Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Selected Recent Beethoven and Beethoven-Related Books and Music Scores

Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Selected Recent Beethoven and Beethoven-Related Books and Music Scores

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 books as being for the general reader or specialist, we have adopted their categorization. Part III lists critical editions and other selected scores.

I. Books for the general reader

IA. Books in English

Aitken, Hugh. The Piece as a Whole: Studies in Holistic Musical Analysis. Contributions to the Study of Music and Dance No. 45. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1997. viii, 127 pp. ISBN 0-275-96038-2 (pbk): $17.95; 0-313-30061-5 (hdbk): $49.95.

With this book, the author aims to teach an alternative to Schenkerian analysis to college music students with a minimum of one year of basic theory and ear training. The technical analyses cover tonality, texture, and harmony, drawing on examples from the standard repertory of Western music from the Baroque period through the twentieth century. Not surprisingly, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony receives the most attention. The author's holistic method also addresses subjective elements of musical works, such as meaning, aesthetics, and value judgments. Other Beethoven works discussed include the Fortepiano Sonatas, Opus 53 and Opus 81a, and the Third and Seventh Symphonies. Includes bibliography and index.

Baker, Anne Pimlott. Beethoven. Pocket Biographies. Phoenix Mill, Gloucestershire: Sutler, 1997. xi, 114 pp. ISBN 0-7509-1509-9. £4.99 ($8).

For those who want to read a history of Beethoven's life in just a couple of hours, this book is a fairly reliable choice. The writing style is suitable for older children and teenagers, and the text includes a few footnotes for those who want more details or to check the author's sources.

Bryan, Paul. Johann Wanhal, Viennese Symphonist: His Life and His Musical Environment. Thematic Catalogs Series No. 23. Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon, 1997. xxiii, 558 p. ISBN 0-945193-63-7. $86.

Though in the shadows of his great contemporaries Mozart and Haydn, Wanhal (17391813) was one of the most prominent composers of his time. Like Beethoven, his orchestral works include battle symphonies, and he also composed a cantata to memorialize the death of Joseph H. Though primarily a thematic catalog of Wanhal's symphonic works, the book's introductory essays describe the musical environment in which Beethoven also lived. The appendices also include information about source materials which is applicable to Beethoven studies, such as watermark tracings in manuscript papers used during the period, and an essay on music publishing from ca. 1755-1815.

The Cambridge Companion to Schubert, edited by Christopher H. Gibbs. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997. xiii, 340 pp.ISBN 0-521-48229-1 (hdbk.): $59.95; 0-521-48424-3 (pbk.): $19-95.

Fourteen scholars and performers contributed the essays for this volume, which are organized around the topics of musical, political, and cultural contexts in Schubert studies, style and genre in his music, and reception history. Of particular interest to Beethovenites is the essay by Gibbs comparing the legacies of Schubert and Beethoven ("'Poor Schubert': Images and Legends of the Composer"), contributions by Charles Rosen on "Schubert's Inflections of Classical Form," and William Kinderman on Schubert's fortepiano music. Comparisons to Beethoven's music also appear in Martin Chusid's study of the chamber music and L. Michael Griffel's essay on the orchestral music. Includes indexes.

Caplin, William E. …

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