Beethoven Early Middle Late
Beethoven's quintet opus 29 is an interesting milestone. The first two movements are nicely crafted classical pieces. They sound a lot like Mozart. This is early Beethoven. Then we come to the third movement. A three note sequence is repeated over and over (and over). We hear it on every note in the scale and from every instrument. Over and over. Beethoven's audience had never heard anything like it. They must have been shocked. Beethoven had entered his middle period. The fourth movement advances even more into uncharted romantic waters. It's scale is grand - almost like a violin concerto. The first violin sings accompanied by tremolo strings. This marks Beethoven's transition from a follower to a leader - from a student to a master. Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, is not an operatic success - even after he revised it. Perhaps it is too heavy and serious for the opera-goers used to the jolly treatment like, for example, that of Rossini (coming soon from cyberchambermsic). It moralizes about a political prisoner suffering in jail. However, the music is as good as any. The overture is splendid middle-period-heroic Beethoven. The story also has a female hero. The prisoner is rescued by his lover, Leonora. She has to disguise herself as a man to do it though. I would think everyone would see through the disguise though because the man sings like a soprano. It would later be Wagner's task to whip audiences into shape to sit for serious opera, to sit through Siegfried's Funeral Music (coming soon from cyberchambermusic). Cyberchambermusic has previously released Beethoven's late-period work the Piano Sonata Number 28, Opus 101 on the album Late-Period Beethoven. What is new is that the massive Bosendorfer Piano has more sparkle (technically, more velocity layers). And, the lengthy piece is divided into five parts for easier listening not to mention downloading. Note that the divisions come at natural pauses in the music except the division between parts 4 and 5 is just one of opportunity.