Session 8 Notes.docx

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Department
Music
Course
MUSC 1116
Professor
Brian Robison
Semester
Spring

Description
Session 8: Beethoven in the Napoleonic Era Beethoven's Six variations in D major on "Rule, Brittania," WoO 79 • Napoleon Bonaparte o Rose to prominence during French Revolutionary Wars and stood for  Enlightenment values o Pledged republicanism but delivered tyranny o Ferocious energy and military brilliance (had fear and admiration on all sides) o Became First Consul in 1799 (He stabilized the French legal system,  established a merit­based system of education and employment, ended the  radical anti­clerical policies enacted by the Convention, and stabilized the  French economy) o Crowned himself emperor in 1804  In December 1804, Napoleon changed the government of France from  a Republic under the "Consulate" (three Consuls) to an hereditary  monarchy (with himself as Emperor Napoleon I) o 1810: Ruled “Greater French Empire” (Spain, most of Italy, much of western  and central Germany, the Swiss cantons, a large part of modern Poland, the  Low Countries (the Netherlands, Belgium, etc.), and Kingdom of Denmark  (including Norway)) o 1814: Abdication and exile (ill­fated invasion of Russia started his downward  spiral) o Image: SELF­MADE GREATNESS (values of Liberty, Equality, &  Brotherhood) o Took over Vienna in 1805 and 1809 Beethoven’s Attitude Towards Napoleon o Fluctuated between admiration and dislike, between approval and revulsion.  But it always carried a feeling of strong personal identification with a  contemporary whose colossal ambition, will to power, and sense of destiny o Dedicated Third Symphony to Napoleon but then withdrew it the next year  because Beethoven was disillusioned with Napoleon after he had made  himself emperor o No other time did Beethoven contemplate naming a major instrumental  composition for a living patron • the French Empire o “Greater French Empire” (Spain, most of Italy, much of western and central  Germany, the Swiss cantons, and a large part of modern Poland) o Enemies: Britain & 
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