Contributions Towards The Classical Period:
- Development of Orchestra - Beethoven had a significant role in expanding the size of an orchestra. The classical orchestra was quite small, about 40 members. Beethoven's Symphonies and orchestral works asked for up to 70 members. Because of this the sheer size of sound created when playing was dramatic and exciting. He went back to the Baroque era and early renaissance by adding choirs to his Orchestral works i.e. Symphony #9 and Choral Fantasy for piano, choir and orchestra. He was very innovative with orchestral works and wrote the triple concerto for piano trio and orchestra. The choir aspect of symphonies influenced Mendelssohn's Elijah, the Brahms Requiem and Alto Rhapsody, and Mahler's Symphonies.
- Helped make a smooth connection between classical and romantic music. His later music was filled with intense passion as opposed to classical styles superficiality.
- His works distinguish themselves through his expansion of the architectural structure of music. Enhanced themes, motifs, and a subtle modulation of keys give his symphonies a feeling of depth, space, complexity, and a sense of unfolding drama, bringing the classical form to it's highest expressive level. Beethoven's symphonies are definitively classical. Sometimes its best just to switch-off the light and enjoy Beethoven's symphonies, nothing else.
- Beethoven's invention of the "germ motive," variations of themes throughout a work, so delicate as to be almost invisible, brought a depth not only to his symphonies but to all his work, as seen in his sonata, "Pathetique," where the opening bar provides all the subjects used in the first movement. Beethoven's Fifth Symphony used a four-note motif, juxtaposing the notes throughout the piece, lending a sense of internal conflict to the music while almost incidentally providing the first major example of the cyclic form.