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Did Chopin "Borrow" the main theme for his op69 no2 Waltz in B minor from Beethoven?

So I have been listening to a lot of Beethoven lately - the other night, I was listening through his Sonata 29 "Hammerklavier" and a very, VERY familiar melody started to emerge from the 2nd movement.

I immediately recognized it as strikingly similar to the main theme of Chopin's Op 69 no.2 waltz in B minor.
So similar that I doubt it is a coincidence. While it is not a direct copy, it is certainly close.

What do you think? Does this occur often in classical music where we see melodies, themes, or ideas "borrowed" from the masters before? Well, yes, I know it does, but I'm not sure I've seen it come this close before unless labeled "as inspired by" or likewise where it is made clear a composer is basing the main idea of a piece off of borrowed material.

Have a listen to the Beethoven Sonata here starting at about 29:05
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwZsDzGY1XA

Then compare that to the Chopin Waltz here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxG-kOTMgaA

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To my ear, these two are not that close. I would say composer "quoting" is usually much more deliberate and would be based on famous themes, not relatively minor moments like this. I think this one is just coincidence, though perhaps there was some sort of subliminal inspiration...?

Schumann famously quotes Schubert's Ave Maria at the end of his song, Widmung.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF-YV-hGLGM

Brahms modeled the entire structure of the last movement of his first piano concerto after the last movement of Beethoven's third piano concerto (bar for bar, I believe).

Oh, I know composers quoting themselves doesn't count, but probably one of my favorite examples is Mahler building the entire first movement of his 5th symphony off a small musical moment in his 4th.

This from the 4th...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ividyw_WPv4&feature=youtu.be&am...

becomes the opening of the 5th...

https://youtu.be/vOvXhyldUko?t=1m1s

The problem with your question is the use of the word 'borrow'. That concerns power tools including lawn mowers not music.

I don't think it is relevant here but 'stealing' is the most flattering use of someone else's work.

Is it?  So the composer is posed with the question: To Flatter or not to flatter?  :)

I don't hear much connection here either, David. 

Everyone is listening to the Beethoven Sonata starting at the 29:00 mark, correct? 

It is cool to see some famous examples of this as stated earlier. 

I am surprised however no one else can hear the similarity. Maybe I am crazy after all 

I don't hear any direct connection between the Chopin waltz that you linked and the snippet from Beethoven's Hammerklavier sonata.

Though upon listening to that particular passage in the Beethoven in isolation, and that particular playing by Barenboim, I have to admit that it sounds strangely quite Chopinesque for a Beethoven sonata.  It doesn't strike me that way when heard in the context of the entire sonata, but somehow, when taken out of that context, that particular passage does have rather Chopinesque qualities.

Truth be told, though, I'm wondering if it's a different Chopin waltz that you're thinking of, because listening to that passage from the Beethoven does somehow sound rather familiar.  But I don't have my Chopin collection at hand right now to verify this, so I wouldn't rule out cross-contamination from having previously heard the Hammerklavier and, due to a memory lapse, wrongly attributing it to a Chopin waltz that I heard.

HS, I don't believe, for a minute, that Chopin would 'compromise' the integrity of

his own music at any level or at any time. period

If anything, he would work for and towards his own creative genius and detest the

idea of 'copying' or plagarizing anyone elses creativity. It is simple 'creative honor'.

The fact that a coincidental phrase or passage happens occassionally seems

inevitable and understandable.       RS

 
 
H. S. Teoh said:

Truth be told, though, I'm wondering if it's a different Chopin waltz that you're thinking of, because listening to that passage from the Beethoven does somehow sound rather familiar.  But I don't have my Chopin collection at hand right now to verify this, so I wouldn't rule out cross-contamination from having previously heard the Hammerklavier and, due to a memory lapse, wrongly attributing it to a Chopin waltz that I heard.

On the other hand, composers are known to borrow ideas from each other, and build upon them.  It's a modern day phenomenon that people have become so uptight about their ideas being "stolen", as if it were some kind of physical property that, once stolen, would no longer be at the disposal of the owner.  In the old days, a lot of creative genius actually came from a composer borrowing an idea from another composer, and developing it in a way far superior to its original conception.

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