Did Beethoven steal Ode to Joy from Mozart?

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Offline Dungeon Master

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Did Beethoven steal Ode to Joy from Mozart?
« on: January 04, 2015, 04:33:10 PM »
Have a listen to Mozart's Misericordias Domini K.222 at 0:59

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/lEBYufTXJQk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/lEBYufTXJQk</a>

Was listening to this last night and the similarity is quite striking.
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Re: Did Beethoven steal Ode to Joy from Mozart?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2015, 05:11:32 PM »
Have a listen to Mozart's Misericordias Domini K.222 at 0:59

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/lEBYufTXJQk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/lEBYufTXJQk</a>

Was listening to this last night and the similarity is quite striking.

Only problem is, the likelihood of Beethoven ever having heard this piece, written for the Salzburg Cathedral and never distributed out is extremely minimal. Common musical language probably the explanation, although stranger things have happened. Listen to the overture to Mozart's Bastien and Bastienne for another fine example. I can see the headline: MOZART WROTE 'EROICA'!  :)

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Offline torut

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Re: Did Beethoven steal Ode to Joy from Mozart?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2015, 08:05:05 PM »
I thought Ode to Joy melody had been developed from WoO 118 through Choral Fantasy. These are different from the melody in K. 222. If Beethoven actually borrowed the melody from Mozart, he modified it first, then reverted it?

Also, I heard of the similarity between Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 14 (theme around the middle of the 2nd movement) and the beginning of Beethoven's Sonata Pathétique's 2nd movement. It is just a series of 3 chords, but they are very similar.

kishnevi

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Re: Did Beethoven steal Ode to Joy from Mozart?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2015, 08:44:19 PM »
1)There is a large but finite number of tones in the classical system of music, and a large but still finite number of combinations of those. If you want a melody n notes in length restricted to one octave, you have 12ⁿ possible combinations, and not all of those combinations might be available under the tonal system Mozart and Beethoven worked with. Even after you expand the possibilities to account for different durations of the tones (whole notes, half notes, etc.), allow for extension beyond the octave, etc., you still end up with a finite number of possible combinations.
So the wonder should not be that composer A wrote a piece of music which seems to borrow from Composer B, but that the seeming borrowing does not happen more often.

2)Perhaps Brahms, in that famous passage from his First Symphony, was actually quoting Mozart, not Beethoven.

3) For a 20th century analogue, I would give you Shostakovich's 14th Symphony, in whivh one passage seems a clone of a passage in Bartok's Concerto/Sonata for 2 Pianos and Percussion.


Offline EigenUser

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Re: Did Beethoven steal Ode to Joy from Mozart?
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2015, 05:20:33 AM »
1)There is a large but finite number of tones in the classical system of music, and a large but still finite number of combinations of those. If you want a melody n notes in length restricted to one octave, you have 12ⁿ possible combinations, and not all of those combinations might be available under the tonal system Mozart and Beethoven worked with. Even after you expand the possibilities to account for different durations of the tones (whole notes, half notes, etc.), allow for extension beyond the octave, etc., you still end up with a finite number of possible combinations.
So the wonder should not be that composer A wrote a piece of music which seems to borrow from Composer B, but that the seeming borrowing does not happen more often.

2)Perhaps Brahms, in that famous passage from his First Symphony, was actually quoting Mozart, not Beethoven.

3) For a 20th century analogue, I would give you Shostakovich's 14th Symphony, in whivh one passage seems a clone of a passage in Bartok's Concerto/Sonata for 2 Pianos and Percussion.
Do you mean the 13th -- 'Babi Yar'? Or is there also a passage from the 14th that you recognize as being similar to the Bartok?
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Offline jochanaan

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Re: Did Beethoven steal Ode to Joy from Mozart?
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2015, 10:19:16 AM »
...2)Perhaps Brahms, in that famous passage from his First Symphony, was actually quoting Mozart, not Beethoven.
Strangely, those two melodies are not really similar at all, except in tempo, mood and positioning in the respective symphonies.  I've never understood how anyone could claim any real similarity.  And apparently neither could Brahms, to judge from his fearsomely sarcastic replies about it. :o
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Offline Abuelo Igor

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Re: Did Beethoven steal Ode to Joy from Mozart?
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2015, 03:01:17 PM »
Did Wagner steal parts of his "Tristan and Isolde" prelude from Beethoven's "Pathétique" sonata?

Did Mahler steal the beginning of his "Titan" symphony form Beethoven's Fourth Symphony?

I wouldn't use the word "steal", anyway. There comes a time in the development of every art form in which, if you don't "steal", you won't get started at all.
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Ken B

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Re: Did Beethoven steal Ode to Joy from Mozart?
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2015, 03:35:35 PM »
Did Wagner steal parts of his "Tristan and Isolde" prelude from Beethoven's "Pathétique" sonata?

Did Mahler steal the beginning of his "Titan" symphony form Beethoven's Fourth Symphony?

I wouldn't use the word "steal", anyway. There comes a time in the development of every art form in which, if you don't "steal", you won't get started at all.

Every word in your post was used in The Penguin History of Music. every single word.

Offline Abuelo Igor

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Re: Did Beethoven steal Ode to Joy from Mozart?
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2015, 04:05:21 PM »
That's remarkable, since I never laid eyes on the book.

Must be true, then.  8)

Edit: Come to think of it, the likelihood of every single word in my post being used in "The Penguin History of Music", or any history of music, for that matter, can be considered fairly high, as words like "Wagner", "prelude", "Mahler", "symphony", "Beethoven", "Tristan and isolde", "development", and others, are quite pertinent to the issue under discussion, and probably other words like "did", "of", "the", or "which", must have been necessary to join the loose bits together. Nothing was said about the order in which they appeared, though. You also left out that every single letter of the post appears in the aforementioned work, as well as in "Finnegans Wake" and the telephone book.  ;D
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 02:54:58 PM by Abuelo Igor »
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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Did Beethoven steal Ode to Joy from Mozart?
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2015, 05:10:36 PM »
Every word in your post was used in The Penguin History of Music. every single word.

What, in the same order?  Why that's, that's... much like this Beethoven and Mozart situation. Common language, I tells ya!   >:D

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kishnevi

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Re: Did Beethoven steal Ode to Joy from Mozart?
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2015, 06:27:24 PM »
Do you mean the 13th -- 'Babi Yar'? Or is there also a passage from the 14th that you recognize as being similar to the Bartok?
Definitely the 14th.  I think it is the "Delvig" movement. Probably the importance of the percussion in both works heightens the apparent similarity. At any rate, the percussion plays a passage in the 14th which is very similar to a passage in the Bartok.

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Re: Did Beethoven steal Ode to Joy from Mozart?
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2015, 07:20:16 PM »
Definitely the 14th.  I think it is the "Delvig" movement. Probably the importance of the percussion in both works heightens the apparent similarity. At any rate, the percussion plays a passage in the 14th which is very similar to a passage in the Bartok.
I'll have to check that out tomorrow when I'm less tired. I've never heard the 14th.

Here's the Humour from the 13th. Skip to 3:40. It sounds very close to the opening of the 3rd movement of the Bartok S2PP.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/aD196YkBYRs" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/aD196YkBYRs</a>
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

kishnevi

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Re: Did Beethoven steal Ode to Joy from Mozart?
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2015, 08:11:32 PM »
I'll have to check that out tomorrow when I'm less tired. I've never heard the 14th.

Here's the Humour from the 13th. Skip to 3:40. It sounds very close to the opening of the 3rd movement of the Bartok S2PP.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/aD196YkBYRs" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/aD196YkBYRs</a>
Thanks!  Never noticed it before.