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Beethoven favoured C minor

Via wikipedia:

During the Classical era, C minor was used infrequently and always for works of a particularly turbulent cast. Mozart, for instance, wrote only very few works in this key, but they are among his most dramatic ones (the twenty-fourth piano concerto, the fourteenth piano sonata, the Masonic Funeral Music, the Adagio and Fugue in C minor and the Great Mass in C minor, for instance). Beethoven chose to write a much larger proportion of his works in this key, especially traditionally “salon” (i.e. light and diverting) genres such as sonatas and trios, as a sort of conscious rejection of older aesthetics, valuing the “sublime” and “difficult” above music that is “merely” pleasing to the ear.[1] Paul Schiavo wrote the C-minor is a key “that Beethoven associated with pathos, struggle, and expressive urgency.”

The key is said to represent for Beethoven a “stormy, heroic tonality”; he uses it for “works of unusual intensity”;and it is “reserved for his most dramatic music”.

Pianist and scholar Charles Rosen writes:

Beethoven in C minor has come to symbolize his artistic character. In every case, it reveals Beethoven as a Hero. C minor does not show Beethoven at his most subtle, but it does give him to us in his most extrovert form, where he seems to be most impatient of any compromise.

A characteristic 19th-century view is that of the musicologist George Grove, writing in 1898:

The key of C minor occupies a peculiar position in Beethoven’s compositions. The pieces for which he has employed it are, with very few exceptions, remarkable for their beauty and importance.

What does it all mean? Go listen to Beethoven’s 5th symphony for an example.