Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Selected Recent Beethoven and Beethoven-Related Books and Music Editions (1996-1999)

Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Selected Recent Beethoven and Beethoven-Related Books and Music Editions (1996-1999)

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. Where an author has identified a book as being for either the general reader or the specialist, we have accepted that categorization. Part III lists critical editions and other selected scores.

IA. Books in English

Baron, John Herschel. Intimate Music: A History of the Idea of Chamber Music. Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon, 1998. xii, 489 pp. ISBN 1-57647-018-0. $64.

Baron's title comes from his definition of chamber music: "solistic instrumental ensemble music of a serious nature performed in intimate surroundings." He surveys chamber music beginning in the sixteenth century and ending with the present daya daunting repertory that he admittedly can only summarize. After a brief introductory essay on the concept of chamber music, the history proceeds chronologically, following developments in genres, national schools, and major composers and ensembles. Not surprisingly, Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven dominate the largest chapter (V: "Classical Chamber Music: 1780-1827"). The influence of all three, especially Beethoven, carries into the later chapters, particularly VI, "Romantic Chamber Music after Beethoven." The bibliography selects and updates important writings listed in Baron's Chamber Music: A Resource and Information Guide (New York: Garland, 1987). An index covers names and locations.

Hardman, George. The Philatelic Beethoven. McLean, Virginia: the author, 1999- Unpublished typescript, spiral bound, iii, 118 leaves. Available from the author at: 1148 Bellview Road, McLean, VA 22102-1104. Prices with postage: $15/domestic first class; $13.50/domestic book rate; $16.50/ Canada; $22/elsewhere, air mail; $15/ elsewhere, surface.

A stamp collector and Beethoven enthusiast, Hardman has scrupulously researched Beethoven stamps for more than thirty years. Here he compiles ten previously published essays on this topic in a nicely illustrated typescript. His purpose is "to entertain, to share information with fellow collectors, and to stimulate interest in Beethoven philately." With their mix of biographical and historical tidbits, meticulous descriptions of the stamps, and impressive detective work, Hardman's achievements with this topic will be difficult to surpass. He organizes most of the essays around topics depicted in the stamps: the Ninth Symphony, sonatas, musical instruments, women, the first musical notes, pastoral musings. Rarities like the 1959 souvenir sheet from Bonn receive his special attention. For readers whose musical background is limited, Hardman supplies a glossary of terms. The final chapter is a master checklist of Beethoven stamps and postal stationery, organized by continent and country, and providing dates, values, MICHEL catalog numbers, perforation data, and brief descriptions. Hardman plans a continuation of this volume, with an additional sixteen fascinating chapters on such subjects as "The Brunsviks of Martonvásár" and "Beethoven, Mälzel, Wellington," and including an index to both volumes.

Nineteenth-Century Chamber Music, edited by Stephen E. Hefling. Studies in Musical Genres and Repertories. New York: Schirmer/London: Prentice Hall International, 1998. xv, 389 pp. ISBN 0-02-871034-7. $45.

Eleven writers contribute nine chapters on the chamber music of (mostly) major composers in the genre: Beethoven, Schubert, Spohr, Weber, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, Smetana, and Dvorak. Chamber music in France (from Cherubini to Debussy) and music written around the turn of the twentieth century receive separate chapters. …

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