After Beethoven: The Imperative of Originality in the by Mark Evan Bonds

By Mark Evan Bonds

Beethoven solid a looming shadow over the 19th century. For composers he used to be a version either to emulate and to beat. "You do not know the way it feels," Brahms confided, "when one consistently hears this type of big marching at the back of one." Exploring the reaction of 5 composers--Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Mahler--to what each one in actual fact observed because the problem of Beethoven's symphonies, Evan Bonds richly complements our knowing 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" subject in Beethoven's Ninth--have frequently been the topic of feedback. Bonds now indicates us how composers imitate or allude to a Beethoven subject matter or compositional approach accurately which will 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 makes a speciality of such center matters as Beethoven's ideas in formal layout, the function of textual content and voice, fusion of various genres, cyclical coherence of hobbies, and the functionality of the symphonic finale.

Bonds lucidly argues that the nice symphonists of the 19th century cleared artistic house for themselves via either confronting and deviating from the practices in their very likely overpowering precursor. His research areas typical masterpieces in a brand new mild.

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See Cari Dahlhaus, "Allegro frenetico. Z u m Problem des Rhythmus bei Berlioz," Melos/NZ) (1977): 2 1 2 - 2 1 4 . 3 Berlioz, Harold en Italic/'w^ m. 1 2 - 1 5 : Reminiscence of the Adagio from the introduction to the first movement Following the paradigm of the Ninth, one would now expect the arrival of a new theme that will transcend rejection. Instead, the review of earlier material continues, returning to a different starting point within the opening movement, the beginning of the Allegro (m.

Jena: Carl Hochhausen, 1 8 3 7 1841), II, 93; see also Gustav Schilling, Geschichte der heutigen oder modernen (Karlsruhe: C . T. Groos, 1841), p. " Musik (1837), article THE CRISIS OF THE S Y M P H O N Y AFTER BEETHOVEN 19 clearly or convincingly. Contemporaneous interpretaüons of Symphonie literature tend to be either overly vague or overly specific. Commentators routinely read into Beedioven's symphonies whatever diey wanted to discover. Even as sober a critic as A. B. Marx did not feel any compunction about interpreting the Napoleonic elements of the "Eroica" in a remarkably literal fashion.

5). By now, we flilly expect that this theme will also be rejected, which it is, quite abrupdy, in m. 54. Up until m. 54, the sequence of reminiscences and rejecdons is precisely the same as that found in Beethoven's Ninth: Berlioz recalls each of his symphony's three eariier movements in the order of their original appearance. 1 3 . See Cari Dahlhaus, "Allegro frenetico. Z u m Problem des Rhythmus bei Berlioz," Melos/NZ) (1977): 2 1 2 - 2 1 4 . 3 Berlioz, Harold en Italic/'w^ m. 1 2 - 1 5 : Reminiscence of the Adagio from the introduction to the first movement Following the paradigm of the Ninth, one would now expect the arrival of a new theme that will transcend rejection.

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