Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Recent Beethoven and Beethoven-Related Books, Music Editions, and Facsimiles (1998-2000)

Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Recent Beethoven and Beethoven-Related Books, Music Editions, and Facsimiles (1998-2000)

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. 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 book as being for the general reader or specialist, we have accepted their categorization. Part III lists critical editions and other selected scores and manuscript facsimiles.

I. Books For the General Reader

IA. Books in English

Beethoven and His World, ed. by Scott Burnham and Michael P. Steinberg. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000. x, 383 pp. ISBN 0-691-07072-5 (cloth: $55); ISBN 0-691-07073-3 (pbk.: $19-95).

This is volume 11 of a series of essays devoted to major composers published in conjunction with the Bard Music Festival at Princeton. In Part 1, "Heroic Beethoven," Reinhold Brinkmann ("In the Time of the 'Eroica'") explores the philosophical shift during the revolutionary era that was mirrored in Beethoven's works composed after 1800, particularly the Eroica Symphony. Lewis Lockwood examines the concept of the heroic in Fidelia and then deconstructs this categorization of Beethoven's middle period works ("Beethoven, Florestan, and the Varieties of Heroism"). He concludes by proposing three heroic categories in Beethoven's works: the fallen hero, visionary heroism, and the heroism of endurance. The second section turns to Beethoven's late style with essays by Elaine Sisman, Glenn Stanley, and Nicholas Marston. In "Memory and Invention at the Threshold of Beethoven's Late Style," Sisman explores recurring material that evokes memories of previous moments in Beethoven's late works. Beethoven used this device of reminiscence, a device closely associated with fantasy and invention, to link the past with present and future. The Fortepiano Sonata in A Major, Opus 101, and Sonata for Violoncello and Fortepiano, Opus 102, no. 2 are the main focus of Sisman's essay, while Glenn Stanley shares his thoughts on interpretation and analysis of another late sonata in "Voices and Their Rhythms in the First Movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata Op. 109." In the first movement he finds a lyrical quality - a dialogue between voices - that is an aspect of Beethoven's late style that has not received sufficient attention by recent critics. Nicholas Marston ("Voicing Beethoven's Distant Beloved") takes up the themes of spatial and temporal distance in An die feme Geliebte as expressed in the text and the music. He brings into his discussion the interpretations of other critics, notably Joseph Kerman and Charles Rosen. A break from hermeneutics comes with "The Keyboard Instruments of the Young Beethoven" by Tilman Skowronick, who reexamines Beethoven's relationship with these instruments during his early period. Skowronick posits that with the rapid development of the fortepiano during Beethoven's lifetime, his attitude toward the instrument changed as well. An appendix cites contemporary reports of Beethoven's playing from 1791-1800. Returning to criticism of the music, William Kinderman ("Contrast and Continuity in Beethoven's Creative Process") explores "the relation between freedom and determination, or chaos and order" in fortepiano sonatas from different stages of Beethoven's output. Discussed are the Sonata in E-flat Major, Opus 7; the "Waldstein" Sonata, Opus 53; and the last three sonatas, Opus 109-111. "Beethoven in the World" is the broad category for the last group of essays on reception history. Christopher Gibbs looks at Beethoven's death and posthumous life in "Performances of Grief: Vienna's Response to the Death of Beethoven. …

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