Post by Herman Post by MiNe109 Post by Herman Post by MiNe109
These labels are "increasingly problematic" in academic
circles. The abstract linked below doesn't consider Haydn and
Beethoven as Romantic or classical, but suggests "First
Viennese Modernism" as a descriptive term. There's no chance a
non-academic audience would adopt this, but it's an interesting
I wouldn't mind reading the whole article, instead of the
abstract, based on which I can't help thinking 'don't fix it if
it ain't broken'. I don't really see what problem this new
periodization would solve.
The terms classical and Romantic are ahistorical and imprecise.
Music style changed at different rates in different places for
different audiences. I'm sure Beethoven didn't think of himself as
I am not so sure, if you look at the way he pushed the envelope, both
of the technicalities of the keyboard as the boundaries of the genres
towards the end of his career.
Of course, and he wrote of finding a new way for himself. The
ahistorical part comes when one imagines if he'd only lived longer he'd
have been Wagner, Bruckner, Debussy or whoever.
The greater point is the imprecision of the terms. Look at the many
synonyms 'pre-classical' rococco galant etc to describe the period pf
1720-1780. What you find depends on where you look and when.
Post by Herman
but it doesn't really matter. We know what came after Beethoven and
can decide to what degree it was different.
What of what came during Beethoven's life? Mehul, Cherubini, etc?
They're usually left out of the story in our emphasis on the symphonic
Post by Herman Post by MiNe109
Mozart could compose opera seria, lieder, or ground-breaking
symphonies all in a short time. Baroque, Romantic or Classical?
Classicial. This is determined to a large degree by the shape of his musical frases.
ETA Hoffman claimed him as a Romantic. His Prague symphony first
movement is comparable to that of Beethoven's Eroica. His Jupiter has
strong Baroque qualities in a symphonic context. The G minor symphony
has challenging harmonic passages.
There's nothing wrong with the conventional view of the
classical-Romantic continuum and you clearly understand the styles and
know the works, but academicians have a different view in my experience.