Lesson 11: Beethoven and RomanticismIntroduction:Blame it on Beethoven. He was not only one of the three great Classical composers. He was thefirst Romantic composer. Music has never been the same since. If the Classical ideals of grace, balance, and proportion continued to underlie and inform Beethoven's most impassioned, tempestuous works, those who would follow him heard only unrestrained emotional expression in his music. After Beethoven, "Romantic excess" would become a redundancy.But we can thank Beethoven, as well. He demonstrated music's capacity to lay bare the human heart, to pour out the passion of a human soul. If the eyes are indeed the windows of the soul, then Beethoven revealed to us—even as he was going deaf—that the ears are the portals to the world of spirit, where our souls abide. It is perhaps this desire to explore and express the reality of all that is invisible that is the essence of Romanticism.The Romantic spirit embraced imagination, fantasy, and literature as potent forces of inspiration.The notion of telling a story through purely instrumental music—what is referred to as program music—reflected not only composers' greater artistic ambitions, but also a growing awareness of music's capacity to suggest such an unfolding narrative. Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 in F major(the "Pastoral" Symphony) was influential in this regard. In this lesson we will listen to two movements from the “Pastoral” Symphony, considering the programmatic nature of the work, its instrumentation, and some of its formal elements.We’ll also hear from three of our performance faculty, to learn, first, about the use of timpaniin the orchestra, and then, about two of the orchestra’s brass instruments: trumpetand trombone.Later in the lesson we will return to Beethoven’s sonatas—this time, his violin sonatas. Wewill be treated to video-recorded performances by James Lyon, Professor of Violin, and Timothy Shafer, Professor of Piano, as they play the first movements of two of Beethoven’s better-known violin sonatas: No. 5, the “Spring” Sonata, and No. 9, the “Kreutzer” Sonata.Lesson Objectives:
Upon completion of Lesson 11, students will be able to:recognize the Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Symphonies as Beethoven's most famous symphoniesrecognize Beethoven's Sixth Symphony as influential in the development of program music during the Romantic eradefine program musicrecognize selected compositional techniques used by Beethoven in his Sixth Symphonyrecognize the principal sections and subsections of sonata-allegro formrecognize the uses of timpani in a symphony orchestraidentify timpani, trumpet, and trombone as important instruments added to the orchestration of the fourth movement of Beethoven's Sixth Symphonyidentify the "Spring" Sonata and the "Kreutzer" Sonata as two of Beethoven's violin sonatasSteps to Completion:1.Print the terms study sheet located on the next page of this lesson for note-taking.