The pianist as orator : Beethoven and the transformation of keyboard style /
George Barth.
Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 1992.
viii, 189 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0801424119 (alk. paper)
More Details
Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 1992.
0801424119 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [170]-178) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1993-06:
Barth's study of Beethoven's part in changing keyboard performance styles is a solid piece of scholarly writing. In fact it is so scholarly as to be useful mostly to other scholars. By the time readers work through the difficult prose, they will find the points made interesting, but it will take work to reach that understanding. References are numerous and most of them are in the original German; footnotes fill large portions of many pages. The rhetorical style alluded to in the title provides for an interesting but brief look at 18th-century keyboard aesthetics. All that having been said, there are some worthwhile conclusions, the strongest one probably being the recommendation to avoid Czerny's edition of Beethoven sonatas. The renowned composer of studies and exercises has very firm ideas about the performance of Beethoven's works, many of them directly opposed to the composer's own directions. There is probably as much material about Czerny as there is about Beethoven in this slim volume. Much space is also given to a discussion of the metronome and its place in Beethoven's publications. Most undergraduates would be well advised to go directly to Sandra Rosenblum's well-written and extremely informative Performance Practices in Classic Piano Music (CH, Apr'89). The Pianist as Orator will be best used by graduate students. J. E. Tucker; Northland College
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Choice, June 1993
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Main Description
Concentrating on Beethoven's solo and chamber keyboard works, Barth builds his evaluation of Beethoven's keyboard style on a critique of musical timekeeping and eighteenth-century descriptions of music's character, focusing especially on the controversies between Beethoven's interpreters Anton Schindler and Carl Czerny.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Time: The Bodyp. 11
Character: The Spiritp. 22
Inflection: The """"Speaking Style"""" Transformedp. 38
Applications, Both """"Modern"""" and """"Translated""""p. 132
Imagining More Vivid """"Modern"""" Performancep. 154
Appendix: Descriptions of the Diastolica from Selected Eighteenth-Century Treatisesp. 163
Referencesp. 170
Indexp. 179
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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