By Mark Evan Bonds
Beethoven forged a looming shadow over the 19th century. For composers he was once a version either to emulate and to beat. "You don't know the way it feels," Brahms confided, "when one constantly hears any such colossal marching at the back of one." Exploring the reaction of 5 composers--Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Mahler--to what each one truly observed because the problem of Beethoven's symphonies, Evan Bonds richly complements our realizing of the evolution of the symphony and Beethoven's legacy.
Overt borrowings from Beethoven--for instance, the lyrical subject matter within the Finale of Brahms' First Symphony, so just like the "Ode to pleasure" topic in Beethoven's Ninth--have usually been the topic of feedback. Bonds now exhibits us how composers imitate or allude to a Beethoven subject matter or compositional method accurately to be able to shy away from it, making a new musical answer. Berlioz's Harold en Italie, Mendelssohn's Lobgesang, Schumann's Fourth Symphony, Brahms' First, and Mahler's Fourth function illuminating examples. dialogue specializes in such center matters as Beethoven's thoughts in formal layout, the position of textual content and voice, fusion of numerous genres, cyclical coherence of routine, and the functionality of the symphonic finale.
Bonds lucidly argues that the good symphonists of the 19th century cleared inventive house for themselves by means of either confronting and deviating from the practices in their almost certainly overpowering precursor. His research locations normal masterpieces in a brand new mild.
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Extra resources for After Beethoven: The Imperative of Originality in the Symphony
When he returns after the procession has passed (m. 10). The central canto relißioso that follows (m. 1 6 9 - Z 4 7 ) poses perhaps the most difficult technical challenge for the violist in the entire work: the arpeggiated sixteenth-note figure, to be played piano and sul ponticello 48 SINFONIA ANTI-EROICA poco meno J^ e dim. poco a poco iA=3 poco meno f ' It J l t 115 ff e dim. 10 Berlioz, Harold en r 9- Italie/ii, m. 1 4 4 - 1 5 Z : The coordination of soloist and orchestra throughout, is difficult to project evenly and cleanly.
He is, in Berlioz's own words, a "melancholy dreamer" who "sticks to his sentimental nonsense; everything eise is Foreign to him. "5 Berlioz also encouraged critics to view Harold as an autobiographical work, as another "episode in the life of an artist"—a sequel, as it were, to the combined Symphonie fcmtastique (1830) and Lelio (1832). The context of Harold's wanderings is not so much Byron's Italy (recounted in Canto IV of Childe Harold's Filßrimaße) as Berlioz's Italy—and specifically, as the composer himself pointed out, the "poetic impressions" recalled from his "wanderings in the Abruzzi" in 1 8 3 1 - 3 2 .
Poco a poco iA=3 poco meno f ' It J l t 115 ff e dim. 10 Berlioz, Harold en r 9- Italie/ii, m. 1 4 4 - 1 5 Z : The coordination of soloist and orchestra throughout, is difficult to project evenly and cleanly. In its almost etude-like character, it may represent an oblique allusion to Paganini; more likely still, it symbolizes the kind of abnegation and self-discipline that are at the center of the reiigious pilgrim's oudook. Throughout this middle section, the viola continues to eschew the "Harold" theme, and his arpeggiated counterpoint remains rhythmically synchronized with the pilgrims' music.
After Beethoven: The Imperative of Originality in the Symphony by Mark Evan Bonds