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Performance practice in the eighteenthcentury concerto. Performance practice in the nineteenthcentury concerto. The concerto in the age of recording. Selected further reading. Bach cadenza Cambridge Companion Cello Concerto chord Clarinet Concerto Classical composers composition concertino continuo contrast critics dialogue early Edited eighteenth century Elliott Carter embellishment ensemble example flat major French G minor German Handel harmonic harpsichord Haydn horn Ibid intimate grandeur Italian J. Bach Johann keyboard concertos Keyboard Instruments Liszt London Louis Spohr melody Mendelssohn ment Mozart's Mozart's concertos Mozart's Piano Concertos musicians nineteenth century notes oboe ornaments Paganini passages Performance Practices pianist piano and orchestra Piano Concerto players Prokofiev Quantz recapitulation recording repertory ritornello Schumann slow movement solo exposition solo-orchestra soloist sonata Spohr Stravinsky strings style stylistic Symphony Tchaikovsky tempo texture thematic theme Tia DeNora tion Torelli traditional trans trumpet Vienna viola Violin Concerto violinist Viotti virtuoso Vivaldi wind Zaslaw.
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Skip this list. Ratings and Book Reviews 0 0 star ratings 0 reviews. Overall rating No ratings yet 0. How to write a great review Do Say what you liked best and least Describe the author's style Explain the rating you gave Don't Use rude and profane language Include any personal information Mention spoilers or the book's price Recap the plot.
Close Report a review At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information. Would you like us to take another look at this review? No, cancel Yes, report it Thanks! You've successfully reported this review. We appreciate your feedback. OK, close. Doubts about Schumann's health have meant that many are quick to dismiss the later songs. For instance, in a very influential book on Schumann's songs first published in , Eric Sams found "evidence of deterioration" in Schumann never again reached or even approached the level of his masterpieces" p.
Finson's explicit purpose is to replace Sams's guide to the songs. Finson examines every song in varying degrees of detail, giving an overview of the date and circumstances of composition, the poet, the form and content of the poem, and the way the music sets the poem. His treatment of the individual songs pays special attention to the aspect of text setting that determines how the music matches the poem's metric scheme.
He also examines with great care how songs published together are related musically or thematically; he asks to what extent collections were also cycles of interconnected songs. As Finson treats the large number of song collections, he gives useful information about the more obscure poems and their authors. He also uses Schumann's correspondence with publishers to give an idea of the market for Lieder at the time. Staying focused on the songs, he avoids speculating on the state of Schumann's mind, instead finding interesting and beautiful things in the music.
Although this book functions for the most part as a guide--a source of helpfully organized information--Finson also presents a bold argument about differences in Schumann's style in his second phase of song composition. He notes a change in text-setting. Schumann moved away from the "quadratic" style of setting each line of poetry to a four-bar phrase, and toward a more irregular, more prose-like setting. This change in style is attributed not to mental deterioration, as Sams would have it, but to the influence of Richard Wagner.
The two composers both lived in Dresden during the later s and knew each other. Finson surmises that after being exposed to this music and hearing Wagner expound his progressive theories first hand, Schumann adopted the Wagnerian stylistic characteristics of "irregular phrases, avoidance of periodicity, subversion of clear-cut cadences, and rapid alternation between lyrical and dramatic styles" p.
This style favors dramatic expression over tunefulness. Finson further declares: "under the influence of his Dresden surroundings, he composed Zukunftsmusik in more than one sense of the word" p. These assertions are debatable for a number of reasons. First, Schumann's style change in took place ten years before "New German" and three years before "Zukunftsmusik" began to be used to label Wagner's theories and music.
Finson refers to the "'New German' challenge," but in no such challenge existed. A showdown between the supporters of Wagner and of Schumann took place in the journal starting in , as Finson notes p. This debate shows that the two composers were seen as practically polar opposites. If Schumann's music was taking on specifically Wagnerian characteristics, as Finson claims, then all the critics of the time completely missed it. Finally, if Schumann wanted "to respond to the challenge presented by 'music of the future'" p.
Finson's case for the late Schumann as musically progressive is convincing, but tracing the style directly to Wagner is problematic. Instead, it seems possible that general trends of the time allowed two temperamentally very different composers to pursue similar musical strategies. Overall, despite these criticisms, both books evince a scholarly respect for the composer's late works that is more positive, perhaps, than anything since the nineteenth century. A large number of compositions have been authorized for appreciation and enjoyment. Who would want to argue with that? Alan Walker, ed.
Citation: Sanna Pederson. Review of Finson, Jon W. H-German, H-Net Reviews.