Beethoven and the Construction of Genius: Musical Politics by Tia DeNora

By Tia DeNora

During this provocative account Tia DeNora reconceptualizes the idea of genius by way of putting the lifestyles and occupation of Ludwig van Beethoven in its social context. She explores the altering musical global of overdue eighteenth-century Vienna and follows the actions of the small circle of aristocratic buyers who prepared the ground for the composer's success.DeNora reconstructs the improvement of Beethoven's acceptance as she recreates Vienna's powerful musical scene via modern debts, letters, magazines, and myths--a colourful photograph of fixing instances. She explores the methods Beethoven used to be visible via his contemporaries and the picture crafted via his supporters. evaluating Beethoven to modern opponents now principally forgotten, DeNora unearths a determine musically cutting edge and intricate, in addition to a willing self-promoter who adroitly controlled his personal celebrity.DeNora contends that the popularity Beethoven bought used to be as a lot a social fulfillment because it used to be the results of his own presents. In considering the political and social implications of tradition, DeNora casts many points of Beethoven's biography in a brand new and various gentle, enriching our figuring out of his luck as a performer and composer.

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Extra resources for Beethoven and the Construction of Genius: Musical Politics in Vienna, 1792-1803

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During this time, he grew so animated and possessed, that he not only played, but looked like one inspired. His eyes were fixed, his under lip fell, and drops of effervescence distilled from his countenance. (1775, 126) Anecdotal evidence concerning Beethoven's own reception in Berlin in the mid-1790s suggests that this more emotional approach to music had persisted. When Beethoven visited Berlin in 1796, his audience sobbed after his extemporaneous piano performances, a response that, according to Carl Czerny (cited in Thayer and Forbes 1967, 1:185), made him adverse to King Frederick Wilhelm's reputed invitation to stay on as a court musician (possibly as Johann Friedrich Reichardt's replacement).

While Hanslick was attempting to call attention to the general decline of private forms of music sponsorship and the subsequent diffusion of patronage to which that decline gave rise, he did not intend to imply that the end of the patriarchal period was characterized by a decline in aristocratic participation in musical affairs. Indeed, he was fully aware that the Viennese aristocrats remained active and, for the most part, dominant in musical affairs well into the nineteenth century (far later than their Parisian or London counterparts), and he described the emergence of these aristocrats as Vienna's "most brilliant" early nineteenth-century dilettantes.

Bach's keyboard music and Handel's oratorios. The baron also helped to promote C. P. E. Bach's music internationally by introducing it to the music publisher Artaria in Vienna. Also during the 1770s, the Phantasie or expressive, freeform genre was cultivated in northern Germany. The Phantasie was a "private" genre and, as a vehicle for personal and emotional expression, foreign to Viennese music culture during these years. This very different flavor of north German musical culture was conveyed by Dr.

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