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

By Mark Evan Bonds

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 regularly hears this type of vast marching at 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 figuring out of the evolution of the symphony and Beethoven's legacy.

Overt borrowings from Beethoven--for instance, the lyrical topic 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 technique accurately as a way to draw 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 strategies in formal layout, the position of textual content and voice, fusion of various genres, cyclical coherence of pursuits, and the functionality of the symphonic finale.

Bonds lucidly argues that the nice symphonists of the 19th century cleared inventive area for themselves via either confronting and deviating from the practices in their most likely overpowering precursor. His research areas ordinary masterpieces in a brand new gentle.

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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. 30 SINFONIA ANTI-EROICA (2) Marche de pelerins chantcmt la priere du soir; (3) Smnade d'un montoßnard des Abruzzes d sa maitresse; and (4) Or£iie de brißands.

Nowhere is this principle of thematic dialectic more clearly evident than near the beginning of the finale of the Ninth Symphony, in which ideas fi-om previous movements are systematically recalled and "rejected" by the instrumental recitatives and then ultimately discarded by the vocal recitative that enters with the baritone in m. "). Indeed, this movement encapsulates one of the central problems of instrumental music's "meaning" for nineteenth-century composers and critics, and will be discussed in later chapters of this book.

The idea of generic synthesis would play an important role in all the arts in the nineteenth Century, and music was no exception. Later composers were divided as to whether or not to follow Beethoven's lead in this regard. 33. , ed. Martin Gregor-Dellin and Dieter Mack (Munich and Zürich: R. Piper, 1 9 7 7 ) , II, 1 0 7 3 ( 1 7 December 1882). THE CRISIS OF THE SYMPHONY AFTER BEETHOVEN 21 (4) Cyclical cohermce. How should the multiple movements of a q^cle relate to one another? Beethoven's Fifth, widi its overt manipulation of a Single motive across multiple movements, tiie blurring of boundaries between its last two movements, and the extended return to an earlier movement (the third) within the course of the finale, incorporates strategies of cyclical coherence that are overt and readily grasped.

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