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 constantly hears this sort of huge marching in the back of one." Exploring the reaction of 5 composers--Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Mahler--to what every one sincerely 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 matter within the Finale of Brahms' First Symphony, so just like the "Ode to pleasure" topic in Beethoven's Ninth--have frequently been the topic of feedback. Bonds now indicates us how composers imitate or allude to a Beethoven subject matter or compositional approach accurately so that it will shrink back from it, making a new musical answer. 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 concerns as Beethoven's techniques in formal layout, the position of textual content and voice, fusion of various genres, cyclical coherence of routine, and the functionality of the symphonic finale.
Bonds lucidly argues that the good symphonists of the 19th century cleared inventive house for themselves by way of either confronting and deviating from the practices in their very likely overpowering precursor. His research locations frequent masterpieces in a brand new gentle.
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Extra info for After Beethoven: The Imperative of Originality in the Symphony
7 Berlioz, Harold en Italif/'w, m. j J J71 r r r r r r ^^ m P le fr IIIM creic. 8 Berlioz, Harold en Italie/iv, m. ^' When Harold finally does work up enough courage to put forward a very small gesture from his own theme, he is soon overwhelmed (m. 505): once again, he is powerless to withstand the onslaught of the brigands. By the time the work ends, the one theme most likely to have provided a resolution for the entire symphony has bareiy put in an appearance within the last movement. The "Harold" theme is not stated openly in its entirety even once in the finale.
T. A. Hoffmann, Review of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, AmZ 1 2 (4 July 1810): 6 3 Z - 6 3 3 ; Ernst Ortlepp, "Gedanken über die Symphonie," p. 61; Fink, "Ueber die Symphonie," AmZjj (26 August 1 8 3 5 ) : 558 ("idiosyncrasies of the jovial, humorous Haydn, of the sublime, soaring Mozart, and of the victoriously romantic Beethoven"); Amadeus Wendt, Ueber den ßegenwärtißen Zustand der Musik, besonders in Deutschland und wie er geworden (Göttingen: Dietrich, 1 8 3 6 ) , pp. 4 - 6 ; Anonymous, "Leipzig," AmZ 43 (3 March 1 8 4 1 ) : 1 9 7 ; Wagner, "Das Kunstwerk der Zukunft," Sämtliche Schriften, III, 9 1 .
9 Berlioz, Harold m Italie/n, m. 56-82: Harold's theme superimposed on the pilgrims' canto edly breaks off in mid-phrase and falls silent (m. 106). As the pilgrims draw nearer, the music increases to its dynamic climax, meticulously indicated in the score at m. 1 3 1 . Harold has presumably been hiding during this time. But he has also been listening. When he returns after the procession has passed (m. 10). The central canto relißioso that follows (m. 1 6 9 - Z 4 7 ) poses perhaps the most difficult technical challenge for the violist in the entire work: the arpeggiated sixteenth-note figure, to be played piano and sul ponticello 48 SINFONIA ANTI-EROICA poco meno J^ e dim.
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