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Old 05-01-2007, 02:59 AM   #1
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mondschein-sonate vs. pathetique

if you only know the adagios then that's just fine.

but what do you prefer?
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:13 PM   #2
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Pathetique, for hundreds of reasons I don't really have time to get into at the moment.

Hotel internet connections.
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Old 05-02-2007, 05:56 PM   #3
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but please do tell when you come back, though
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:47 PM   #4
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I am back.

And oh boy. You've placed what are arguably Beethoven's two best sonatas against each other. Though I was quick to choose Pathétique last night, Mondschein is also incredible. The decision was harder than my above post implies. If it were simply adagio versus adagio, I'd pick Moonlight. But I assume you meant the full sonatas.

Pathétique...where to begin? I first started listening to classical music for my own pleasure at around the age of 13/14. I'd heard most of the big orchestral works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Mahler and Beethoven in music class. Not many piano pieces. On a whim, I picked up a cheap CD one day - Alfred Brendel performing Pathétique. I listened to it about five times on repeat, absolutely stunned by the quality. It is in my opinion, from start to finish, Beethoven's greatest work for piano. It is the piece that made me fall in love with Beethoven. The allegro is brilliant. That mournful, eerily beautiful first two minutes or so leads into that wonderful technical section, before slowing down again to repeat the beginning. That first repeat...it still sends shivers down my spine, and I must have listened to this piece hundreds of times. Then the adagio. Oh God, the adagio! It is quite simply one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever arranged. I can't really say much more about it than that. Into the final movement...the rondo is the reason why I begged my parents for piano lessons for seven years, to no avail. There is not a single note out of place. Simply perfect.

Moonlight on the other hand...were it not for the second movement, it would be flawless. Alas, the allegretto is there and will always be there. I have never enjoyed it. It has always seemed very pointless to me. Very average, as far as Beethoven goes. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful little section. I suppose the only reason why it seems so average to me is that it is sandwiched by the brilliant first and final movements. The adagio never fails to make me teary. It's not a technical marvel, but emotionally, not much else can come close. As I said, if it were adagio versus adagio, I would pick Moonlight in a heartbeat. We already know how I feel about the second movement. The final movement is wonderful. So much anger! The last few minutes are...well, there are no words to describe them.

So in the end, it's the pointless second movement in Moonlight and my own personal attachment to Pathétique that makes me choose the way I do.

I think I've waffled on long enough.
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:50 PM   #5
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Oh, and before this thread slips off the main page, quick U2Man! Second movement of Beethoven's Seventh versus second movement of his Ninth? Your answer is crucial.
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Old 05-04-2007, 04:10 PM   #6
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i knew i could count on you

i agree, btw. mondschein has the best adagio but pathétique is the best overall.

regarding the symphonies. i'm gonna have to say the ninth. nothing like it.

and zooropa and zoomerang '93 intros
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Old 05-04-2007, 05:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Man

regarding the symphonies. i'm gonna have to say the ninth. nothing like it.


The ninth is a thousand times better than the seventh overall, but I have a soft spot for the second movement of the seventh. It's genius.

Who is your favourite Beethoven conducter? Herbert von Karajan for me. The man had such a grasp and love for Beethoven. I know some people think his approach is a little too forceful, but I like my Beethoven chaotic.



I think we're going to be the only people in this thread.
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Old 05-04-2007, 05:27 PM   #8
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Oh, and whenever anyone says anything against Karajan, all I have to do is post this video to get them to eat their words.

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Old 05-06-2007, 09:16 AM   #9
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definitely karajan. i've got a complete beethoven symphonies compilation conducted by karajan (berlin philharmonic orchestra). wonderful stuff.

beethoven needs to be played with force and chaos. it's much more brutal music than for instance the music of mozart.

i don't care if we'll be the only people in this thread, as long as we can explore some more "second movements" together
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Old 05-06-2007, 02:46 PM   #10
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Hurrah! I have a classical community on my LiveJournal friends list, and some of the people there are brutal when it comes to Karajan, saying that he conducts far too quickly and that he sacrifices precision for force. I mean, yeah, I've heard a few performances where the orchestra has maybe flubbed a note or two because they're attacking the piece with such fervour. It doesn't bother me though. As you say, Beethoven wrote brutal music. Brutal music is meant to be played, well, brutally. I've heard performances by other conductors that are slower and more precise, yet completely devoid of the emotion that Karajan is capable of bringing out.

Now that you mention Mozart, I have a confession to make. I'm rather lukewarm when it comes to Mozart. Requiem is brilliant and he has a few sonatas I enjoy, but on the whole, I find a lot of his work to be slightly fluffy and boring. Highly influential, no doubt, but boring nonetheless. Same goes for Vivaldi and the like. I guess I just like moody Germans, Poles and Russians...they're like the alternative rockers of the classical world. I'd take Beethoven, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Chopin over almost anyone else any day.
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Old 05-06-2007, 03:55 PM   #11
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The Appassionata kicks both these sonatas' asses.

The first piece I ever played in public was the 2nd movement of the Pathetique, so it's a bit of a soft spot for me. That said, the Appassionata remains my favorite. And there are many others I'd place above either the moonlight or pathetique (Tempest, Pastorale, Waldstein, Op. 111).

As far as favorite conductors, I haven't really listened to all that many for Beethoven, but I've got a set of Beethoven's symphonies conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and I really like the interpretations.
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Old 05-06-2007, 04:21 PM   #12
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I was wrong! We're not the only ones in this thread anymore.

And you can't really go wrong when it comes to Beethoven. The Appassionata is brilliant (I still prefer Pathétique though ). Les Adieux is another one I love. I've never really come across a piece composed by Beethoven that I haven't enjoyed.

I've never heard Harnoncourt conducting Beethoven before. Perhaps I'll take a visit to Amazon.ca...
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Old 05-06-2007, 04:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by GibsonGirl
I've never really come across a piece composed by Beethoven that I haven't enjoyed.
I take it you haven't heard Fur Elise, then?



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Old 05-06-2007, 04:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Diemen


I take it you haven't heard Fur Elise, then?



Come now, it's only bad when it's used as a cellphone ringtone.
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Old 05-06-2007, 04:34 PM   #15
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It's also bad when it's all your students wanted to play.
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