Recent Beethoven and Beethoven-Related Publications: 2005-2006

By Stroh, Patricia | The Beethoven Journal, Winter 2006 | Go to article overview

Recent Beethoven and Beethoven-Related Publications: 2005-2006


Stroh, Patricia, The Beethoven Journal


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.

Part I, Books for the General Reader, encompasses biographies, histories, repertory guides and other reference books, and introductory texts appropriate for the music student.

Part II, Books for the Specialist, lists books with a highly analytical or philosophical focus intended for readers with substantial knowledge of music. In those cases where authors have identified their books as being for the general reader or specialist, we have accepted their categorization.

Part III lists music manuscript facsimiles and score editions.

All book publications are paperbacks unless otherwise noted. To obtain copies of books and benefit the Beethoven Center simultaneously, please order them online through MyCause. com (www.MyCause.com/Beethoven). A percentage of sales of books and other merchandise ordered through MyCause participant dealers (including Barnes and Noble) will benefit the American Beethoven Society. For those publications not available through Barnes and Noble, please contact your local bookseller. To order Beethoven-Haus publications directly, visit the publisher web site (www.beethoven-haus-bonn. de/sixcms/detail.php//startseite_verlag_en).

I. Books for the General Reader

IA. Books in English

Griffiths, Paul. A Concise History of Western Music. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2000. ix, 348 pp. ISBN 0-521-84294-5 (hardback): $35.

"Concise" is the operative word with this book, which traces the path of Western music from its prehistoric origins to the late twentieth century. With no preface, it is difficult to assess the authors philosophy or intended readership; however, it is safe to say that those who want a broader understanding of music history without a lot of names, dates, and other pesky facts might find this text useful. The history is not without detail: for example, in the twelve-page chapter on the "sonata as comedy," the author gives the reader a sense of Mozart's dependence on his father and of his thwarted relationship with Aloysia Weber. Beethoven makes his appearance in Chapter 12, "Revolution's momentum," which touches on his development to 1814. Chapter 13, "The deaf man and the singer," compares Beethoven with his contemporaries Rossini, Schubert, Weber, Paganini, and Mendelssohn. Then Beethoven disappears, so no exploration of his legacy is to be found here. The book concludes with a glossary of musical terms, a very brief list of recommended books and recordings, and an index.

Hillman, Roger. Unsettling Scores: German Film, Music, and Ideology. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005. xi, 219 pp. ISBN 0-253-34537 (cloth): $50; ISBN 0-253-2 1754-7 (paperback): $19.95.

The use and exploitation of Beethoven's music in film is a subject with a rapidly growing literature of case studies. This book, in its general discussion of classical music in film, focuses on the New German Cinema of the 1970s and early 1980s. These filmmakers employed the music of Beethoven, Mahler, and others not so much to set moods as to suggest a cultural connection. The most loaded cultural icon in Beethoven's oeuvre is, of course, the Ninth Symphony, a work that was appropriated by the Nazis, whose terrible influence is still strongly felt in postwar Germany. In this context, the films discussed include Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, Hans-Jürgen Syberberg's Hitler: A Film from Germany, Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire, Andrei Tarkovsky's Nostalghia, and several others. Includes bibliography and index.

Morgan, Kenneth. Fritz Reiner: Maestro and Martinet. Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2005. xv, 310 pp. ISBN 0-252-02935-6 (cloth): $34.95.

The varied conducting career of Fritz Reiner (1888-1963) began in Europe but after 1922 thrived in the United States, where he led the Cincinnati and Pittsburgh Symphonies until he attained his ultimate position as musical director of the Chicago Symphony (1953-1963); he also taught at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and conducted at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. …

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Recent Beethoven and Beethoven-Related Publications: 2005-2006
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