Beethoven’s Century
Title Details

272 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

4 b/w. 86 line. Illustrations

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Imprint: University of Rochester Press

Beethoven's Century

Essays on Composers and Themes

by Hugh Macdonald

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
Essays by the noted authority on nineteenth-century music, the topics ranging from Beethoven and Schubert to comic opera to Scriabin and Janácek.
In Beethoven's Century: Essays on Composers and Themes, world-renowned musicologist Hugh Macdonald draws together many of his richest essays on music from Beethoven's time into the early twentieth century. The essays are here revised and updated, and some are printed in English for the first time.
Beethoven's Century addresses perennial questions of what music meant to the composer and his audiences, how it was intended to be played, andhow today's audiences can usefully approach it.
Opening with a revealing analysis of Beethoven's not always generous regard for his listeners, the essays probe aspects of Schubert's musical personality, the brief friendshipbetween Berlioz and Schumann, Liszt's abilities as a conductor, and Viennese views of Wagner as expressed by Hugo Wolf.
Essays on comic opera and trends in French opera libretti in the late nineteenth century reflect the author's long-standing sympathy for French music, and strikingly eccentric personalities in the world of music, such as Paganini, Alkan, Skryabin, and Janácek, are brought to life.
Beethoven's Century concludes with a wrylook at some startling developments in early twentieth-century music that have often been overlooked.

Hugh Macdonald has taught music at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and Glasgow, and since 1987 has been Avis H. Blewett Distinguished Professor of Music at Washington University, St. Louis. He has written books on Skryabin and Berlioz, and is a regular pre-concert speaker for the Boston and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras.
Beethoven's Game of Cat and Mouse
Schubert's Pendulum
Paganini, Mendelssohn and Turner in Scotland
Berlioz and Schumann
Alkan's Instruments
Liszt the Conductor
Wolf's Adulation of Wagner in the Vienna Press
Massenet's Craftsmanship
Skryabin's Conquest of Time
Janácek's Narratives
Raise Your Glass to French Music!
Comic Opera
Repeats
"G-flat Major, 9/8 Meter"
The Musicians' Arrondissement
Les Anglais
Dr. Mephistopheles
The Prose Libretto
'Un pays où tous sont musiciens...'
Modernisms that Failed

HUGH MACDONALD was the Avis Blewett Professor of Music, Washington University, St Louis from 1987 to 2011. He is the author of many important books, including Beethoven's Century: Essays on Composers and Themes (URP, 2008), Music in 1853: the Biography of a Year (Boydell Press, 2012), and Saint-Saëns and the Stage (CUP, 2019).

"The essays are each like a rich dessert and perhaps should not be all consumed at once." Christa Pehl, NINETEENTH CENTURY MUSIC
"These are gems in the genre of the literary-musicological essay. . . . Macdonald's wit emerges frequently in this volume. . . . I learned a great deal, and my attention and interest never wavered. A must read for anyone interested in modern French music and musical life." Glenn Stanley. Read the full review at http://www.h-france.net/vol9reviews/vol9no120stanley.pdf, H-FRANCE
"Gems -- sometimes irreverent, always profound -- from one of the masters in our field." Michael Beckerman, Professor and Chair of Music, New York University
"Few writers today can match Hugh Macdonald's breadth and depth of scope. The essays in Beethoven's Century are often cast in the civilized, liberal traditions of the era that they describe. The writing is varied in texture and nourished by fascinating factual details. Macdonald urges us to think afresh, to go against the grain, to take the broader sweep. This book provides answers to questions you knew should be asked but never had the time (or the courage) to pursue." David Charlton, Professor Emeritus of Music History, Royal Holloway, University of London
"Macdonald's curiosity is boundless. . . and he satisfies it with unfailing scholarship and wit. . . . He gives the most thorough account yet of Hugo Wolf's complicated critical attitude to Wagner in a musically complicated Vienna. . . Depth of thought and high critical intelligence. . . mark all these essays, and make them an invigorating read. Raise your glass to Hugh Macdonald!" John Warrack, OPERA
"The considered judgement of a receptive and immensely well-informed observer of the Western musical landscape of the past two centuries. Times Literary Supplement [Leon Plantinga]" .

Hardcover

9781580462754

July 2008

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9781580467155

July 2008

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Title Details

272 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

4 b/w. 86 line. Illustrations

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Imprint: University of Rochester Press