart, don't you? And if you do, my God I don't know what I'll do.
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Daevren
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« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2005, 04:24:08 PM »

I don't hate Mozart. But I never listen to it because I do not enjoy it.

So what? Its only Mozart.
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Rach3
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« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2005, 04:56:19 PM »

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Beethoven was important but the most important thing he did was in the field of orchestration and symphonies. It is here where gets the most of his fame.

He wrote much more chamber music than orchestral works, and it's all freakin' brilliant. Ignorant statement.

Quote
It is a fact that alot of people cannot stand too much Beethoven on one day because of the harmonic blandlessness. It lacks colour and depth and starts to work on the nerves.

How the heck is late Beethoven harmonically bland? The harmonic speed in op. 110 (for example) is much faster than the Liszt sonata. About every freakin' note in the fugue implies a new harmony.
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« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2005, 05:36:18 PM »

I don't hate Mozart. But I never listen to it because I do not enjoy it.

So what? Its only Mozart.


only mozart?...i think threads like this..should have a mandatory rule..everyone before saying any sentence..should start it with "In my humble opinion"..or "I solidly believe"...or.." In my little fanatasy world" <-----lol

i love mozart...

EDIT: almost for got to contribute...my vote goes to the Beethoven Sonata because in my fantasy world Beethoven  can beat Liszt up..and thats pretty good measure for deciding musical superiority right?...
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« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2005, 05:39:54 PM »

How do you define more? Longer music or shorter pieces? But the point was that symphonic music is way more popular than piano music than chamber music.

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How the heck is late Beethoven harmonically bland?
Maybe Liszt is harmonicly bland too. But the fact is that Beethoven was one of the early romantics and that he wasn't that extreme harmonicly. Maybe the fugato part had alot of harmonic colour, I do not know. But I am talking about the general picture. And Liszt liver later, don't tell me Beethoven was more extreme than Liszt in general.
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Nightscape
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« Reply #38 on: May 16, 2005, 07:06:41 PM »

Let's look at harmony objectively here.

Liszt Sonata in B minor -
first 17 measures (whole intro), 9 harmonic changes.

Beethoven op.111 -
first 18 measures (whole intro), 41 harmonic changes.

I believe this trend continues throughout both sonatas. While I personally prefer the Liszt (as witnessed by my Itunes playcounts), please don't say that the Beethoven is harmonically bland and follows "common changes".  Just look at the introduction to the op.111 sonata!  What exactly is common about that?  The fact that it is tonal?  Well, I hate to break it to you but atonality isn't exactly uncommon anymore.

But seriously, let's take a closer look at the Beethoven and see just how harmonically bland it is.  Look at the first two measures..... what other sonata up to this point begins so objectively.... no key is implied at all!  Look at measures 6 through 10.  In this passage alone there are 16 different chords harmonizing a rising chromatic bass.  Very interesting.... certainly not a simple V-I cadence here!  Then look at measures 11-12 (also 13-14).  The l.h is very dissonant here... with minor seconds right next to each other.  Also in measures 16 through 18 there is a deliciously dissonant trill in the bass just dying for resolution.....

Furthermore, the only real indication that this piece is in C minor in the introduction, is the V-I cadence in measure 3.  Other than that, there is awful lot of avoidance of the tonic in the introduction.  From measure 11 all the way to measure 19 V is torturously prolonged..... certainly not a 'quick' resolution of dissonance!

The fact is is that no great composer is "harmonically" bland... you'll find that each developed his or her own personal harmonic vocabulary that is rich with color.  In this way, even Webern is not necessarily more colorful or harmonically exciting than Beethoven - his vocabulary is certainly different than Beethoven, but no larger.  Just as you won't see a tone row in Beethoven, you won't see a plagal cadence in Webern.

(BTW, if you ever actually listen to renaissance madrigal music, you'll probably find it unusually dissonant to your ears... more so than the Classical and Romantic periods anyway.  Listen to some Gesualdo.)
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Lance Morrison
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« Reply #39 on: May 16, 2005, 07:36:44 PM »

  Listen to some Gesualdo.

Gesualdo is quite unsusual, very little music from the renaissance sounds anything like that
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Nightscape
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« Reply #40 on: May 16, 2005, 08:23:26 PM »

True, but Renaisance music still doesn't adhere to the same rules that classical and romantic music does.  My point is, is that it is not bland music.
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« Reply #41 on: May 16, 2005, 08:39:30 PM »

I never said Beethoven was harmonicly simple or more simple than Liszt. Also note that 111 is an exceptional work and one of Beethovens latest works. It is not representative of Beethoven in general. While the Bm sonata is could be considered representative for Liszts style.

Its just a different level of colour. I agree that 111 has alot of harmonic flavor. But I am not the only one that thinks Beethoven grows tiresome and harsh to one used to Ligeti or Coltrane.

I will try to find some sheet music and time later and look in detail about what you said about 111, should be interesting.
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Rach3
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« Reply #42 on: May 16, 2005, 09:06:20 PM »

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that 111 is an exceptional work and one of Beethovens latest works.

Besides the Ninth symphony, the Diabelli variations, and the last six string quartets you mean? I would say that quite a few of Beethoven's greatest (therefore most representative) works were written after op. 111 (or are op. 111).

Incidentally, the last three piano sonatas were all written in a two-year period (1820-1).   The Ninth was not written till '24, and the late string quartets were composed even later.
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« Reply #43 on: May 16, 2005, 09:35:21 PM »

More important? First of all, romantic composers have Beethoven to thank for getting there whole thing started. Now let's look at things in a strictly objective way. Beethoven is not harmonically bland. Beethoven does not have most of his fame from orchestra pieces, his piano sonatas are some of the most highly regarded in the literature.

The op 111 is arguably the greatest piano sonata ever written.  It has had way more of an influence than the Liszt.
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musicsdarkangel
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« Reply #44 on: May 16, 2005, 09:36:11 PM »

Let's look at harmony objectively here.

Liszt Sonata in B minor -
first 17 measures (whole intro), 9 harmonic changes.

Beethoven op.111 -
first 18 measures (whole intro), 41 harmonic changes.

I believe this trend continues throughout both sonatas. While I personally prefer the Liszt (as witnessed by my Itunes playcounts), please don't say that the Beethoven is harmonically bland and follows "common changes".  Just look at the introduction to the op.111 sonata!  What exactly is common about that?  The fact that it is tonal?  Well, I hate to break it to you but atonality isn't exactly uncommon anymore.

But seriously, let's take a closer look at the Beethoven and see just how harmonically bland it is.  Look at the first two measures..... what other sonata up to this point begins so objectively.... no key is implied at all!  Look at measures 6 through 10.  In this passage alone there are 16 different chords harmonizing a rising chromatic bass.  Very interesting.... certainly not a simple V-I cadence here!  Then look at measures 11-12 (also 13-14).  The l.h is very dissonant here... with minor seconds right next to each other.  Also in measures 16 through 18 there is a deliciously dissonant trill in the bass just dying for resolution.....

Furthermore, the only real indication that this piece is in C minor in the introduction, is the V-I cadence in measure 3.  Other than that, there is awful lot of avoidance of the tonic in the introduction.  From measure 11 all the way to measure 19 V is torturously prolonged..... certainly not a 'quick' resolution of dissonance!

The fact is is that no great composer is "harmonically" bland... you'll find that each developed his or her own personal harmonic vocabulary that is rich with color.  In this way, even Webern is not necessarily more colorful or harmonically exciting than Beethoven - his vocabulary is certainly different than Beethoven, but no larger.  Just as you won't see a tone row in Beethoven, you won't see a plagal cadence in Webern.

(BTW, if you ever actually listen to renaissance madrigal music, you'll probably find it unusually dissonant to your ears... more so than the Classical and Romantic periods anyway.  Listen to some Gesualdo.)

Oh wow, be prepared to be ripped apart.

The very first changes are 5-1's....oh wow, Authentic cadences, are they not the most common candences in music?  Hmmmmm, he basically modulations through the cleanest changes possible for a while, but at the very start, and i mean very start, it's pretty obvious that he is in C minor because the cadence resolves there.  When the main theme comes around, the 5-1's are uncountable.  Oh no, we have a circle of fifths afterwards, with the chromatic bass.    Roll Eyes

Just because this piece doesn't start in the tonic, does not mean that it has advanced modulations.....  If you need help defining words, I can be of assistance.

Ok, quantity of modulations is a different ball park than the TYPE of modulations.  Who cares about the number?  Bach had more changes than Beethoven ever would, yet Beethoven's changes are IMO more creative.... same goes for Liszt compared to Beethoven, you do not have a clue what you are talking about.


Try op 106.... can you listen to the first theme and say that it doesn't completely follow changes that are perfectly set up?  It sounds to me like it is written because it works.

Anyway, I am not bashing Beethoven, these are just not my favorite sonatas by him and this is because of the changes.

The moonlight sonata itself has more interesting changes, and that, although played out, I do believe is written from his mood at the time, and soul.

Can you argue this point?  Nope.

Anyway, I can make this even more hilarious by dragging out the Liszt and analyzing that, is that what you want?
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musicsdarkangel
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« Reply #45 on: May 16, 2005, 09:38:32 PM »

More important? First of all, romantic composers have Beethoven to thank for getting there whole thing started. Now let's look at things in a strictly objective way. Beethoven is not harmonically bland. Beethoven does not have most of his fame from orchestra pieces, his piano sonatas are some of the most highly regarded in the literature.

The op 111 is arguably the greatest piano sonata ever written.  It has had way more of an influence than the Liszt.

Look, I am not bashing Beethoven, I have played many of his works.... I just don't enjoy this particular sonata like everyone else.

So what.  To me, USUALLY, when it comes to MODULATION, I like more unusual changes, or more dissonances, than that of this piece.  I don't like atonality so much, I just have a perfect balance, this is inarguable.

Beethoven, obviously heavily influenced by Mozart, follows similar modulations, and cadences, which are still commonly used today in all types of music. 
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musicsdarkangel
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« Reply #46 on: May 16, 2005, 09:40:18 PM »


So judging from what you have both said, I'm betting you hate Mozart, don't you? And if you do, my God I don't know what I'll do.

So what if he does?

Most people I know are turned off to classical music because they are used to hearing earlier classical pieces, which Mozart was a part of.  For some people, the later works cut it, and convey more emotion.

Older music tends to sound more similar (Gluck, Corelli) and use the same type of cadences (Corelli's clash cadence, he used it in basically every piece).  All Gregorian chant sounds the same to me.  This is because their is more variation in notes in later music, causing more of a variation in modulations, cadences, TEXTURES.  So there is a perfect balance for me, which is the later romantic era.  Name two composers who sounded more similar (in a later time) than Haydn + Mozart, or Mozart + Beethoven.  This is impossible with the exception of French music, but still, even French music has more variation.


Are you obsessed with Gregorian chant?  It's all relative, Mozart to me might be what Gregorian chant is to you.  Barber to an atonal listener might be what Rachmaninoff is to me.

You are different.  Congradulations.
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Nightscape
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« Reply #47 on: May 16, 2005, 10:12:33 PM »

Oh wow, be prepared to be ripped apart.

The very first changes are 5-1's....oh wow, Authentic cadences, are they not the most common candences in music?  Hmmmmm, he basically modulations through the cleanest changes possible for a while, but at the very start, and i mean very start, it's pretty obvious that he is in C minor because the cadence resolves there.  When the main theme comes around, the 5-1's are uncountable.  Oh no, we have a circle of fifths afterwards, with the chromatic bass.    Roll Eyes

Just because this piece doesn't start in the tonic, does not mean that it has advanced modulations.....  If you need help defining words, I can be of assistance.

Ok, quantity of modulations is a different ball park than the TYPE of modulations.  Who cares about the number?  Bach had more changes than Beethoven ever would, yet Beethoven's changes are IMO more creative.... same goes for Liszt compared to Beethoven, you do not have a clue what you are talking about.


Try op 106.... can you listen to the first theme and say that it doesn't completely follow changes that are perfectly set up?  It sounds to me like it is written because it works.

Anyway, I am not bashing Beethoven, these are just not my favorite sonatas by him and this is because of the changes.

The moonlight sonata itself has more interesting changes, and that, although played out, I do believe is written from his mood at the time, and soul.

Can you argue this point?  Nope.

Anyway, I can make this even more hilarious by dragging out the Liszt and analyzing that, is that what you want?

musicsdarkangel,  I wasn't trying to attack you, but you have seen it fit to make a personal attack against me.  You are an incompetent moron, and you are obviously tainted with narcissism. 

I'm afraid I don't understand exactly what you are trying to say in your post.  It really looks like incomprehensible garbage to me.

Let me ask you this.... If you heard but only the first two bars of the op.111, could you possibly say it is in C minor?  No.   That is what I was trying to say... that in fact the sonata is quite revolutionary by being ambiguous at the beginning.  And I did point out the cadence in measure 3, but that is the only true V-I cadence in the entire introduction.  But you were obviously too caught up in your own pride to see my point.

What does "cleanest changes" mean?  The harmonic changes Beethoven employs in the introduction are certainly not the easiest or simplest ones Beethoven could have picked. 

If you are going to attempt to argue with me, why don't you use actual evidence instead of heresay, and try to present your evidence in a manner that doesn't make you look stupid.
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steinwayguy
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« Reply #48 on: May 16, 2005, 10:51:32 PM »

musicsdarkangel,  I wasn't trying to attack you, but you have seen it fit to make a personal attack against me.  You are an incompetent moron, and you are obviously tainted with narcissism. 

I'm afraid I don't understand exactly what you are trying to say in your post.  It really looks like incomprehensible garbage to me.

Let me ask you this.... If you heard but only the first two bars of the op.111, could you possibly say it is in C minor?  No.   That is what I was trying to say... that in fact the sonata is quite revolutionary by being ambiguous at the beginning.  And I did point out the cadence in measure 3, but that is the only true V-I cadence in the entire introduction.  But you were obviously too caught up in your own pride to see my point.

What does "cleanest changes" mean?  The harmonic changes Beethoven employs in the introduction are certainly not the easiest or simplest ones Beethoven could have picked. 

If you are going to attempt to argue with me, why don't you use actual evidence instead of heresay, and try to present your evidence in a manner that doesn't make you look stupid.

It seems he pretty much just ripped you apart.
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Rach3
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« Reply #49 on: May 16, 2005, 10:53:36 PM »

Wow!

Quote
The very first changes are 5-1's....oh wow, Authentic cadences, are they not the most common candences in music?  Hmmmmm, he basically modulations through the cleanest changes possible for a while, but at the very start, and i mean very start, it's pretty obvious that he is in C minor because the cadence resolves there.  When the main theme comes around, the 5-1's are uncountable.  Oh no, we have a circle of fifths afterwards, with the chromatic bass.    Roll Eyes
Is this supposed to be a criticism of Beethoven? Because it really comes across as an angry rant from someone who really hates Beethoven to begin with. It's obviously a circle of fifths with chromatic bass, it's also extremely long and dissonant, and does a marvelous job at avoiding the tonic. And yes, I'm aware that m. 2 has a tonic chord! It lasts for one beat before cadencing on the V - so it definitely doesn't tonicize there. Well it doesn't tonicize until page 2 - but you knew that of course.

Quote
When the main theme comes around, the 5-1's are uncountable.
And powerfully effective. Do you even bother listening to music, or do you just count chords?

Quote
Most people I know are turned off to classical music because they are used to hearing earlier classical pieces, which Mozart was a part of.
Not a failing of Mozart, a failing of people with short attention spans.

Quote
The moonlight sonata itself has more interesting changes, and that, although played out, I do believe is written from his mood at the time, and soul.

Can you argue this point?  Nope.
Yes I can. Moonlight is far more conventional than late Beethoven - the progressions in it are in fact textbook examples of 'orthodox' theory (very unlike op. 111). And yet you find it beautiful? Not too bland? Late Beethoven is a lot like Moonlight, but on far more sophisticated landscape - it takes a long time to even begin to get an appreciation for its genius.
But to attack it because its 'harmonic changes' are too ordinary - makes far less sense than the same criticism of Moonlight. Which I think we can both agree would be invalid.

Quote
Bach had more changes than Beethoven ever would, yet Beethoven's changes are IMO more creative
No - Bach is generally characterized by much slower harmonic motion - even in his dense fugues. There is a big difference between  having lots of chords and having actual reharmonization. But on the counterside, Bach was even more creative with modulations and cadences than Beethoven! That's exactly what counterpoint is - harmony. And harmony is counterpoint. It's not about getting different chords, it's about how the whole music shifts around getting there. No doubt contrupuntal music can be predictable as to what key you're going into - which makes the prolonged modulations all the stronger.

Quote
Anyway, I can make this even more hilarious by dragging out the Liszt and analyzing that, is that what you want?
I'd love to watch. I'll bring the coffee.

-Rach3



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