A Comparative Look at Beethoven and Mozart Lives

Last Updated: 20 Jun 2022
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Beethoven and Mozart are great and famous composers of classical music who share similarities in musical composition and still both exhibit certain differences. Being counted among the list of the most influential composers in the history of music, Wolfgang Mozart and Ludwig Beethoven are artists who have much in common.

This paper draws on the views that both of these composers have the same musical foundation having been introduced to music by their fathers. It seeks to explore the similarities as well as differences in the lives of Mozart and Beethoven in the history of music.

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Mozart and Beethoven are from the same origin and they worked in the same musical genres such as classical and romantic thus exemplifying themselves as very talented musician a as well as prolific composers. However, it is plausible to accept the fundamental truth there are no two people are exactly the same. On this basis, Mozart and Beethoven harbor certain differences that emanate from their different personalities and perspectives in music. As a result, it emerges that the age at which they began composing points out clear differences in their composition and musical careers coupled by their musical style.

Differences The first notably difference between Mozart and Beethoven lies in their musical style. Brown (23-25) postulates that the overwhelming greater part of the composition of Mozart is not only light but also very aerial and delightful. As such, music critics have attributed that the musical pieces of Mozart aim at general entertainment and extensively apt relaxation which underlies the whole paradigm in which music is composed and performed. On the hand, Beethoven’s music is typical of intensive drama which makes it heavier and typical of a wide range of pith.

In light of this, Wallace (105-107) explains that the music of Beethoven exhibits a lot of in-depth passion and dynamism in composition as well as performance. Notably, another important difference that marks the Beethoven and Mozart is their entry age in the field of musical composition. Arguably, Mozart began his musical career at the age of five and grew up composing music for royal people in most cases (Lancaster, 37-39). On the same note, Beethoven is said to have delved into music when he was already a teenager and concentrated a composing music for the public at large.

With regard to this difference, both musical artists grew in different circumstances as pertains their introduction to music and thus, their audience became marked by the conditions that characterized their entry in music. With the different audiences, Mozart and Beethoven had to compose music at deferent condition and they addressed different thematic concerns hence marking their greatest difference in their lives and music (Pestelli, 52-54). Significantly, it is prudent to note their difference in notation styles. Mozart continued to produce musical piece that was marked by clear and neat notations.

Comparatively, this was greatly different from the notational styles of Beethoven since his composition was marked by sloppy, unclear and somewhat careless notations (Brown, 49-51). Extensively, the style of their music as well as the audience they composed for left them emotionally feeling different. For instance, as Mozart became a happy, easy-going composer and person in life while Beethoven was typical of bad temper and largely became depressive. On this note the life experiences of these two life time composers propelled them to different pedestals.

Essentially, Beethoven led a lone life but his due to the question that he composed and performed for the general public he received an honorable burial after his death at the age fifty six. On the other hand, Mozart who specialized in composing for the royalties was buried in unmarked grave in Vienna at the age of thirty six (Lancaster, 87-89). Unlike Mozart, Beethoven had a method of composing which mirrored a situation where he recorded ideals in notebooks and later used them in building up blocks for his composition.

For example, the Ode of Joy, a symphony that was build on the theme of seeds was a concept conceived several years ago Accordingly, it is a reflection of a long gestation period of composition where Beethoven paid supreme attention to minute details in a bid to depict that in the music lies strength of idealism (Wallace, 36-38). This creative process marked the inspirational ability of Beethoven. However, Mozart was radical and was dubbed the Trent Reznor of his lifetime. He succeeded in his spontaneity ability as well as his outspoken nature.

With regard to their musical works, Beethoven composed pieces that rapidly diverged from his teacher and peers. Revolution was in air and Beethoven’s symphonies mirrored both political and artistic features. For example, his third symphony was dedicated to Napoleon but later own, Beethoven deleted his name on the title of the Symphony after the realization that Napoleon had already declared himself an emperor (Pestelli, 41-42). The resulting events led to Beethoven to produce shorter symphonies such as his fourth and eighth.

In light of this, Beethoven explored new areas in life and extensively wrote string quartets following the influence he got from his teacher Haydin. The works of Beethoven largely bordered personal introspective works that slid into uncharted musicals that still remained intimate. As a result, Brown (45-48) highlights that Beethoven composed various pieces that included several overtures, a mass and opera as well as concertos. He even stretched his base to write for piano with a host of sonatas and concertos for violins.

On the other hand, Mozart influenced greatly on the musical development by drawing his works from figures and preludes and extensively employed fugal writing within the larger composition of symphonies. Although this influenced greatly on the development of classical music, it had little connection to his creativity. Wallace (28-29) argues that the feelings, thoughts and ideologies of Mozart formed the basis of his influence and success in musical composition. As a result, these influence strove Mozart to commit to the depth of musical form and thus position him as a successful romantic composer.

In the same vein, both great musicians had extraordinary pieces of music and performed in different era. Mozart belonged to the classical period while Beethoven belonged to the romantic era. As such, Mozart ended up being criticized for composing radical music that endangers the morals of the women since majority of these women were aroused with Mozart music. Beethoven on the other hand Beethoven had the advantage of in paving way for the creation and invention of pianoforte. The greatest music of Beethoven is his symphonies which are still heard in the present time as they were listed to in his time.

Compared to Mozart, Beethoven continued to unify contrasting movements using musical continuity. Often, his music would have unclear ending, something that made his symphonies a bit longer (Brown, 57-61). Similarities It is worth noting that ideas and differences between Beethoven and Mozart can not suffice to say that either of them was better than the other but the interesting point of focus should be built around the understanding that both of them made major contributions in the world of classical music; contributions which led to the development of music as an art.

Arguably, we can draw from their differences to construct a viewpoint of how Mozart and Beethoven are similar. Significantly, considering the fact that both of them were creative and gifted innovators of classical music during the classical and romantic period, both Mozart and Beethoven share a similar characteristic of being musical genius (Pestelli, 12-17). In addition, Brown (65-67) illustrates that Beethoven went at length of achieving the iconic status of musical composer.

This factor is equally shared by Mozart and thus, the iconic status as a composer was a status achieved as a result of ones revolutionary and immense influence on the development of music within the milieu of pivotal points in terms of the classical and the romantic periods. As such, the symphonies of Mozart as well as Beethoven demonstrates the development for music in these eras as the themes portrayed in these symphonies resonate what was entirely used as the European anthem. Moreover, their images are construed within the parameters of musical history.

Beethoven, just like Mozart was born into a musical family where the father and grandfather were singers. Although this is not to the same extent, it is plausible to argue both Beethoven and Mozart were musical prodigies who were taught music by their parents at a tender age. Lancaster (121-122) asserts that the education of these two musical composers was courted by musicians such as Neefe; a factor which enabled them to demonstrate their musical talents in areas such as keyboard playing piano and harpsichord.

In addition, composers during their eras were employees of the church, state or rich patron who were requested to compose musical works to articulate different occasions that were deemed important within the precincts of religion as well as secular. According to Wallace (23-44) both Beethoven and Mozart exhibited some sense of independence in their creative works. As such, they could set their own agenda in the entire composition.

The basis of the set agenda gave these artists the opportunity to express their deepest feelings in life as exemplified by Beethoven who have his three symphonies reflecting the ideals of republicanism, liberty, religious beliefs as well as the aspect of brotherhood in the society. Conclusion From the foregoing discussion, it is evident that Beethoven and Mozart are great and famous composers of classical music but both exhibit certain differences. Being counted among the list of the most influential composers in the history of music, Wolfgang Mozart and Ludwig Beethoven are artists who have much in common.

However, both Mozart and Beethoven harbor certain differences that emanate from their different personalities and perspectives in music. All these similarities and differences fall within the wider framework of their musical careers, experiences and musical styles of composition. Work Cited Brown, P. The Musical Times: Mozart and Beethoven. Cambridge: CUP 2007 Lancaster, E. The Golden Age of Symphony: Mozart and Beethoven. London: Alfred Music Publishing 2000 Pestelli, G. The Age of Mozart and Beethoven. Harvard: HUP 1984 Wallace, R. Classical Equilibrium in Music. Oxford: OUP 2009

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A Comparative Look at Beethoven and Mozart Lives. (2016, Jul 22). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/a-comparative-look-at-beethoven-and-mozart-lives/

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