2014 SCHOOLS’ NOTES Tognetti’s Beethoven New South Wales TOGNETTI’S BEETHOVEN Possible Topics/Areas of Study: Classical Romantic and Baroque Periods, Beethoven, Haydn, Concerto, Symphony, strings. Repertoire: Symphony No. 1 in C Major (1800) by Ludwig van Beethoven; Triple Concerto in C Major for Piano, Violin and Cello in C Major, Op. 56 (1804) by Ludwig van Beethoven Vocabulary: Accompaniment, melody, legato, lyrical, cantabile, concerto grosso, triplet, dotted rhythm, compound time, fugue, homophonic, instrumentation, pizzicato, tonal, diatonic, transformation, sonata form, texture, tempo, tutti, solo, unison, octaves, chromatic scale, major scale, chords, dominant 7th. Common Ideas for Study: Classical/Romantic Period, Beethoven, concerto, symphony, chamber music, instrumental music, neoBaroque, concerto grosso Background: Background: Symphony No. 1 in C Major (1800) by Ludwig van Triple Concerto in C Major for Piano, Violin and Beethoven Cello in C Major, Op. 56 (1804) by Ludwig van Beethoven Beethoven was already a fine pianist when he moved to Vienna in 1792 to study under Haydn. Haydn’s The choice of the three solo instruments effectively influence in the first symphony is very clear. It makes this a concerto for piano trio and the only became a very popular work and established concerto Beethoven ever wrote for more than one Beethoven’s reputation as a major orchestral solo instrument. composer in Vienna. It has been said that the Triple Concerto was The symphony is dedicated to Baron Gottfried van written for Beethoven's royal pupil, the Archduke Swieten, an early patron of Beethoven. Baron van Rudolf, who became an accomplished pianist and Swieten was among the first in Viennese circles to composer under Beethoven. The Archduke was 16 recognize the young Beethoven's gifts and encourage at this time, and it is possible that Beethoven's him. strategy was to create a showy but relatively easy piano part that would be backed up by two more This first symphony was Beethoven’s first major work experienced players. for orchestra, but it is highly sophisticated in many ways – especially instrumentation. It includes pairs of In addition to the violin, cello, and piano soloists, flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns and the work is written for a typical wind and brass trumpets, with timpani and strings. section with additional strings. Beethoven’s orchestral legacy was enormous and one that composers struggled with for the remainder of the century and beyond. The Triple Concerto is rarely programmed, and most listeners are unfamiliar with it. It is not considered to be particularly innovative for Beethoven, except for the central role of the solo cello, which is used to introduce many of the themes. Australian Chamber Orchestra 2014 Schools’ Notes NSW Tognetti’s Beethoven TEACHING IDEAS: These ideas run in sequence. It would be good to do the Listening activities first to introduce students to the genre and the historical background. This will also give them a sense of context. ACTIVITIES SUIT STAGE 3-6, AS RECOMMENDED IN RED. Listening: Symphony No. 1 Performing: Symphony No. 1 Composing: Symphony No. 1 IDEA 1: WHERE IS HAYDN IDEA 1: WHERE IS HAYDN HIDING? IDEA 1: WHERE IS HAYDN HIDING? Year 9-12 HIDING? Year 9-12 Focus again on the slow movement Year 11-12 Haydn asked Beethoven to of the work. What Classical or even A critic described the work as announce publicly that he was a Baroque features are evident right being “a caricature of Haydn student of Haydn’s. Why? from the start? How does this pushed to absurdity”. What does reflect upon Beethoven’s studies this mean? How could this be so? Many critics wrote of the work with Haydn? that it was beautiful, very What is a caricature? Look at organised and clearly designed, Reflect upon the 3/8 time examples of caricatures of famous with reference to Haydn and at signature. Perform the rhythm of politicians or celebrities. As a class times even Mozart. Particularly in the Violin II part and notice the create some caricatures of these the slow movement. limited variety of rhythmic cells people. that are present. Practise Listen to the Andante cantabile performing these rhythms. Reflect upon a piece of music: con moto. How does this refer to song, piece or music of a favourite Haydn? Listen to some examples Using available non-melodic composer. What are the features of works by Haydn such as his last instruments, perform the Violin II of their compositional style? How Symphony No. 104 (particularly rhythm as a fugue or round, with could a caricature be created from the slow movement). Is it fair to entries at similar distances to that this? make such a comparison? of Beethoven’s. How is Beethoven’s style grounded in that of Haydn and how is it developed further? The style of this concerto is considered grounded in Beethoven’s early or “Classical” stage. What is this and what are the features of this period? Upon listening to the remainder of the concerto, what features of the Classical period make this assumption an apt description? Using available melodic instruments, perform this Violin II melody and then expand to perform as a fugue. Reflect upon aspects that ground this in the Classical period and those that move beyond. For example, the use of very diatonic intervals, but the expansion of dynamics and some of the harmonies created. What does this suggest about Beethoven’s future beyond Haydn? Australian Chamber Orchestra 2014 Schools’ Notes NSW Tognetti’s Beethoven Using the same piece of music, create an exaggerated / caricature version OR create a new work that caricatures their style. Perform for each other and describe the ways in which their style has led to various caricatures. Draw caricatures for display based upon these compositions or do so using a form of graphic notation. IDEA 2: FORWARD THINKING Year 11-12 What chord/s would commonly start a composition to establish the key? In which key is the first movement written? IDEA 2: FORWARD THINKING Year 9-12 Beethoven teases the listener with the statement of other tonalities at the start of the work. Learn to play the chords at the Using the score, explore what start of the work and describe the chords Beethoven used to open effect of them on the opening this work. What is the first chord? statement of tonality. Which key does it suggest? Repeat this analysis of all the What role do the dynamics and the opening chords stated. use of pizzicato have here? Incorporate dynamics into the th The use of a dominant 7 in F performance of the opening 4 bars. major, followed then by a brief Discuss the effect here. statement of G Major doesn’t clearly state the key signature. Learn to play a variety of dominant What affect does this have on the 7th chords and then other 7th listener? Why does Beethoven chords on available instruments. use this compositional device? What does this show of his IDEA 3: TIMBRAL TRICKS advancement beyond Haydn and Year 7-10 traditional Classical rules? Examine a variety of wind/brass instruments and discuss the timbre IDEA 3: TIMBRAL TRICKS of each. (Beware – they can be Year 9-12 tricky to describe!) Listening to Listen to the work and focus upon pieces such as Peter and the Wolf the use of instrumentation. Using and Carnival of the Animals may the score, discuss in turn the assist in this endeavour. timbre and role of each of the instruments used. Explore the ways in which sound is made on them and where possible How does Beethoven’s use of allow the students the opportunity winds differ from those of his to play some of these instruments. predecessors? How are they important and what timbral IDEA 4: BUILD IT UP impact does the reliance on Year 10-12 winds have? Learn to play the Violin I part of the final movement. Start with the IDEA 4: BUILD IT UP opening statement of G and then Year 10-12 continue building up the scale one Listen to the final movement. note at a time. After the initial fortissimo chord, describe the textural changes and What scale is it and what key is developments. being stated? Play this scale. Australian Chamber Orchestra 2014 Schools’ Notes NSW Tognetti’s Beethoven IDEA 2: FORWARD THINKING Year 9-12 Beethoven changed the face of symphony writing. Compare his Symphony No.1 to Symphony No.9. What innovations were apparent in Symphony No.9? It has been said by scholars that the opening of Symphony No.1 works reflects upon the rules and model suggested by Haydn and Mozart, but with the flair and advancement of Beethoven. Discuss. Using a well-known song such as a nursery rhyme or children’s song, learn to play the chords to accompany. For a twist of Beethoven, add an introduction with a reference to another key (such as is used here with the subdominant and the dominant). Explore the possibilities of using unexpected chords or adding 7th chords throughout. IDEA 3: TIMBRAL TRICKS Year 7-12 Ask the students to find a melody that they are familiar with. Learn to play it on available melodic instruments. Ask the students to arrange this melody for wind/brass instruments. Incorporate a selection of those used by Beethoven such as flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns or trumpets. Go back to the adagio introduction. Focus on the Violin I part. Study the score and describe what is noticeable about the way the melody is built up here. What happens after the pause in the Allegro section to the Violin I part? After the initial chord in the first bar, the first violins slowly build up the notes of the scale, beginning with three notes only, then four, five and then eventually up to an octave at the tempo change. What happens to the 7th note of the scale? Of which key is it a statement? Why is this confusing? Listening: Triple Concerto IDEA 5 (IDEA 3 REVISITED): TIMBRAL TRICKS REVISITED Year 7-12 Using the score and recording, identify the instruments scored for in the Triple Concerto. What are the difficulties in reading this score? What are the three solo instruments? Why are they referred to as a piano trio? Describe the interplay between the soloists and the orchestra. What does the reference to concertante mean in the score? From where does this term originate? This is the only concerto that Beethoven ever wrote for more than one solo Discuss the 7th of the scale. Focus on the building up of the scale by the creation of a pattern that starts with three notes, then four, then five and so on up to an octave. Transpose this to another key and attempt to perform it. Discuss the difficulties involved in transposition. Using Garage Band or equivalent, have the students develop a way of sampling or recording this arrangement for performance. IDEA 4: BUILD IT UP Year 9-12 Using the melodic sequence used by Beethoven as inspiration [i.e. three notes, then adding the fourth, then fifth and so on up to an octave], ask the students to create their own melody of 6-7 bars duration. The students should incorporate into their compositions a different rhythm to that used by Beethoven, but with the melodic development used by Beethoven in this sequence [i.e. building it up]. Performing: Triple Concerto IDEA 5 (IDEA 3 REVISITED): TIMBRAL TRICKS REVISITED Year 7-12 One of the biggest issues for Beethoven in the composition of this work was how to give each soloist enough solo opportunities whilst keeping the work from getting too extravagant. Composing: Triple Concerto IDEA 5 (IDEA 3 REVISITED): TIMBRAL TRICKS REVISITED Year 7-12 Working in groups of three and scoring for three solo instruments, ask the students to create a composition that each of them can play. Beethoven therefore wrote the solo parts from mostly chordal and scalic material that is largely lyrical, with an attempt to keep the texture and timbre at bay. In their groups of three the students should attempt to create a piece that they can all play together i.e. like a triple “concerto” (without the orchestra). Look for example at the use of trills and scalic passages in the first movement that commence with one instrument and then get transferred amongst the others. Their melodic material should reference that of Beethoven in this works i.e. largely scalic, employing melodic sequences and incorporating several chordal Australian Chamber Orchestra 2014 Schools’ Notes NSW Tognetti’s Beethoven instrument. At the time this was referred to as being “really something new”. Discuss with the students how this piece was thought to have been written by Beethoven for his piano student Archduke Rudolf, as it was relatively easy and would incorporate two more skilled performing soloists. Learn to play trills on available melodic instruments. Perform this to the class. Note the use of chromatic scales as well as sequences using scalic passages throughout the first movement. Find such passages in the score (for example on p. 20) and attempt to play both of these melodic features on melodic instruments. IDEA 6: RHYTHMIC RAMPAGE Year 8-12 Throughout the first movement, Beethoven uses many dotted rhythms. Initially this can be seen in the cello as a short-long-short effect. Find this in the score and listen to it. IDEA 6: RHYTHMIC RAMPAGE Year 8-12 Focus on the dotted rhythms used throughout the first movement. Find a passage from the score with dotted rhythms. Clap or play the rhythm, for example, p. 6 the interplay between the flute, trombone, timpani, violins, viola or Dotted rhythms feature cello. Note the interlocking of the throughout the movement, either rhythms here. as upbeats (short-long) or as dotted quavers followed by Discuss with the students how this semiquavers (long-short). is an important component of much music, and is especially What effect does this rhythm notable in Indonesian music have on the overall sound of the through rhythmic repetition. movement? It is said by some scholars that this helps to add an Divide the class into several groups air of pomp and ceremony to the and perform these rhythms piece. Discuss. What role do the together. Discuss the relationship triplets that occur throughout between the parts and how they fit have in further enhancing this? together. Listen to the third movement (polonaise “polacca”). Identify the dramatic repeated notes in the violins. What effect does this have in establishing the mood of the movement? Listen to the second (slow) movement. How does the lyrical nature (cantabile) contrast to the phrase breaks. IDEA 7: ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN Year 9-12 Beethoven wrote this piece in the style of an older era, the Baroque Concerto Grosso. Describe what a Concerto Grosso is and how this piece relates to that. How has Beethoven modernized the Concerto Grosso form? Australian Chamber Orchestra 2014 Schools’ Notes NSW Tognetti’s Beethoven As an extension, some students may wish to create a simple chordal accompaniment using Garage Band or equivalent. IDEA 6: RHYTHMIC RAMPAGE Year 8-12 In small groups ask the students to create several rhythms which feature repetition and dotted patterns. Ensure that these patterns fit together well. Use available instruments or simply environmental or junk percussion, and use repetition to create some form of composition. Make sure that the rhythms interlock together and maintain the repetition and use of dotted patterns throughout. Work on entries and exits of each part, perhaps the layering of parts as well as the incorporation of dynamics. If desired, the students may wish to add a repetitive triplet rhythmic accompaniment underneath. Notate these rhythms as a score and perform to the class. IDEA 7: ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN Year 7-12 Ask the students to identify a familiar Classical theme or to use a sample from the Triple Concerto. In groups they are to surrounding movements rhythmically? make it ‘modern’. Listen to examples of modern day transformation of old melodies. IDEA 7: ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN For example the many versions of Year 7-12 Beethoven’s Ninth, Bach’s Toccata The Triple Concerto received poor and Fugue (Sky), techno versions of reviews when first released and is Do Re Mi from the Sound of Music quite unknown amongst and even pop in Classical style e.g. Beethoven fans. Why would this Bohemian Rhapsody. be so? How has the arranger manipulated This piece has been described as the older style and made it more “a piece of salon music written for modern? Can a comparison be an evening’s entertainment” and drawn to Beethoven in the Triple “not hitting us over the head with Concerto? new ideas”. Discuss after listening again to the piece and also with reference to the instrumentation and the concertante/concerto grosso form. Should the piece be classified as chamber music or and orchestral concerto? Why? Australian Chamber Orchestra 2014 Schools’ Notes NSW Tognetti’s Beethoven Brainstorm ways in which an old form can be made new. For example adding a rock beat, modern instrumentation, electronic sounds, techno style. Ask the students to transform their ‘old’ melody and make it more modern using one or more of these modernizing effects. Perform to the class and record for future reference or assessment. Relate this back to Beethoven’s ‘modern’ take on a Concerto Grosso. Is it fair to say that the work was “a piece of salon music written for an evening’s entertainment” and “not hitting us over the head with new ideas”? Has this opinion changed?
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