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After Beethoven

Imperatives Of Originality In The Symphony

By Mark Evan Bonds

Beethoven cast a looming shadow over the nineteenth century. For composers he was a model both to emulate and to overcome. "You have no idea how it feels," Brahms confided, "when one always hears such a giant marching behind one." Exploring the response of five composers--Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Mahler--to what each clearly saw as the challenge of Beethoven's symphonies, Evan Bonds richly enhances our understanding of the evolution of the symphony and Beethoven's legacy.

Overt borrowings from Beethoven--for example, the lyrical theme in the Finale of Brahms' First Symphony, so like the "Ode to Joy" theme in Beethoven's Ninth--have often been the subject of criticism. Bonds now shows us how composers imitate or allude to a Beethoven theme or compositional strategy precisely in order to turn away from it, creating a new musical solution. Berlioz's Harold en Italie, Mendelssohn's Lobgesang, Schumann's Fourth Symphony, Brahms' First, and Mahler's Fourth serve as illuminating examples. Discussion focuses on such core issues as Beethoven's innovations in formal design, the role of text and voice, fusion of diverse genres, cyclical coherence of movements, and the function of the symphonic finale.

Bonds lucidly argues that the great symphonists of the nineteenth century cleared creative space for themselves by both confronting and deviating from the practices of their potentially overpowering precursor. His analysis places familiar masterpieces in a new light.

Format

Book

Availability

1 available at Main (Downtown)
  • 784.2 Bon, Nonfiction

Publish Date

1996

ISBN

0674008553


Format: Book
Author: Bonds, Mark Evan
Title: After Beethoven : imperatives of originality in the symphony / Mark Evan Bonds.
Publisher Date: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1996.
Subject: Symphony -- 19th century. Originality
Isbn: 0674008553 (cloth : alk. paper)
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 1
System Items Total: 1
Call Number: 784.2 Bon
Oclc: 34966249
Upc:
Bib Id: 66817

Format: Book
Author: Bonds, Mark Evan
Title: After Beethoven : imperatives of originality in the symphony / Mark Evan Bonds.
Publisher, Date: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1996.
Description: 212 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Subjects: Symphony -- 19th century.
Subjects: Originality
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. [203]-207) and index.
LCCN: 96028053
ISBN: 0674008553 (cloth : alk. paper)
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 1
Total Copies: 1
Call Number: 784.2 Bon