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Opus number

(Catalogues of Beethoven compositions)
from wikipedia the free encyclopedia

The traditional 19th-century method of identifying a composer's works was for publishers to assign some sort of consecutive Opus number to the works as they were published. This method is not entirely satisfactory to anyone. Musicians and the listening public have no reliable way to distinguish different works with similar characteristics. Musicologists cannot reliably identify unpublished works, nor do they have a reliable indication from the opus number of the actual composition date(s). For example, the Octet, written from 1792–1793 is Opus 103, while Opus 102 and Opus 104 were written in 1815 and 1817 respectively. Some opus numbers comprise multiple pieces; 172 works are divided among 138 opus numbers.
All of Beethoven's compositions up to and including Opus 135 were published in Beethoven's lifetime; later numbers were published posthumously, and are generally denoted by "Op. posth."

                               Beethoven Sonata Op 106 "Hammerklavier"
                              Part 1: Valentina Lisitsa

Stravinsky and the  skepticism

Igor Stravinsky, a great  admirer of Beethoven especially for his quartets, admits in his autobiography that ,at first, he had an antipathy  towards Beethoven. This happened because of an oppressive, compulsive reverence, with which Beethoven was handled by his later critics, historians and audience. Furthermore, the myth that surrounded Beethoven's  personality and his personal "tragedy" had  a  great  influence to people for nearly over a century. This also  caused Stravinsky's  aversion.
Beethoven's deification alienated Stravinsky  from him for many years until his own matured  age.
Stravinsky's  attitude reflects the attitude of many others towards Beethoven.  After the first  world war, the skepticism  regarding  Beethoven lessened but  only to become strong again  whenever a new artistic movement appeared to the forefront and claimed "space" for itself in musical things.
For example, John Cage, an avant-garde  musician of the postwar period (1948) "attacked" Beethoven saying that "the whole idea of the composition defined by harmony is wrong"  and that the Beethoven's influence , "so great and pathetic  is the withering away of the art of music".

Richard Taruskin: Oxford History of Western Music v2

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