Beethoven’s lasting impression in classical music is known worldwide. You see many of these distinctive differences when you sit down and listen to his first symphony versus his ninth. In this paper the following will be discussed Beethoven’s C-Sharp minor quartet; His maturation in his musical development, and how the idea he had of using C-sharp minor showed the maturity and confidence he had in him self to compose on a more personal level in his later years.
The works of Beethoven are generally split up into three distinct categories, and are as follows: his early period, which is generally excepted as his music output until 1802, middle period, which is set from 1803 to approximately 1814, and his late period which is from approximately 1815 on. While it can be debated when one style ended and another began for his compositions, for the sake of this paper, I am going to stick with the general dates, as they are adequate for my paper. The three styles show three very different sides to Beethoven, and in some way, even give musicians who play them today a brief glimpse into the life events of the man who was Beethoven during the particular time(s) of composition. (Lockwood, Pgs. 53-64, 124-125, 174-178, 333-376)
Beethoven’s early period is what many music historians regard as foundation setting for him. His musical output at this point was influenced greatly by Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and while he wrote original music, he still searched for his own style. Some of the best examples of some of his early period works are his first six string quartets and showed his conceptual mastery of the classical string quartet as first developed by the likes of Haydn and Mozart. (Winter & Martin pg. 1-20)
His middle period string quartets (Razumovsky Quartets) showed a more emotional side of Beethoven’s life. These quartets were written during the “heroic” portion of his career, and at this point he began experimenting with different tones and...