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View Diary: Thursday Classical Music OPUS 57: Beethoven's Symphony #7 (127 comments)

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  •  Correction re: Alla breve (2+ / 0-)
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    ybruti, Dumbo

    First of all: thank you for this wonderful diary.  I have lived with the music of Beethoven for most of my adult life, so I've gotten to know and love the symphonies, but you showed me things I never really noticed before.  So thank you!

    But a quick correction:  you say above that "alla breve" means to skip the exposition repeat.  But Alla breve simply means cut time: 2/2 instead of 4/4.  As for the skipping of repeats in Beethoven's symphonies: in my view, that is a big no-no, and kudos to Bernstein to keeping them in the clip you found.

    My favorite recordings of the Seventh include: Blomstedt/Dresden, Barenboim/SKBerlin, Kleiber/VPO, and Gardiner/ORR.

    One other cool thing about the first movement of the Seventh: there are 62 measures in the Poco sostenuto introduction, but there are strictly NO dotted eighth notes (a galloping rhythmic figure central to the main theme and the rest of the movement) until the very end of the introduction, at bar 54, when we make the transition to the main theme.  Beethoven loved surprises, and the sudden appearance of that dotted eighth at bar 54  rhythmically "breaks" the rigid but powerful "ascending the staircase" motif of the introduction.  Constraint and then freedom; defeat and then victory: this is Beethoven.

    Please keep these diaries coming!  They are a great respite from grim news these days.

    •  I already corrected that (0+ / 0-)

      thanks to Eve, in a comment above.  Thanks for pointing that out, as well.  I wonder how many others caught that and didn't speak up out of pity!  

      I make a lot of mistakes.  My diary on Suspended Chords was a real hoot.  People who took music theory had no idea what the fuck I was talking about, because my dim understanding comes from garage band harmony/chord books.  I analyzed Mahler's 9th using Sus2 and Sus4s.

      I only reluctantly turned to using Roman numerals in my diaries.  I understood that just from osmosis, but growing up in a musical family, it was always ignored.  As my brother mister big recording producer told me, nobody uses that roman numeral shit in "REAL LIFE" because if you tell some moron guitar player to do I-III they don't know what you mean and even if they do, they'll do it wrong;  but if you tell them D then F#, they know immediately where to put their fingers.

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