A Beethoven Thought

For those of us con­cerned about form and archi­tec­ture, here’s a great quote about Beethoven, cour­tesy Bernard Hol­land in the 2/23/07 New York Times:

Beethoven was the Clas­si­cal era‚Äôs psy­cho­log­i­cal archi­tect. He knew how his audi­ence lis­tened, and for how long. Hear how he manip­u­lates atten­tion spans in the finale of his ‚ÄúPath√©tique‚Äù Piano Sonata (Op. 13). The open­ing theme runs 17 mea­sures. By the time it returns, Beethoven knows lis­ten­ers know it, and so begin the short­en­ings and com­pres­sions, the squeez­ing of longer mate­r­ial into smaller spaces.

About Richard D. Russell

This was written by Richard D. Russell, New York City based composer of fine music.