V.com weekend vote: What is your favorite piece by Beethoven?
December 16, 2011 at 5:49 PM
Happy birthday to Ludwig van Beethoven!
He would be 241 years old on Saturday, if he were still alive. In so many ways, he still is!
What is your favorite piece by Beethoven? Since, very obviously, I couldn't exactly list every work by this prolific composer on the poll, I have listed some genres, and you can describe your favorite work in the comments. Vote first, then I'll share my thoughts!
As for my thoughts, Schroeder says it well:
As gorgeous as is the Beethoven Violin Concerto, Beethoven is a piano hero. Some of his finest works were his piano sonatas, and yes, I love the popular ones: the Moonlight Sonata, the Appassionata, the Pathetique (Billy Joel, you thief! note:1:19), the Waldstein… Being a frustrated pianist (I always wished I could play but never achieved fluency on the instrument) I absolutely love the works that combine my two favorite instruments: the violin/piano sonatas.
I love all such sonatas, but especially this one, Op. 12, No. 3 in E flat major (perhaps because I played it). Here it is, and please tell us about your favorite Beethoven!
I voted OTHER, because I really don't have a favorite. Herr Beethoven left us many works I greatly admire -- different ones for different reasons. His symphonies come right to mind; so do his piano sonatas, VC, overtures, quartets, and the opera Fidelio.
His choral masterworks are often overlooked. The Mass in C Major and the Missa Solemnis in D are incredible works. Having performed both works chorally as well as orchestrally, they must top my list :)
Second movement of the Seventh Symphony. I get goosebumps and tears all at once!!
From Tom Holzman
Posted on December 16, 2011 at 7:31 PM
Marsha - I recently heard fabulous jazz musician Joshua Redman do an improvisation on that movement. With his other pieces, he would say that he composed it or someone else composed it. With this one, he said "I wish I could tell you I composed this one, but I didn't."
My favorite Beethoven is the Archduke Trio. Always has been, always will be. My parents gave me the middle name Ludwig after guess who.
Symphony #3 Piano/Violin Sonata #8, #9, #10 Archduke and Ghost Trios Violin Concerto Piano Concertos #3, #4, #5 Appassionata and Pathetique Piano Sonatas All the String Quartets. That's right, all of them!
I pulled out my Gilels 9 CD set of Beethoven's piano sonatas for my listening stack this weekend. Life is good.
Second would have to be Pathetique for the same perhaps a bit pathetic reason of hearing Shroeder play it (I once tracked down the pianist's name that played the recital on the famous peanuts cartoon). I'd heard a lot of classical music by that point - but Shroeder was the first to actually make me listen.
From John Gibson
Posted on December 17, 2011 at 4:26 AM
Beethoven Piano Sonatas are in my opinion some of the most genius works out there. They really tell a story, from the first opening arpeggio of Op. 2 No. 1 to the solemnity of the last C chord in Op. 111. My absolute favorite works by him are the 3rd movement of the Waldstein, the Sonata Op. 101, the string quartet Op. 59 No. 1 and the Grosse Fuge Op. 133. His music touches me more than most others. For some reason, I just feel like he is one of the few composers whose music completely exudes what humanity is.
He wrote so many wonderful pieces, but the 9th symphony really is the crowning glory. Each movement is stunning. The way the first movement just sneaks in, the rhythm and drive of the second, it just doesn't get any better. For any string player, the third movement is the epitome of Beethoven's glorious slow movements, and the finale is hair-raising.
-Triple Concerto for Violin, Piano and Cello, 2nd Movement
From Paul Deck
Posted on December 19, 2011 at 8:13 PM
Sorry to be a bit boring here but the Piano Sonatas (preferably for me the more complex later sonatas) are the brightest jewels in his dazzling crown. The symphonies, violin concerto, and violin-and-piano sonatas are brilliant too, so I wouldn't blame anyone for having chosen them.
Beethoven's only opera, FIDELIO, is a unique work, in a way surpassing all others. And as a violinist, there is a joy I feel whenever playing the "Spring" Sonata. It's simplicity and purity are almost Mozartian.
From John Pierce
Posted on December 20, 2011 at 2:35 AM
I said Concerto. Even though this is VIOLINIST.com, I'd say the Emperor Concerto. What a barnburner!
But then there's Symphony no 1. And 2. And 3. And 4. And 5. And 6 (Ahhhhhhhhhhhh). How about 7, especially the slow movement? 8 is good. And with my Choral background, no 9.
It's easier to name the few pieces I don't like. Except that it takes so long to search for them, they are so rare. :-)