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Beethoven's Chamber Music in Context [Hardcover]

Angus Watson

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Book Description

Nov. 18 2010
Watson provides professional and amateur musicians, and music lovers generally, with a complete survey of Beethoven's chamber music and the background to each individual work - the loyalty of patrons, musicians and friends on the one hand; increasing deafness and uncertain health on the other. Attention is paid to the influence of such large-scale compositions as the Eroica Symphony and Fidelio on the chamber music of his middle years and the Missa Solemnis and the Ninth Symphony on his late quartets. The author examines Beethoven's ever-increasing freedom of form - largely a result of his mastery of improvisation and a powerful symbol of the fusion of classical discipline with the subversive spirit of romantic adventure which characterises his mature music. Beethoven's friends were not shy about asking him what his music meant, or what inspired him, and it is clear that he attached the greatest importance to the words he used when describing the character of his compositions. 'The tempo is more like the body,' he wrote when commending Malzel's invention of the metronome, 'but these indications of character certainly refer to the spirit.' ANGUS WATSON, a violinist and conductor, has been Director of Music at Stowe School, Winchester College and Wells Cathedral School, one of Britain's specialist music schools. From 1984-1989 he was Dean of Music at the newly founded Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Boydell Press (Nov. 18 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843835770
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843835776
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g

Product Description


(M)ost effective as an introductory guide to any or all of Beethoven's major chamber works. Yet even readers thoroughly familiar with these works will find something of interest here on practically every one of them, in Watson's compact but incisive descriptions, his enthusiastic tone, and his engaging historical material. MUSIC & LETTERS (Watson) takes us into the spirit of each of the instrumental sonatas, trios and quartets - into their heart and soul as it were - and brings them to life in all their deep feeling, variety and colour. ... (he) shares with us his affection and enthusiasm for these marvellous works. STRINGENDOFilling a hole in scholarship on Beethoven's compositions, this book will be greatly appreciated by professional and amateur musicians. BOOK NEWSBR>This volume comprehends nearly the entirety of Beethoven's chamber output. (...) It offers perhaps the only English language coverage of this same territory, and the biographical material seems admirably up-to-date. (...) Recommended. CHOICE Angus Watson, himself a professional string-player, has (...) written an excellent book on Beethoven's complete chamber music. (...) Watson writes very well indeed, perceptively, without a hint of dryness, and aided by a generous number of music examples. (...) This book deserves a whole-hearted recommendation. CLASSICAL MUSIC Beethoven's Chamber Music in Context (...) is an excellent, comprehensive, authoritative and extremely enjoyable study of a subject about which most readers are sure to emerge better informed for reading the book. Musicians, listeners and even those interested in artistic endeavour in general (...) will all find the book rewarding. ... (It's) likely to remain standard for some long time. CLASSICAL.NET

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