Late Beethoven: Music, Thought, Imagination / Edition 1

Late Beethoven: Music, Thought, Imagination / Edition 1

by Maynard Solomon
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520243390

ISBN-13: 9780520243392

Pub. Date: 10/04/2004

Publisher: University of California Press

In a series of powerful strokes, the music of Beethoven's last years redefined his legacy and enlarged the realm of experience accessible to the creative imagination. Maynard Solomon's Late Beethoven investigates the phenomenon of the final phase, focusing especially on the striking metamorphosis in Beethoven's system of beliefs that began early in his fifth…  See more details below

Overview

In a series of powerful strokes, the music of Beethoven's last years redefined his legacy and enlarged the realm of experience accessible to the creative imagination. Maynard Solomon's Late Beethoven investigates the phenomenon of the final phase, focusing especially on the striking metamorphosis in Beethoven's system of beliefs that began early in his fifth decade and eventually amounted to a sweeping realignment of his views of nature, antiquity, divinity, and human purpose.

Using the composer's letters, diaries, and conversation books, Solomon traces Beethoven's attraction to a constellation of heterogeneous ideas, drawn from Romanticism, Freemasonry, comparative religion, Eastern initiatory ritual, Mediterranean mythology, aesthetics, and classical and contemporary thought. Through these often arcane sources, Beethoven gained access to a vast reservoir of imagery and ideas with the potential to expand music's expressive and communicative reach. This "multitude of productive images," writes Solomon, "provided kindling for the blaze of his imagination."

Late Beethoven is a rich tapestry of original perspectives on Beethoven's music. Solomon sees the Seventh Symphony as a deployment of the rhythms of antiquity in an effort to revalidate the premises of the Classical world; the Ninth as an essay on the prospects and limits of affirmative, monumental endings; and the "Diabelli" Variations as a doorway to the universe of metaphoric significances that attach to beginnings. In the Violin Sonata in G, op. 96, Solomon finds a restoration of the full range of pastoral experience that the ancient poets had known. In the Grosse Fuge he locates issues of fragmentation andreassembly, and he suggests that pivotal passages of the last sonatas evoke sacred states of being.

These stimulating perspectives illuminate the inner world within which Beethoven dwelled during his last fifteen years and the ways in which his thought and music may be interrelated. Written in accessible and eloquent prose, and with numerous music examples, Late Beethoven is a serious contribution to understanding this miraculous quantum leap in Beethoven's creative evolution.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520243392
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
10/04/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
338
Sales rank:
475,237
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Prologue: A Sea Change1
1The End of a Beginning: The "Diabelli" Variations11
2Beyond Classicism27
3Some Romantic Images42
4Pastoral, Rhetoric, Structure: The Violin Sonata in G, op. 9671
5Reason and Imagination: The Aesthetic Dimension92
6The Seventh Symphony and the Rhythms of Antiquity102
7The Masonic Thread135
8The Masonic Imagination159
9The Shape of a Journey: The "Diabelli" Variations179
10Intimations of the Sacred198
11The Sense of an Ending: The Ninth Symphony213
12The Healing Power of Music229
Abbreviations243
Notes245
Index of Composition301
General Index307

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