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For almost two hundred years, musicians, historians and the general public have been debating who Mozart’s successor was. Many composers have craved the position and many have thought themselves to be worthy of a place on the same mantle as the great Amadeus. Many have craved but few have been successful.
Well here is my ideas and theory. In my opinion Beethoven is the deserved successor.
it is unfortunate that between 1809 and 1813 there were so many great composers born. Many thought they had legitimate claims to be the heir of the musical pantheon. Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn, Frederick Chopin Richard Wagner all fall into this category. But Ludwig van Beethoven tops them all.
Born in Bonn in seventeen seventy he was more of a contemporary of the great Amadeus. He started his musical career as a virtuoso protégé as a pianist. As such he was possibly the equal of Mozart.
Mozart was composing at an early age Beethoven was suffering at the hands of an alcoholic father. Some believe that as the boy had been physically abused it was a contributor to his later loss of hearing.
Beethoven however never wrote sickly sweet music as Mozart was able to Mozart's so called Elvira Madigan concerto is a fine example this. The second movement of the Clarinet concerto has it's moments also. The best from Beethoven comes in the form of the second movement of the Emperor Concerto and the Symphony number six the pastoral.
People say that Beethoven's moonlight sonata is his best work. This is a very good work when we consider4 that man was deaf and on the verge.
Influences on his Work:
People say that you can not tell what an artist was thinking. This is disputable, when you think of what was happening at the time of Beethoven.
We know for example that at first he sympathized with Bonaparte. He dedicated the famous symphony number to the dictator then when Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor. he became worse than the existing rulers of Europe Beethoven tore up the dedication.
With all the military marching and marching songs the uniforms and the military bands there can be no doubt that this had an effect on his music.
The Erocia has a march for the second movement granted it is a funeral march but a march it is. The famous symphony number five was used to as a theme for radio news in World War II.
The famous Emperor Concerto has fanfares and trumpet calls reminiscent of militarist marches.
But then we come to the symphony number six when peace and calm prevail. There was a lull in proceeding Napoleon was on a suicide mission to Moscow and the rest of Europe was left in peace.
The music from here on still has the vigor and big ideas, but has become tamer, even milder.
The culmination comes with very famous Symphony number nine. The number nine was twenty three years in the making and a triumph both personally and critically.
Sadly today people go over board trying to use choirs of thousands, forgetting that when it was written an Orchestra's was smaller and choirs would consist of no more than forty people. They use instruments that consisted of gut strings and hair bows. The concert halls and places where this music was played were better qualified acoustically.
We must also remember that the man was going deaf for much of his career. It was a great achievement that he was able to compose at all. This alone should place him on the pedestal in the musical pantheon above Mozart. We must also take into consideration, the fact that Beethoven had fantasies about women above his status. He may well even have flirted with these women. This also shows that he achieved the one thing that Mozart coveted most of all. To be seen as a collaborator if not an equal to his patrons. He taught these girls music and piano. He was in contact with them regularly. Affairs in that case are not out of the question. We also now have evidence through his letter to 'My Immortal beloved.'
Yes Beethoven was the successor and even the equal of the great Amadeus, of this we have now have no doubt.

 

 


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Synopsis
zac's opinion piece on the successor to Mozart.
A Word from the Writer
The debate about Mozart's successor has rage for centuries. Here is my view in my weekly opinion column.
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