Date of Award
Master of Music
Standing between the two most significant and extreme periods in music history, (Classical and Romantic) Beethoven's great contribution, as nearly as words can state it, was the fusion of the two. Summarizing and perfecting all that was best in eighteenth-century music and anticipating all that was to be lasting in that of the nineteenth, he gave the world the music of all times. Beethoven is acknowledged to be the greatest of the classicists and the greatest of the romanticists. The listening world agrees that with Beethoven, music becomes a universal language. His rhythms are not the ordered time beats of the dance but human heartbeats that quicken and falter with the emotion of the life they sustain. His tender melodies and fierce dissonances are human voices calling out in gladness, anger or despair. His music speaks both of the body and of the spirit, of man as he is and as he aspires to be.
Beethoven was never fluent. Unlike Mozart and Schubert, from whose pens music flowed as if directed by some good spirit, Beethoven fought it out with his own ideas. Often the struggle lasted for years.
Compared with the other great symphonists of the period, Beethoven's compositions are few. But of Haydn's hundred and twenty-four symphonies, only a half dozen have lived; of Mozart's forty, seldom more then four are heard today. Of Beethoven's nine, not one can be spared. Not one symphony left that dreary tumbled workroom until the master had looked long upon it and knew that it was good.
Beethoven's genius sentenced him to hard labor. Yet that is the one thing his music does not tell. Whoever enjoys the quiet flow of the Nifth's Andante, would dream that it had been worked over for years? Why it is as fresh as new nown hay. One never knows what to expect, for Beethoven followed no formula, yet whatever happens, seems the one and only thing that could have happened. And the surprise and delight are mingles with a strange feeling of familiarity.
R. von Charlton
R. von Charlton
Prairie View Agricultural and Mechanical College
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Date of Digitization
John B Coleman Library
City of Publication
Wells, Jr, L. T. (1950). The Beethoven Balance Of Expression And Design. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.pvamu.edu/pvamu-theses/860