Catalogue

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Beethoven after Napoleon : political romanticism in the late works /
Stephen Rumph.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2004.
description
ix, 295 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0520238559 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2004.
isbn
0520238559 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
A kingdom not of this world -- The heroic sublime -- Promethean history -- 1809 -- Contrapunctus I: prelude and fugue -- Contrapunctus II: double fugue -- Androgynous utopias -- Vox populi, vox dei -- A modernist epilogue.
catalogue key
5219165
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 267-278) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Stephen Rumph is Assistant Professor of Music History at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"A brilliant and unfailingly provocative reading of Beethoven's music. Rumph challenges and refines our views of the subject, reinterpreting overly familiar music in striking new ways. Wonderful critical and interpretive observations abound; the author writes with great imagination and flair."--Scott Burnham, author ofBeethoven Hero "Rumph shows at last the extent to which Beethoven's late period, the period of his most spiritual and 'inward' music, was a response to political change. In effect his book is an extended retort to E. T. A. Hoffmann's two-centuries-old claim that Beethoven's kingdom was not of this world--and it's about time! Rumph's argument will be resisted by Hoffmann's many heirs; but it is most compelling, not least because it answers so many long-standing questions about 'the music itself' and clears up so many misconceptions about the nature of musical romanticism."--Richard Taruskin, Class of 1955 Professor of Music, University of California, Berkeley
Flap Copy
"A brilliant and unfailingly provocative reading of Beethoven's music. Rumph challenges and refines our views of the subject, reinterpreting overly familiar music in striking new ways. Wonderful critical and interpretive observations abound; the author writes with great imagination and flair."--Scott Burnham, author of Beethoven Hero "Rumph shows at last the extent to which Beethoven's late period, the period of his most spiritual and 'inward' music, was a response to political change. In effect his book is an extended retort to E. T. A. Hoffmann's two-centuries-old claim that Beethoven's kingdom was not of this world--and it's about time! Rumph's argument will be resisted by Hoffmann's many heirs; but it is most compelling, not least because it answers so many long-standing questions about 'the music itself' and clears up so many misconceptions about the nature of musical romanticism."--Richard Taruskin, Class of 1955 Professor of Music, University of California, Berkeley
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-12-01:
With the publication of Estaban Buch's Beethoven's Ninth: A Political History (CH, Feb'04) and David Dennis's Beethoven in German Politics, 1870-1989 (CH, Sep'96), this title might suggest a saturation in the Beethoven-and-politics literature. However, Rumph (Univ. of Washington, Seattle) focuses on Beethoven himself--his biography and music--specifically the last 12 years of his life. He believes that Beethoven was a political composer and that political Romanticism is a standard subject into which Beethoven fits. The musical analysis, however, does not focus on this aspect. The author's unnecessarily arcane vocabulary makes the volume a challenge to use, especially since several of the words are not even in a standard college dictionary. Also a challenge are complex German titles, not all of which are translated. The physical book itself is no less problematic: the cover boards of this reviewer's copy warped badly outward almost immediately, a common problem one would think could be avoided without adding significantly to the cost of the book. In short, this is a standard man-and-his-music study with some discussion of the European world at that time. ^BSumming Up: Optional. Comprehensive music collections supporting work at the upper-division undergraduate level and above. R. R. Smith Rhode Island College
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
In this provocative analysis of Beethoven's late style, Rumph demonstrates how deeply political events shaped the composer's music, from his early enthusiasm for the French Revolution to his later entrenchment during the Napoleonic era.
Long Description
In this provocative analysis of Beethoven's late style, Stephen Rumph demonstrates how deeply political events shaped the composer's music, from his early enthusiasm for the French Revolution to his later entrenchment during the Napoleonic era. Impressive in its breadth of research as well as for its devotion to interdisciplinary work in music history,Beethoven after Napoleonchallenges accepted views by illustrating the influence of German Romantic political thought in the formation of the artist's mature style. Beethoven's political views, Rumph argues, were not quite as liberal as many have assumed. While scholars agree that the works of the Napoleonic era such as theEroicaSymphony orFidelioembody enlightened, revolutionary ideals of progress, freedom, and humanism, Beethoven's later works have attracted less political commentary. Rumph contends that the later works show clear affinities with a native German ideology that exalted history, religion, and the organic totality of state and society. He claims that as the Napoleonic Wars plunged Europe into political and economic turmoil, Beethoven's growing antipathy to the French mirrored the experience of his Romantic contemporaries. Rumph maintains that Beethoven's turn inward is no pessimistic retreat but a positive affirmation of new conservative ideals.
Main Description
In this provocative analysis of Beethoven's late style, Stephen Rumph demonstrates how deeply political events shaped the composer's music, from his early enthusiasm for the French Revolution to his later entrenchment during the Napoleonic era. Impressive in its breadth of research as well as for its devotion to interdisciplinary work in music history, Beethoven after Napoleon challenges accepted views by illustrating the influence of German Romantic political thought in the formation of the artist's mature style. Beethoven's political views, Rumph argues, were not quite as liberal as many have assumed. While scholars agree that the works of the Napoleonic era such as the Eroica Symphony or Fidelio embody enlightened, revolutionary ideals of progress, freedom, and humanism, Beethoven's later works have attracted less political commentary. Rumph contends that the later works show clear affinities with a native German ideology that exalted history, religion, and the organic totality of state and society. He claims that as the Napoleonic Wars plunged Europe into political and economic turmoil, Beethoven's growing antipathy to the French mirrored the experience of his Romantic contemporaries. Rumph maintains that Beethoven's turn inward is no pessimistic retreat but a positive affirmation of new conservative ideals.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
A Kingdom Not of this Worldp. 9
The Heroic Sublimep. 35
Promethean Historyp. 58
1809p. 92
Contrapunctus I: Prelude and Fuguep. 109
Contrapunctus II: Double Fuguep. 133
Androgynous Utopiasp. 156
Vox Populi, Vox Deip. 195
A Modernist Epiloguep. 222
Notesp. 247
Works Citedp. 267
Indexp. 279
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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