After Beethoven: The Imperative of Originality in the by Mark Evan Bonds

By Mark Evan Bonds

Beethoven solid a looming shadow over the 19th century. For composers he used to be a version either to emulate and to beat. "You don't know the way it feels," Brahms confided, "when one regularly hears this type of large marching at the back of one." Exploring the reaction of 5 composers--Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Mahler--to what each one basically observed because the problem of Beethoven's symphonies, Evan Bonds richly complements our realizing of the evolution of the symphony and Beethoven's legacy.

Overt borrowings from Beethoven--for instance, the lyrical subject within the Finale of Brahms' First Symphony, so just like the "Ode to pleasure" subject in Beethoven's Ninth--have usually been the topic of feedback. Bonds now indicates us how composers imitate or allude to a Beethoven topic or compositional technique accurately with the intention to shrink back from it, making a new musical resolution. Berlioz's Harold en Italie, Mendelssohn's Lobgesang, Schumann's Fourth Symphony, Brahms' First, and Mahler's Fourth function illuminating examples. dialogue specializes in such middle matters as Beethoven's suggestions in formal layout, the position of textual content and voice, fusion of numerous genres, cyclical coherence of routine, and the functionality of the symphonic finale.

Bonds lucidly argues that the nice symphonists of the 19th century cleared artistic house for themselves through either confronting and deviating from the practices in their most likely overpowering precursor. His research locations regularly occurring masterpieces in a brand new gentle.

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After Beethoven: The Imperative of Originality in the Symphony

Beethoven forged a looming shadow over the 19th century. For composers he used to be a version either to emulate and to beat. "You do not know the way it feels," Brahms confided, "when one continuously hears any such vast marching in the back of one. " Exploring the reaction of 5 composers--Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Mahler--to what every one basically observed because the problem of Beethoven's symphonies, Evan Bonds richly complements our figuring out of the evolution of the symphony and Beethoven's legacy.

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Emotionally, Harold presents almost a mirror image of the Ninth, which begins with struggle and culminates in joy. One of the earliest direct compositional responses to the Ninth Symphony is thus in many respects the least conventional, the one that runs most directly counter to its precursor. As such, it is also the dosest actual equivalent to Adrian Leverkühn's fictional "revocation" of the Ninth Symphony in Thomas Mann's novel Doktor Faustus (1947). Leverkühn's last work, Dr Fausti Weheklas, is a "taking back," a "negation" of Beethoven's last symphony, not only in its central theme of lamentation, but also in its emotional trajectory.

Throughout the nineteenth Century, the designation of "symphony" continued to provide a basic framework of both production and perception. And that framework was perceived to have been circumscribed by the symphonies of Beethoven. If progress was to depend on a fusion of tradition and originality, then the continuing vitality of the genre would inevitably depend, at least in part, on a misreading of Beethoven's symphonies. 49. NZßi 3 (31 July 1835): 33 (GSI, 70) and 3 (4 August 1835): 37 (GSI, 73).

225. BERLIOZ'S HAROLD EN ITALIE 31 Adagio m solo via. mf S l r iH espress. 1 Berlioz, Harold cfi ltct'lie/'\y m. " Thus the unusual relationship of soloist and orchestra, according to the composer, derives from the viola's persona, Byron's Childe Harold. He is, in Berlioz's own words, a "melancholy dreamer" who "sticks to his sentimental nonsense; everything eise is Foreign to him. "5 Berlioz also encouraged critics to view Harold as an autobiographical work, as another "episode in the life of an artist"—a sequel, as it were, to the combined Symphonie fcmtastique (1830) and Lelio (1832).

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