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The Creation of Beethoven’s Nine Symphonies
Title Details

320 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

102 music exx.

Imprint: Boydell Press

The Creation of Beethoven's Nine Symphonies

by Barry A.R. Cooper

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Offers a unique investigation of the composition of the entire corpus of Beethoven's symphonies, reconstructing their creation through the most extensive study of Beethoven's sketches yet.


Beethoven's nine symphonies are a cornerstone of Western classical music and have revolutionised it. Composers succeeding Beethoven found their output measured against this master's work. But how did his symphonies come into being and how did they reach their final form? These are the questions this book seeks to answer. Barry Cooper has been one of the leading advocates of the need for extensive studies of Beethoven's sketches, and we see him here applying his usual investigative rigour to the study of the symphonies.

For most of the symphonies the sketches have not previously been fully examined. In contrast, Cooper's book provides a much deeper exploration of these sketches, along with autograph scores, corrected copies and first editions, while the Beethoven correspondence offers additional information on the first publication and performances of the symphonies. The result is a clear overview of the creation of each symphony in turn, placed within the context of musical life in Beethoven's Vienna. Another strand of the investigation covers Beethoven's unfinished symphonies and how they helped to provide the fertile soil from which the finished ones grew. Most of those did not progress beyond a few bars, but two, known as No. 0 and No. 10, were sketched extensively. This book therefore offers a unique investigation of the composition of the entire corpus of Beethoven's symphonies, reconstructing their creation from Beethoven's rather than posterity's viewpoint.
Introduction
1. The Long and Hazardous Road to the First Symphony, Op. 21
2. A Creation in Two Parts: The Second Symphony, Op. 36
3. Elevating the Genre: The Third Symphony (Eroica), Op. 55
4. The Oppersdorff Connection: The Fourth Symphony, Op. 60
5. Motivic Intensity: The Fifth Symphony, Op. 67
6. 'More an Expression of Feeling than Painting': The Sixth Symphony (Pastoral), Op. 68
7. 'Great, Exalted' Work: The Seventh Symphony, Op. 92
8. 'Just because it is much better': The Eighth Symphony, Op. 93
9. The Philharmonic Connection: The Ninth Symphony, Op. 125
10. Epilogue

Bibliography
Index of music manuscripts
Index of Beethoven's works
General index

Barry Cooper is Professor of Music at the University of Manchester and is known worldwide for his knowledge of the Beethoven sketchbooks.
He is the editor of the complete edition of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas for ABRSM, and his books include Beethoven and the Creative Process and his biography of the composer for the Oxford Master Musicians series.

Hardcover

9781783277919

February 2024

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Ebook (EPDF)

9781805432036

February 2024

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$29.95 / £24.99

Title Details

320 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

102 music exx.

Imprint: Boydell Press