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 do not know the way it feels," Brahms confided, "when one regularly hears this type of big marching at the back of one." Exploring the reaction of 5 composers--Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Mahler--to what each one in actual fact observed because the problem of Beethoven's symphonies, Evan Bonds richly complements our knowing of the evolution of the symphony and Beethoven's legacy.
Overt borrowings from Beethoven--for instance, the lyrical subject matter within the Finale of Brahms' First Symphony, so just like the "Ode to pleasure" topic in Beethoven's Ninth--have usually been the topic of feedback. Bonds now exhibits us how composers imitate or allude to a Beethoven topic or compositional process accurately which will draw 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 makes a speciality of such middle concerns as Beethoven's techniques in formal layout, the function of textual content and voice, fusion of numerous genres, cyclical coherence of events, 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 commonplace masterpieces in a brand new mild.
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Extra info for After Beethoven: The Imperative of Originality in the Symphony
Who would now be to Beethoven that which he was to Haydn and Mozart in the realm of absolute music? ^' Wagner's commentary on the historical impossibility of writing symphonies after the Ninth points to another important dement in his century's approach to Beethoven. The view of Beethoven's symphonies as the culmination of "absolute" music rested not only on the nature of these works, but also on the perception of Beethoven's historical position in relaüon to Haydn and Mozart. The relatively few symphonies of these earlier composers that remained in the repertoire during the nineteenth Century were routinely evaluated not so much on their own terms as through the hindsight of Beethoven's later accomplishments.
1 7 8 ) . Others who have questioned the rationale and aesthetic value of these reminiscences include August Wilhelm Ambros, in his Die Grenzen der Musik und Poesie ( 1 8 5 5 ) , p. 1 7 4 ; and Adolphe Boschot, in his Un romantique saus Louis-Philippe: Hector Berlioz, 1 8 3 1 - 1 8 4 2 (L'Histoire d'un romantique, II) (Paris: Plon-Nourrit, 1 9 0 8 ) , p. 2 5 1 . D. : Harvard University Press, 1 9 8 9 ) , p. 2 4 5 , suggests no clear motivation for this reference to Beethoven's Ninth, but he does note that the "symbolism" is "decidedly non-Beethovenian" and more "Chateaubriandesque," points that will be pursued throughout this chapter.
1], but with the difference that whereas the theme of the Symphonie fantastique, the idee fixe, keeps obtruding like an obsessive idea on scenes that are alien 3. See The Memoirs of Hector Berlioz, Irans, and ed. , 2 vols. 43, 246-248. 4. Translation adapted from Cairns's edition of the Memoirs, p. 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.
After Beethoven: The Imperative of Originality in the Symphony by Mark Evan Bonds