Been listening to Beethoven for two weeks now, mainly the early piano sonatas and the early symphonies. Wonderful stuff and I never knew classical music and Beethoven was like, good, you know? Probably because it's nowhere to listen to generally and made out to be boring.
I particularly like the fast stuff, for instance the end of the Piano Sonata 1, 4th Movement.
I've got over the feeling like I'm in a war movie or a psycho and just enjoying the music.
Anyway, reading up a bit on Wikipedia about the sonata, it baffles my mind that one needs to understand the copy-pasted below to get the beauty out of it.
Also, I read online an opera singer saying the beauty in the music lies in comparing the composers against other composers, or their earlier works. But this doesn't make sense: if that was the case then one might as well listen to modern music, like Radiohead, because they changed and improved a lot, and then compare them to Muse or Coldplay. Can't a listener just enjoy the music without understanding the context? Also, despite having some knowledge of music theory and practice, there's no way I could ever listen to Beethoven and "hear" what Wikipedia describes below!
So, I'm just trying to ignore the metacommentary and just listen. Maybe read a book on Beethoven, but that's enough.
Cheers to 3 more months of classical music.
Wikipedia on Piano Sonata 1, 4th Movement:
A transitional passage modulates to the dominant-minor key, where a more lyrical but still agitated theme is presented twice. It is noteworthy that Beethoven chose the dominant-minor key as the secondary key, instead of the more conventional relative major. The exposition closes emphatically on C minor, with iterations of the first subject chordal motif.
The recapitulation reprises the whole exposition nearly identically (apart from very slight changes in dynamics and voicings), but significantly all the material is now re-stated in the tonic key (F minor), as would be expected of any conventional sonata form. The movement ends on a fortissimo eighth-note-triplet descending arpeggio, perhaps to give a symmetrical ending to a sonata that opened with a raising arpeggio.
Edit: I remember an interview with Joe Satriani in front of a bunch of fans, and he says he was miffed that no one spotted on one of his albums that all the songs purposefully started with a raising scale. But he refused to say which album lol. Maybe it's not important to "see" the theory to appreciate the beauty.
I've spent a lot of time the past week listening to Mendelsohn and Tchaikovsky. I've never listened to the whole of Swan Lake before, what a mistake I've made! If you are in the too large group of music enthusiasts that never listened to Swan Lake, do yourself a favour and track down a recording, it's worth it.