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[文化博览] 【整理】文化 2008-01-05, Beethoven 贝多芬 - 03

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Homework

Beethoven's mother died of consumption; the inscription says, "She was such a good kind mother to me, and indeed my best friend." His father became more and more alcoholic till it finally became the case that Beethoven had to ask for his father's salary to be given to him directly so that he could take care of his brothers. When Beethoven's father died, the elector quipped that it's too bad there'll be a decline in a tax revenue for liquor. The elector of Bonn, Maximillion Franz, was a patron of young Ludwig. The Electoral Palace was the center of musical life. Today, it's the town university. When Beethoven was 12, his teacher, Neefe, predicted he would surely become a second Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, were he to continue as he has begun. In 1790, the emperor Joseph II died, and Beethoven was asked to write a memorial celebration. The composer was only 19. We tend to think perhaps of Beethoven as a later developer, say, than Mozart. But he did do some remarkable work very early on. I think perhaps all the outstanding work that he wrote in Bonn, was the Cantata on the death of Joseph II, which he wrote in 1790. Now this is a very very powerful work indeed for a boy of 19 to written. The use of very pregnant dramatic motifs, right at the beginning, impinges instantly on the mind and, there is a general intensity about the writing, which is very distinctively Beethovenian. And one of the things that makes it outstanding is of course the physical scale. And he composed this for the electoral orchestra, of which he was a member to play, and they just would not play it. It was too difficult. And the wind section, in particular, looked to the score and said, this is impossible and it was actually never performed. What is essential in Beethoven's music is the dynamics. When it is loud. When it is soft. Previous composers would have a soft section they would build up to a loud section. Not Beethoven. Loud one moment, soft the next. Very loud, very soft. And those dynamics are again pure Beethoven. These were revolutionary times. In August 1792, Louis XVI was arrested and would soon go to the guillotine in Paris. In October, the Elector fled Bonn, because of French troops in the Rhine area. Beethoven left a week later to travel to Vienna to study with Joseph Haydn. He would never return to Bonn.

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