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From Bach's Goldberg to Beethoven's Diabelli: Influence and Independence

From Bach's Goldberg to Beethoven's Diabelli: Influence and Independence

by Alfred Kanwischer


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In From Bach's Goldberg to Beethoven's Diabelli: Influence and Independence, music scholar and noted pianist Alfred Kanwischer takes readers on an extended exploration in which each of the thirty-three pieces making up Beethoven's Diabelli Variations (Op. 120) is caringly examined and assessed for its ingredients, actions, personality, and influence on the whole. Counterpoint abounds, not only in the fugal variations, which are closely parsed, but throughout the Diabelli, revealing the noticeably baroque character of the technical compositional devices Beethoven employs.

Throughout his study, Kanwischer integrates comparisons with Bach's immortal Goldberg Variations. Both sets stand alone as among the greatest keyboard variations in the Western canon. During their creation, the composers were nearly the same age, at the zenith of their art, and in similarly felicitous frames of mind. Kanwischer underscores twenty essential similarities, from the use of melody and melodic outline and the comparability among variations in size, parallel design, ebullient outlook, increasing contrasts, daring virtuosic flights, Shakespearean blend of comic and tragic, and their respective cumulative rises to spiritual transcendence.

From Bach's Goldberg to Beethoven's Diabelli takes readers on a lively and stimulating journey of discovery. It considers not only questions of influence but those of insight and understanding, offering a work useful as a reference and as a guide to performers, music instructors, and devotees. This work also includes seventy visually annotated interpretive musical examples as aids to understanding.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442230637
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 04/16/2014
Pages: 238
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Alfred Kanwischer is a noted pianist and scholar. A pupil of Egon Petri and Bela Nagy, he received his DMA from Boston University and has performed for 35 years on three continents as soloist, and duo-pianist with his wife, under Albert Kay Concert Artists Management, New York. He has held faculty positions at Boston University, Tanglewood Institute, Peabody College, and San José State University, where he is currently professor emeritus. His articles have appeared in the Beethoven Journal, The American Music Teacher, and other music journals.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Sources
Chapter 1: Comparison: Similarities
Chapter 2: Comparison: Dissimilarities
Chapter 3: Analysis: Diabelli Waltz, Variations 1-10
Chapter 4: Variations 11-20
Chapter 5: Variations 21-28
Chapter 6: Variations 29-32
Chapter 7: Var. 33 and Coda
Appendix: Musical Examples
About the Author

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