Beethoven protested against the patronage system that bound musicians to theservice of an employer. Increasingly deaf, Beethoven eventually was forced toretire from public performance and to concentrate on composition. Unlike Mozart,who seemed to conceive of music in final form and who simply wrote down hisconceptions, Beethoven's sketchbooks provide a record of his agonizing struggleto arrive at a composition he felt was satisfactory.Beethoven was primarily a composer of instrumental music, and it is in hissymphonies, piano music, and string quartets that the transition from Classic toRomantic style is most clearly discernible. Nevertheless, his choral music is animportant part of the repertoire, and his the one of the monuments ofWestern musical tradition. Beethoven's choral output included two masses, anoratorio, two symphonic works with large choral sections and a few smallerpieces. Classical Style Music from the Classical period is distinctivein style from what preceded and followed it. Some of the questions related toperformance practice in Renaissance and Baroque music are less complex because atthis point in Music history we have much clearer and more explicit indicationsfrom the composer concerning the tempo, dynamics, and expressive qualities of theMusic under consideration.Moreover, there have been public performances of this repertoire from the timeof its composition to the present. This is both a help and a hindrance in lightof the fact that through the last two centuries, certain Romantic conventionshave become an accepted part of the performance of this music, and they are notalways appropriate to authentic Classical style (this same Problem ofinappropriate performance conventions added during the Romantic period existswith Baroque repertoire and, to a lesser extent, music from the Renaissance).Classical choral music tends to be more homophonic and lighter in texturethan that of the Baroque. This lightness needs to pervade the choral lines. Thereis still rhythmic energy and drive, but without the weightiness of Baroquemusic.


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