Selected Recent Beethoven and Beethoven-Related Publications (2006-2007) Including Fiction and Children's Books (2005-2008)

Article excerpt

THE FOLLOWING DESCRIPTIONS OF BOOKS AND SCORES recently acquired by the Beethoven Center are intended to aid readers in selecting new publications that appeal to their individual interests. Pan I, Books for the General Reader, encompasses biographies, histories, repertory guides and other reference books, and introductory texts appropriate for the music student. Also included are works of fiction, poetry, and children's books. Part II, Books for the Specialist, lists items of a highly analytical or philosophical focus intended for readers with substantial knowledge of music. In those cases where authors have identified their book as being for the general reader or specialist, we have accepted their categorization. Part III lists critical editions and other selected scores.

To obtain books while simultaneously benefiting the American Beethoven Society, please order them online through MyCause (www.MyCause.com/Beethoven). The Society receives a percentage of sales of books and other merchandise purchased through MyCause participant dealers (including Barnes & Noble). For those publications not available through Barnes & Noble, please contact your local bookseller. To order Beethoven-Haus publications directly, visit the website of their distributor, Cams Verlag (http://www.carus-verlag.com/Beethoven. html).

I. Books for the General Reader

IA. Books in English

Gerig, Reginald R. Famous Pianists and Their Technique. Rev. ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007. xxiii, 608 pp. ISBN 978-0-253-34855-5 (paperback): $29.95.

Originally published in 1974, the revised edition of this classic study of keyboard technique traces historical developments, schools, methods, and the most influential teachers. A chapter on "the dynamic Beethoven technique" covers Beethoven's development as a fortepianist, relying on the usual sources (Thayer, Czerny, Schindler). It continues with an exploration of pianists heavily influenced by Beethoven, including Czerny, Liszt, the Schumann circle, and later Leschetizky, Schnabel, and many others. The book culminates in a chapter that outlines ten considerations for developing an "enlightened piano technique." These considerations are aesthetics, mental and psychological control, an intellectual grasp of basic technical knowledge, isolated movements, coordinated movements, muscular coordination, kinesthetic sense, posture, means for specific technical development, and historical perspectives of fortepiano technique. The appendix, an addition in this revised edition, provides an annotated index to each of these ten considerations as they appear in die earlier chapters. For example, under "aesthetic imperative," readers will find discussions of how vocal art influenced the development of Beethoven's technique and his use of the pedal. Beethoven references appear frequently throughout the book, so the addition of these categorized indexes is very useful. Also useful are the supplements to the extensive bibliography.

Gustav Klimt, The Beethoven Frieze, and the Controversy over the Freedom of Art. Edited by Stephan Koja with texts by Stephan Koja, Manfred Koller, Verena Perlhefter, Rosa Sala Rose, Carl E. Schorske, Alice Strobl, and Franz AJ. Szabo. Munich: Prestel, 2006. 208 pp. ISBN 978-3-791 3-3757-9 (hardback): $65.

The Viennese secession, founded in 1897, was inspired by the idea of Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"). Gustav Klimt was a major force behind this movement. His exploration of the psyche, experiences, and driving motivations of modern mankind found expression in one of his major creations, the Beethoven Frieze, a work that scandalized Viennese society with its sexual imagery and symbolism. In the ensuing debate over its value, the Frieze came to represent the power of art to overcome the hostilities of life and become a refuge from life's brutal realities. This book, which accompanied an exhibition at the Fundación Juan March in Madrid, centered on Klimt's Beethoven Frieze as a means of exploring issues of artistic freedom in the creation of public art. …