The Possessor and the Possessed: Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, and the Idea of Musical Genius

The Possessor and the Possessed: Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, and the Idea of Musical Genius

by Peter Kivy IV, Peter KY
     
 

ISBN-10: 0300087586

ISBN-13: 9780300087581

Pub. Date: 09/28/2001

Publisher: Yale University Press

The concept of genius intrigues us. Artistic geniuses have something other people don�t have. In some cases that something seems to be a remarkable kind of inspiration that permits the artist to exceed his own abilities. It is as if the artist is suddenly possessed, as if some outside force flows through him at the moment of creation. In other cases genius seems best

Overview

The concept of genius intrigues us. Artistic geniuses have something other people don�t have. In some cases that something seems to be a remarkable kind of inspiration that permits the artist to exceed his own abilities. It is as if the artist is suddenly possessed, as if some outside force flows through him at the moment of creation. In other cases genius seems best explained as a natural gift. The artist is the possessor of an extra talent that enables the production of masterpiece after masterpiece. This book explores the concept of artistic genius and how it came to be symbolized by three great composers of the modern era: Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven. Peter Kivy, a leading thinker in musical aesthetics, delineates the two concepts of genius that were already well formed in the ancient world. Kivy then develops the argument that these concepts have alternately held sway in Western thought since the beginning of the eighteenth century. He explores why this pendulum swing from the concept of the possessor to the concept of the possessed has occurred and how the concepts were given philosophical reformulations as views toward Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven as geniuses changed in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries.

Author Biography: Peter Kivy is professor of philosophy at Rutgers University and the author of more than a dozen books on aesthetics and musical aesthetics.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300087581
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Series:
Yale Series in the Philosophy and Theory
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Contents

PREFACE....................xi
I Time out of Mind....................1
II Greatness of Mind....................13
III Breaking the Rule....................22
IV The Saxon or the Devil....................37
V The Genius and the Child....................57
VI The Little Man from Salzburg....................78
VII Giving the Rule....................97
VIII An Unlicked Bear....................119
IX Mozart's Second Childhood....................149
X Odd Men Out....................164
XI Beethoven Again....................175
XII Gendering Genius....................218
XIII Reconstructing Genius....................238
NOTES....................255
BIBLIOGRAPHY....................271
INDEX....................277

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