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Beethoven. William Kinderman
02.04.2017, 21:09
Kinderman - Beethoven (2009).pdf

                            Preface
This book examines the main lines of Beethoven’s creative development, from his formative years at Bonn to the last string quartets written near the end of his life. The investigation is set in the context of Beethoven’s biography, but gives priority to representative musical works in the major genres: the piano sonata and variation set; the duo sonata, trio, string quartet, and other types of chamber music; the concerto, overture, and symphony; and the forms of vocal music such as the art song, opera, cantata, and sacred mass. Not to be overlooked is his contribution to patriotic program music, of which the “Battle Symphony,” Wellingtons Sieg, is the best-known example.
The introductory chapter, “Overture,” sets out the main philosophical and aesthetic argument. Like Beethoven’s second and third Leonore overtures, this one presents important themes that are later exemplified in detail. Since the primary focus is aesthetic rather than biographical, some familiarity with the musical works is presupposed; the discussions of pieces aim toward an integrated approach that avoids sacrificing artistic sensibility to systematic method. Analysis at its best is not an end in itself but a means to an end: it enables us to hear more in the music. In this sense, an analysis resembles an inward performance. It depends vitally on our imagination of the sound, and it needs to be verified by the reader: how does it feel?
The book was first published in 1995, and the chance to expand it for this new edition is a precious opportunity. I have used the available space to extend the discussions of several subjects and works: Beethoven’s “first love,” Jeannette d’Honrath; his response to Mozart as revealed through their quintets for piano and winds; the Eroica Symphony and its mythic background; the cultural and political importance of Fidelio; a new source for the Hammerklavier Sonata; transfiguration of the Arietta in the last sonata, op. 111; and structure and expression in the Quartet in A minor op. 132. The discussions of op. 16 and op. 111
overlap with my contributions to Variations on the Canon, edited by Robert Curry, David Gable, and Robert L. Marshall, and Verwandlungsmusik: Studien zur Wertungsforschung 48, edited by Andreas Dorschel, respectively; the discussion of op. 132 intersects with my contribution to The String Quartets of Beethoven
(University of Illinois Press, 2006). Many other additions have been made, and the bibliographical sections updated to include recent studies and interpretations. During the last decade, the many debts I have incurred and acknowledged in earlier editions of this book have continued to grow. I hope that my own development in recent years will have a positive impact on this new edition. To my research
assistant during the final stages of preparation, Joseph Jones, I am most grateful. From the large field of Beethoven literature, I am indebted both to works with which I agree and to those with which I do not. I have tried to take account of sources and scholarship on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and express particular thanks to the several institutions that have supported my extended periods of research in Europe: the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Killam Foundation, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

 

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