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Tricia F. Doyle
When critically analyzed in respect to the earlier artists of the Classical music period, Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven's music and life are simultaneously shown to be an evolution as well as a break from his predecessors. No doubt due to the influence of Mozart, as well as his tutelage under Haydn, Beethoven inherited their Classical music legacy but did not keep it in stasis. His innovations within musical composition were built upon the artistic foundation of the previous masters. They showcase to further extent contrasts of moods, greater dynamics, increased power and intensity, as well as an overall ambition toward a grander scale than Haydn or Mozart aspired. At the same time, Beethoven's inspiration to create music and his struggle to elevate the societal position of the musician/composer composed a distinct break from the traditional European cultural function of a musician. This is understood in light of a lifetime that took in the political turbulence of the French Revolution as well as Enlightenment ideals concerning the nature of man. As such, very sharp distinctions from Haydn and Mozart occur that coexist with their lingering legacies within Beethoven.

Classical musical structures and forms can be discerned within Beethoven's compositions, and as such he operates in the same rough musical framework utilized by Mozart and Haydn. The basic musical structures (sonata form, themes and variations, and rondo) plus the classical conceptions of a symphony and concerto are seen, but altered to permit greater passion and emotive might. One small, yet key, example is Beethoven's substitution of the scherzo for the minuet and trio as the 3rd movement of a symphony. Its rhythmic force and character flexibility opened new ways of displaying contrasting musical emotions in his music.

Beethoven also tried to operate on a much grander scale, necessitated by...

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