Ludwig van Beethoven, the Epitome of Classical Music

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Ludwig van Beethoven is the first name people think of when they are asked any question related to Classical music. His symphonies, piano sonatas, and choral works are still performed today, especially his symphonies. Beethoven’s symphonies are well known by all, a good example is his ‘knock-knock’ Symphony No. 5. The rhythmic pattern and minor third skip could be hummed and recognized by many. However, few people know of Beethoven’s masses, the Mass in C major Opus 86, and Mass in D, commonly known as Missa Solemnis, Opus 124. These two masses are significant because they were written in two different points in Beethoven’s life. The Mass in C was written in 1807 and was his first mass written in the traditional style (Solomon 205). The Missa Solemnis was written in 1818, and not finished until 1823 because Beethoven spent more time toying with it until he felt satisfied with it (Schauffler 381). Both masses were written around the same time as his renowned symphonies, No. 5, and No. 9, respectively. However, these two masses are not only significant because they were written in two different times of Beethoven’s life; they were also written in two different periods of music history. The Mass in C was written toward the late Classical period, which lasted from 1750 to 1820. The Missa Solemnis was written at the beginning of the Romantic period, which lasted from 1810 to 1914. Beethoven was at a shift in two different periods of music and he successfully made a career in both and by analyzing and comparing both masses, one can see the changes that Beethoven went through.
This research will be split into three sections, the Mass in C, the Mass in D, and then a comparison of both. Each beginning of each mass will contain the history...

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