Crossing Paths: Schubert, Schumann and Brahms

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In Crossing Paths, John Daverio explores the connections between art and life in the works of three giants of musical romanticism. Drawing on contemporary critical theory and a wide variety of nineteenth-century sources, he considers topics including Schubert and Schumann's uncanny ability to evoke memory in music, the supposed cryptographic practices of Schumann and Brahms, and the allure of the Hungarian Gypsy style for Brahms and others in the Schumann circle. The book offers a fresh perspective on the music of these composers, including a comprehensive discussion of the 19th century practice of cryptography, a debunking of the myth that Schumann and Brahms planted codes for "Clara Schumann" throughout their works, and attention to the late works of Schumann not as evidence of the composer's descent into madness but as inspiration for his successors. Daverio portrays the book's three key players as musical storytellers, each in his own way simulating the structure of lived experience in works of art. As an intimate study of three composers that combines cultural history and literary criticism with deep musicological understanding, Crossing Paths is a rich exploration of memory, the re-creation of artistic tradition, and the value of artistic influence.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Crossing Paths not only brings into clear focus often shadowy musical and aesthetic connections between three major Romantic composers; it is also an invaluable compendium of decades of work by many scholars. In mapping these wide-ranging territories, John Daverio tirelessly crossed and brilliantly bridged historical, musical, and disciplinary boundaries; his work will resound and keep his name alive for many years to come."—Music & Letters

"John Daverio has left much in this ambitious book that will endure, either because it is read, accepted, and recounted, or because in sparking disagreement, he stimulates us to progress along new paths of our own."—Journal of the American Musicological Society

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195132960
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/3/2002
  • Pages: 328
  • Lexile: 1710L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

John Daverio is Professor of Music, Director ad interim, and Chairman of the Musicology Department of the School of Music at Boston University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: At the Intersection of Old and New Paths 3
Pt. I Schumann's One and Only Schubert
1 Schumann and Schubert's "Immortal" Piano Trio in E Flat, D. 929 13
2 The Gestus of Remembering: Schumann's Critique of Schubert's Impromptus, D. 935 47
Pt. II Uttering "Clara" in Tones
3 Schumann: Cryptographer or Pictographer? 65
4 Brahms's Musical Ciphers: Acts of Homage and Gestures of Effacement 103
5 The Folded Fan 125
Pt. III A Noble Model
6 Transcendental Chess Games 155
7 Brahms, the Schumann Circle, and the Style Hongrois: Contexts for the "Double" Concerto, OP. 102 191
Epilogue: Crossing Paths and Modes of Experience 243
Notes 251
Index 301
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