The Free Fantasia and the Musical Picturesque

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Overview

This book brings together music and visual arts, especially the art of landscape gardening, in the context of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century English and German culture. The aesthetic of the picturesque, derived from the controlled wilderness of the landscape garden, provided writers on music with a language in which to describe the musical genre of the free fantasia, and the picturesque emerges here as a vital means for understanding the fantastical elements in the music of C. P. E. Bach, Haydn, and Beethoven.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a highly stimulating piece of music criticism. No one interested in the history of the interrelation between music and art, in music aesthetics, style history, or in instrumental music between 1750 and 1820 should skip this book...it is a compelling paradigm that profoundly challenges and stimulates the ways we talk and write about our musical experiences." 19th-Century Music

"...impressive...Richards has done a fine job..." Catholic Library World

"Annette Richards has crafted a book that captures the essence of her subject by adroitly leading the reader through paths that take surpising turns...many wonderful revelations lie ahead as though one was pursuing a path through those English gardens that she eloquently describes through the eyes of contemporaries of the time." The Wordsworth Circle

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of figures; Acknowledgements; 1. Framing the musical picturesque; 2. C. P. E. Bach and the landscapes of genius; 3. The picturesque sketch and the interpretation of instrumental music; 4. Haydn's humour, Bach's fantasy; 5. Sentiment undone: solitude and the clavichord cult; 6. Picturesque Beethoven and the veiled Isis; Select bibliography; Index.

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