Late Classical – Beethoven‟s Orchestra IT ALL BEGAN IN 1800 In about 1800, Classical music started to sound quite different. Listen to this to remind you of the sound from the early classical period. The composer who introduced a lot of the changes was Beethoven. Even if you don‟t like Classical music you might like Beethoven. Beethoven is Part-Classical and Part- Romantic The heading at the beginning of the presentation said “Late Classical” but you could also call Beethoven an early Romantic composer – his work bridges the two periods. His first four symphonies were written for a Classical orchestra (which we discussed in last weeks presentation), but after that he started trying all kinds of new stuff. Beethoven added instruments to the Classical orchestra. Beethoven created a bigger sound by adding more instruments to the Classical orchestra. The new instruments didn‟t all play in every single piece – Beethoven just used them from time to time. The Orchestra Brass French Horns Trumpets Trombone Trombone Trombone Percussion Kettle drums Cymbals Bass drum Triangle WOODWIND SECTION EARLY CLASSICAL…. Beethoven adds… Flutes Piccolo Clarinets Double Bassoons Oboes Extra flute, oboe, Double bassoons clarinet and bassoon players. The String Section EARLY CLASSICAL…… Beethoven adds… 1st and 2nd Violins. More of everything Violas. in string section to Cellos. balance out the larger woodwind Doubles basses. section. In his 9th Symphony Beethoven added a full choir for the last movement – the „Ode to Joy‟. Beethoven‟s work sounds exciting and dramatic The structures of Beethoven‟s symphonies are Classical – they‟re the same structures used by Mozart and Haydn. The music sounds very different though – the earlier Classical music sounds light and elegant, but Beethoven‟s is full of tension and drama. How he does this……… 1. He uses contrasting sections of the orchestra, e.g. the brass playing against the strings. 2. There are big variations in the dynamics. 3. The rhythm drives the music forward. 4. Beethoven’s orchestral works have powerful themes. The theme in the 5th symphony is a great example. The theme (or motif) is used in all four movements it sounds like a threat but by the end it sounds like jubilation. Beethoven was the first to link the movements of symphony in this way. Beethoven paints pictures with the Music Beethoven‟s music is often designed to create pictures. In the 6th Symphony (also called The Pastoral) the music makes you feel like you‟re in the countryside. It‟s easy to imagine you can hear birdsong, the babbling brook, country dancing, thunder and lightning and the howling wind. This idea of painting pictures with music was pushed further with the Romantic program music. One final point It‟s not too hard to spot a piece of music but it gets trickier when you have to spot the difference between a piece by, say, Mozart and a piece by Beethoven. Learn the stuff on this page and LISTEN TO LOTS OF CD‟S. Listening is the only way to find out what this stuff sounds like. Now answer these questions. 1. What were the developments to each section of the orchestra? 2. The structures used in Beethoven‟s symphonies were very similar to early classical music. The music sounds very difficult though. Complete the statement below: The earlier Classical music sounded light and elegant, but Beethoven‟s is full of _ _ n _ _ _ n and _ _ _ m _. 3. Beethoven‟s symphonies were based on powerful themes, which symphony is a great example of this? 4. Complete the following statement: There are big _ a _ _ _ t _ _ _ _ in the _ y _ _ _ _ _ s . 5. Some of Beethoven‟s music was often designed to create, what? 6. What‟s the other name of Beethoven‟s 6th Symphony, and what picture does the music create? Homework Find out Beethoven‟s dates and five other interesting facts about him, other than those we‟ve discussed in today‟s lesson.
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