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Is Ludwig Van Beethoven Overrated as a Composer?


Active Member
Okay, I’ll pour on some gasoline: I’m pretty sure Leonard Bernstein had some controversial things to say about Beethoven’s compositional skills. Can’t find the video right now, but it’s out there.


Beethoven would have fit in just fine today. He would be scoring films for sure.

I heard he counted his coffee beans to the number for a perfect cup of coffee.

And he had a wicked bad disposition. I can hear him now complaining about the constant daw crashes and overly demanding producers.

But gawd damn, that moonlight sonata

Paul T McGraw

Senior Member
It is impossible to over-rate Beethoven. He is the gold standard by which all other composers are measured and usually found wanting. His gigantic influence on western culture and western art music was so great that without him the entire subsequent history of classical music would have taken a different course.

Nao Gam

Dirty little gearslut
Shostakovich: hold my beer.

I proposed an "abused" hard playing cello library to Christian Henson once when he asked for Spitfire library ideas on youtube. This is sort of what I had in mind.
Although after hearing the CSSS demos I was pleasantly surprised, a must for metal, even more so than the ensemble. Can you say next library purchase once I'm not broke? Not anytime soon:grin:


If I was religious, this is how the question "is the author of the New Testament overrated" would feel like!
Seriously, Beethoven and Bach and some other guys proved themselves against the test of time. no film music composer did - especially those who are still alive! :)


Active Member
I took the plunge on Beethoven Strings finally. Who needs that many mics?? But anyway, my biggest beef with this library is it’s just not what people would usually associate with Beethoven. I want that bombastic 5th Symphony opening, something that will knock me out of my chair. That’s Beethoven! I want to hold down a key and Ludwig Van steps out of the monitor and slap my face with his wig!
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Senior Member
I do think that Beethoven was not the greatest colorist. He couldn't of course have written anything like Ravel. Beethoven subjected the orchestration to the form, IMO, but still did so with great effect, albeit less subtle than e.g. Mozart. But Bernstein's other points are highly exaggerated indeed. If one were to pick apart every uninspired bar from the Cantatas, and put that next to the letters where he complains about his wages, one could make Bach look like a plodding clerk without a grain of musical talent.

Nao Gam

Dirty little gearslut
Exercise for the reader: compose a four note motif, three notes of which must be identical. Then write a symphony movement based upon it lasting several minutes, and make it entertaining and interesting. Then tell me Beethoven sucks.
I'm a massive noob but give till summer max and you got it. You know what I'll put it in my sig


Senior Member
Beethoven was very humble and I have listened to his ostinata symphony when I had sex first time, over and over again, and all of you who criticize him are a bunch of twats.
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