Beethoven's 9th

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Beethoven’s 9th Symphony
Notes

Writing of Symphony:
Beethoven’s Life
Symphony No.9 in D minor was his last symphony
12 years after his previous symphony
Lived through three major life crisis
oEnd of romance
“immortal beloved”, an unknown woman
Identified as Antonie Brentano by Maynard Soloman
1811, dedicated “An die Geliebte” to her
Beethoven often rejected by women, sought unavailable women Send Antonie letting proclaiming he was unable to enter lasting relationship Reduced his productivity
oInability to create family
Tried to obtain guardianship of his nephew Karl
Obtained full custody after years of struggle
Pretended to be natural father
No parenting skill and deaf, Karl felt misunderstood and repressed Karl attempted suicide
Recovered and worked with Beethoven on meter markings for the 9th, then enlisted in army oTotal loss of hearing
Unable to hear conversation partners in 1818(in his 40s) Clinically deaf, experiments with cures and hearing aids(ex. Ear trumpets) Withdrew from society
Used conversation books to communicate
125 survive, originally over 400
One-sided conversations
Many removed by Anton Schindler, his assistant
oLoyal but vain and foolish
oBeethoven’s spokesperson after death
Stylistic Crisis
oExpanded Viennese style of Mozart and Haydn
oBy 1812, felt had expressed all artistic potential of Viennese style oWorks had tentative experimental air
oRevised old works and rearranged folk songs for George Thomson o1818, completed pieces that defied “classical” or “romantic” labels

Other Important People
Chose his friend Ignaz Schuppanzign to lead violins
Conductor: Michael Umlauf
oConcept of conductor was fairly new
oInstructed performers to ignore Beethoven
Theater Manager: Louis Deport
oConvinced Beethoven needed to help with direction
Soprano: Henriette Sonntag, Alto: Karoline Unger
oTurned Beethoven around to face audience

Schiller’s Poem
Ode to Joy expressed vanished Enlightenment idealism
Identified with Schiller’s revolutionary ideals of 1800 oCharismatic saviour who was powerful and just
oBrotherhood
Did not believe in democracy
Beethoven and Schiller both shared in disillusion with Napoleon’s imperialist campaign •Beethoven relied on 1800 printing of Schiller’s poetry oOde to Joy was omitted from 1800 edition
o1/3 of the lines were used for the finale

Rehearsal and Performance

Instrumental concerts could only take place during Lent, when theatre and opera were prohibited •Hired 20-24 singers for each part
Beethoven was ultimately responsible for renting the hall, tickets, advertisements, informing performers of rehearsals, providing refreshments, etc •Often suspected others of disloyalty
Had considerable financial security from First Symphony and Third Piano Concerto •Premiered on May 7, 1824 in Vienna, Austria
Barely made enough to cover expenses
Attended only two live performances
In the Symphony (see chart)
Used many ideas to make a greater collective impact than their individuals sums •Used various techniques
oRepetition
oShort term/ Long term Contrast
oVariation
Sonata form
oStability
oConflict/Instability
oResolution
Interesting compositional techniques
oFirst Movement
Void Music
Defiance Theme tail as subject for fugue
Tremolos, pizzicato
oSecond Movement
Ritmo di tre battute
Timpani solo
Usually placed as third movement
oThird Movement
Usually placed as second movement
Use of imitation and echoes
oFourth Movement
Use of recitatives and melisma
Dramatic Dissonant chord (Horror theme)
Hints of previous movements
Searching for a resolution
Use of choir
Turkish march(new instruments)
Combination of Joy and Awe theme to create double fugue
Four major keys areas
KeyThemes
D minorVoid Music, Defiance theme, Horror theme, Scherzo
D majorJoy theme, Tranquility...
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