Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-n9lxd Total loading time: 0.316 Render date: 2022-09-28T11:14:34.787Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

10 - Sound and structure in Beethoven's orchestral music

from Part III - Genres

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 September 2011

Glenn Stanley
Affiliation:
University of Connecticut
Get access

Summary

In 1918, Paul Bekker argued that the symphonies of Beethoven had been revolutionary and still captured the imagination of listeners in a unique way. It was not the color and variety of Beethoven's instrumental sound or his ingenuity as an orchestrator that set his symphonic works apart, but rather his exploitation of the sheer volume and presence of sound; Beethoven opened up the sonic power implicit in the orchestral forces of Mozart and Haydn, and the symphony now became more than a sonata for orchestra. Bekker suggested that Beethoven composed with a new “idealized picture of the space and listening public” in mind; his goal was to reach a “mass” public with the symphony, and to create a “community” through the act of shared listening. That community was far reaching, representing humankind, a spectrum of listeners that extended beyond the aristocracy and embraced those liberated from the shackles of the past by the ideas and events surrounding the French Revolution. Beethoven's orchestral music, through its implied extra-musical narratives and its impact on listeners, became associated not only with Romanticism but also pre-1848 political liberalism.

Bekker construed Beethoven's political and social ambition as a causal element in the act of symphonic composition. Beethoven sought a clear break with an older tradition of symphonic writing that had been directed at a circumscribed public consisting of the elite connoisseur and patron in favor of a strategy that could reach beyond and forge solidarity within a wider audience.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2000

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
1
Cited by

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×