Symphonic Problem Solving
Beethoven, Beethoven, always Beethoven. There was just no way past him. The ninth and final symphony of the Viennese master doomed every composer who attempted to compose a work belonging to this genre. The height of the bar that Beethoven raised with his “Ode to Joy” was simply too high. What could come next after the daring integration of the human voice with the “pure” musical world of the symphony? It was to last a quarter of a century, filled with half hearted, provincial and diminutive attempts lacking in perspective, before Niels Gade, Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann could inject new blood into the symphony.