Fidelio by Ludwig Van Beethoven, Essay Example
About the Composer
Noted for his musical excellence as a composer and pianist, Ludwig van Beethoven was relatively given high reputation in the field of international music which is even recognized at present. His contributions to music have been considered as primary source of turning point between the Classic and Romantic eras of Western musical art. Influential and famous as he is, he is currently hailed as one of the best producers of musical scorings that have been used as basis of musical development in different nations around the globe.
Born to a family of musicians, Beethoven was never far from his developed desire of becoming an excellent musician known for his creations and his works of art. The love for music and the desire for excellence has lead him to creating a name for himself that most often than not was regarded by his critiques as well as historians to be the source of his strength as a creator of musical brilliance. His inspiration coming from his own family and his practice coming from excellent mentorship, Beethoven was able to create exceptional musical pieces that marked his existence in the field of musical development even at the young age of eight. Among the people who made a great impact on the development of this master of music include Franz Wegeler who introduced him to the von Breuning family with whom he provided musical teachings to. Relatively, upon observing the family, he began to rethink his musical creations and used the environment of this family as a source of inspiration for his major creations. Making a name in Vienna was considered to be his first break to popularity. The creation of his sonatas and his symphonies has immediately impressed listeners from the upper elite society. To the creation of his musical scorings he was able to utilize the inspiration particular coming from the works of Mozart and Haydn who were also known during the time. Nevertheless, although he used their works as a source of inspiration, Beethoven had a personal touch to his music that made a trademark on all his works.
Historical Background of the Opera
Fidelio is the only opera that Beethoven ever composed. Divided into two acts, this presentation is noted for its representation on how Beethoven interpreted Pierre Gaveaux’s opera that was released in 1798. This story evolves on how a woman disguised as a police officer was able to free her husband from death as he was detained in a political prison. What made this presentation’s overall value take the interest of Beethoven was that of its indication of political dilemmas that have been responded to through the use of heroism and sacrifice sourced out from real and sincere love from one individual to another. Getting base inspiration from his historical past as a young musician struggling to survive the loss of his father, Beethoven tried to impose on how one person would actually do almost anything that it takes just so to be able to make sure that the person he or she loves is safe. Wishing that he could have done the same thing for his father, he reprimanded every scene in the story as a major representation of what he actually feels. Fighting for justice and liberty, this piece of performance also depicted the then current issues of political advancements and developments in Europe which Beethoven specifically gave attention to.
When it comes to the creation of the musical scoring and the plot divisions themselves, it could be analyzed that with the perfectionist approach of Beethoven, the process was not that easy to compel with. Undergoing four overall revisions to the plot as well as the musical arrangements, Beethoven specifically wanted to make sure that his creation would not only depict that of the message that it hopes to pass on to the viewers but also that of the excellence that it has when it comes to artistic value in the music industry during his time. To make sure of the excellent branding of the opera, Beethoven created several sheet music for the singers which required highly trained vocal skills. Notably, it could be realized that this was one of the reason why it has become very hard for him and his producers to find the right singers for the songs that he has created for the opera. Nevertheless, they were able to find high-calibre singers who were able to take the challenge of performing for Beethoven’s compositions.
Like that of other creations of Beethoven, Fidelio did not immediately catch the attention of the public nor was it specifically appreciated by the target audience as expected. Nevertheless, through several revisions and reconstructions of the scenes by Beethoven himself, he was able to redeem the performance from mere presentations of the thoughts on political advancements in Europe to becoming a talk of the elites providing them more than just the entertainment that they desire but also influencing their minds and their opinions about the current situations in their country.
After the hardships that Beethoven has undergone during the creation of this opera, he made mention of the fact that he would not make of another form of such composition as it posed higher requirement from him that he is not willing to through. His concentration on his musical career was more important to him than venturing on to another aspect of artistic genre of performances.
Musical Style Description
The musical arrangement was an all original Beethoven. Relatively characterized with both strongly defined notes and specifically refined tones, the musical style that Beethoven used was nothing of the ordinary. His desire to make the performance as excellent as possible pushed him into creating a new sense of music that he has not been known for. He ventured from high notes to the lowest and effectively utilized the said collaboration of notable changes of hymns and repercussions to be able to set up the emotional bearing of each scene as it depends on the music being used to define the said aspect of the performance.
SCENE CREATION (ACT 1: The Beginning of a Love Story)
Costumes and Settings
Portraying two individuals falling in love with each other, this scene requires simple costumes so as not to divert the attention of the viewers from the actors towards the set up of the stage nor the extravagance of the outfit of the ones acting. Since the scene suggests the establishment of the relationship of the two married individuals in the story, the slighted.cript is the most important part of the presentation. The songs that the actors are going to sing are deemed to be necessary of being highlighted.
Text and Music
Conflicts and relationships are two particular elements that are present in this part of the opera’s performance. Relatively, this then indicates the need for establishing a set of musical scorings that would define the different levels of emotion present during this first half of the opera’s act. Notably, these arrangements are to be distinguished separately from each other hence describing a separation of emotions as the scenes and the plot settings develop from one part to another.
Considerably, the focus of this act is on the actors’ performances and their delivery of the songs based on how they present the characterization of the individuals they portray in the story. Hence, attention to visual presentation is lessened and the focus on vocal adrenaline and musical definition is to be given particular importance.
Purpose and Message of the Scene
Defining the winning stance of sacrifice and self-giving spirit for the sake of the safety and freedom of a loved one is depicted in this act to be the source of social competence in response to the political developments happening in Europe during the time. Understandably, it is through this act that Beethoven hopes to create a more refined indication on how supposedly simple acts of heroism could go against the political agendas being pursued against human individuals during the time.
Holden, Amanda (Ed.), The New Penguin Opera Guide, New York: Penguin Putnam, 2001.
Warrack, John, and Ewan West (1992). The Oxford Dictionary of Opera. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
Rosen, Charles. (1998). The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven. Expanded ed. New York: W. W. Norton.
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