Essay on Joseph Haydn And Ludwig Van Beethoven

Essay on Joseph Haydn And Ludwig Van Beethoven

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Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven. Two composers who marked the beginning and the end of the Classical Period respectively. By analysing the last piano sonata of Haydn (Piano Sonata No. 62 in E-flat major (Hob. XVI:52)) and the first and last piano sonatas of Beethoven (Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor Op. 2, No.1, Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor Op. 111), this essay will study the development of Beethoven’s composition style and how this conformed or didn’t conform to the Classical style. The concepts of pitch and expressive techniques will be focused on, with a broader breakdown on how these two concepts affect many of the other concepts of music. To make things simpler, this essay will analyse only the first movements of each of the sonatas mentioned.
Joseph Haydn’s contributions to the Classical Period lie primarily in musical form. His compositions are considered to have led to the development of the sonata form. This was still evident late in his career. Piano Sonata No. 62 in E-flat major (Hob. XVI:52) consists of short, balanced melodic phrases of two, four or sometimes six bars. Each melody in the exposition is evenly divided into an antecedent phrase and a consequent phrase; question and answer. This is a typical characteristic of the Classical Period which obsessed over clarity of structure. Similarly, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor Op. 2, No.1 is clearly divided into an exposition, development and recapitulation. Its lucid exposition of melodic material occurs in balanced melodic phrases. Both of these works contain short codas to each section. The fact that Beethoven’s sonata was written one year after Haydn’s, whilst he was still a student of Haydn’s, highlights the influence of Haydn over Beethoven duri...


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... 111 to be performed is indicative of his development as a composer and his movement towards a more liberated expression of emotion, an idea firmly rooted in the Romantic Style.
When analysing the career of Beethoven, it is important to keep in mind influences of his, both in a broader and narrower sense. On a broad scale, Beethoven was a composer of the Classical Period so his piano sonatas always adhered to the trends of the time in order for him to remain popular with his audiences and continue to have works commissioned by him. At the beginning of his career, Beethoven was greatly influenced by his teachers, especially Joseph Haydn. This personal style of composition would have rubbed off on Beethoven but the increasingly sophisticated style in which Beethoven manipulated the concepts of music, as analysed in this essay, is proof of his development as a composer.

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