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Thread: Queen: Beethoven scholars?

  1. #1
    Midshipman, Forte
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Queen: Beethoven scholars?

    I apologize for the state of the manuscripts of "We are the Champions."
    I copied the song from a recording.
    It was for my job at an English school in Korea.

    Throughout the stanza, which lasts for the first four lines, the chordal accompaniment consists of intermittent chords, interspersed with rests. A steady legato accompaniment begins on the last measure of the stanza and continues until the end of the refrain, which beings on the fifth line.

    In many listeners, this steady legato creates the effect of embarking on a smooth voyage.

    The composer for the "Love Boat" series was no doubt aware of this effect. In each episode, the composer withholds a steady legato accompaniment until the ship disembarks.

    In his piano sonatas, Beethoven employs this technique far too often to attribute to coincidence.

    Following is a list of piano sonatas in which Beethoven withholds a steady legato accompaniment until the second subject.
    For each listing, the measure number for the second subject is enclosed in parentheses:

    --op. 2 no. 1, first movement (ms. 20)
    --op. 2 no. 2, first movement (ms. 58)
    --op. 2 no. 3, fourth movement (ms. 30)
    --op. 10 no. 1, first movement (ms. 56)
    --op. 10 no. 2, first movement (ms. 19)
    --op. 10 no. 3, first movement (ms. 23)
    --"Pastorale" sonata, op. 28, first movement (ms. 76)
    --op. 31 no. 1, first movement (ms. 66)
    --"Tempest" sonata, op. 31 no. 2, second movement (ms. 31)
    --"La Chasse" sonata, op. 31 no. 3, first movement (ms. 46)
    --easy g minor sonata, op. 49 no. 1, first movement (ms. 16)
    --easy g minor sonata, op. 49 no. 1, second movement (ms. 20)
    --"Appassionata" sonata, op. 57, first movement (ms. 35)

    In the "Waldstein" sonata, op. 53, a similar effect is created by the second movement leading to the third movement.
    Also, in the first movement of the "Les Adieux" sonata, op. 81a, a similar effect is created by the slow introduction leading to the first subject.

    Another observation: notice the major-minor shift on the second line of the second page. This reminds me of the E major-e minor shift in measures 2-3 of the second movement of the Waldstein sonata, op. 53, which in turn reminds me of the same two chords in ms. 9-10 of the first movement of the Moonlight sonata, op. 27 no. 2.

    Beethoven makes major-minor shifts on a larger scale in the second subject of the first movement of the violin concerto, op. 61, and in the first subject of the first movement of the A major cello sonata, op. 69.

    In case anybody is wondering, no, this is not a joke. I really am crazy enough to hypothesize all this.

    I realize, however, that this hypothesis must be made with caution. Someone once told Duke Ellington that his music showed influence by the British composer Frederick Delius. This came as a shock to Ellington, because at the time he had never heard of Delius. So he got curious and bought several Delius records. If a guest arrived while one of those records, he would hold out his hand and say, "There is my influence."
    Last edited by tomato; Jun-22-2007 at 17:41.

  2. #2
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Montreal, Canada
    *makes mental note to look for Love Boat theme*

    I`m sure the band would be tickled pink to hear that they were influenced by Beethoven.

    Actually, I always found that there were classical-ish elements in their song, Bohemian Rhapsody...

    Very original group; used many different influences. I think Freddie Mercury was a very good singer.

    As for the Ellington - Delius reference, I know Ellington did write some classical stuff (haven`t heard it, so I don`t know about the Delius-like elements.) How about Ravel and Gershwin? I think there was a fair amount of mutual influencing there (really.) Bill Evans was influenced by Debussy; one can hear it in the use of similar, rich chords. Plus Bill studied classical piano repertoire, including Debussy.

    Sorry to digress in your thread, tomato.
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson

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