Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Beethovens' Most Cryptic Remark - What are the Reasons??

On and off, I come back to a question about a statement that Beethoven uttered; namely, "Handel is the greatest of them all."
With a not-too obscure composer, born the same year as Handel(1685), whom we call Bach, I have myriads of questions swirling around in my addled cranium, resulting in questions in a speculative mode, such as:
Did Beethoven utter this statement because he understood that Handel was actually as gifted as Bach ( as do I), but tempered his intellectual side just enough to (metaphorically) "invent" the turnstile in order to bring the middle class into the arena of audience for the first time, and made big money in doing so?
Or did he actually consider Handel a greater composer than Bach, who was, certainly, the most pervasive, in influence, of all composers, in my view?
Did he know more about Handel than he did about Bach(which, seemingly, is refuted when we hear that great fugue in that great sonata toward the end of his sonata writing).
When I think of the harmonic vocabulary of Bach, which sometimes, even by some musicologists is placed second to his polyphonic gifts; the ways of probity and experimentation in his chromatic phases which, as opposed to the tempering of this aspect by Handel, which, seemingly, is engendered by the reality that he consciously attached the import of rendering his incarnations more understandable and therefore more "popular" to the masses than did Bach, whose world was much smaller?
I have some confusion about Beethoven's utterance, as you can see.



Blogger vaincre said...

The great ones say many strange things. :)

December 10, 2009 at 6:34 PM  

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