Ignaz Moscheles and the Changing World of Musical Europe

October 2014
22 black and white, 25 line illustrations
410 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843839354
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC MUS006000, BIO004000

Ignaz Moscheles and the Changing World of Musical Europe

Mark Kroll

The first full-length study devoted to Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870), pianist, conductor and composer.
This book, the first full-length study devoted to Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870), explores how the son of middle-class Jewish parents in Prague became one of the most important musicians of his era, achieving recognition and world-wide admiration as a virtuoso pianist, conductor and composer, a sought-after piano teacher, and a pioneer in the historical performance of early music. Placing Moscheles' career within the context of the social, political and economic milieu in which he lived, the book offers new insights into the business of music and music making; the lives and works of his contemporaries, such as Schumann, Meyerbeer, Chopin, Hummel, Rossini, Liszt, Berlioz and others; the transformation of piano playing from the classical to romantic periods; and the challenges faced by Jewish artists during a dynamic period in European history. A section devoted to Moscheles' engagement as both a performer and editor with the music of J. S. Bach and Handel enhances our understanding of nineteenth-century approaches to early music, and the separate chapters that detail Moscheles' interactions with Beethoven and his extraordinarily close relationship with Mendelssohn adds considerably to the existing literature on these two masters.

MARK KROLL has earned worldwide recognition as a harpsichordist, scholar and educator during a career spanning more than forty years. Professor emeritus at Boston University, Kroll has published scholarly editions of the music of Hummel, Geminiani, Charles Avison and Francesco Scarlatti, and is the author of Johann Nepomuk Hummel: A Musician's Life and World; Playing the Harpsichord Expressively; and The Beethoven Violin Sonatas.

Also see: moscheles.org.

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Keywords: Music

Table of Contents

From Prague and Vienna to England, 1794-1825
A Home in England, 1825-1846
Leipzig, 1846-1870
The Pianist, The Pedagogue and his Pianos
Encounters with Beethoven and his Music
A Friendship Like No Other: Mendelssohn and Moscheles
Le Concert C'est Moscheles: Historical Soirées and the Invention of the Solo Piano Recital
The Jewish Musician
Reminiscences of Moscheles' Family by his Great-Great-Grandson Henry Roche - Henry Roche


Ignaz Moscheles [has] never been the object of a serious biography . . . the originality of this biography is that it reveals the multiple activities of this indefatigable musician, pianist, orchestra conductor, advocate of the music of Beethoven and proponent of Mendelssohn's, one who introduced early music and, before Liszt, the piano recital. . . . Written with a fluidity and clarity welcome to French reader . . . Kroll has recreated with remarkable care and thoroughness the career of [Moscheles] . . . the link with Beethoven, his friendship with Mendelssohn, his organization of historical concerts and the invention of the recital and, finally, his Jewishness. . . . [P]rovides a new light on European musical life in the nineteenth century through the prism of the activities of one of its key players [for] all those interested in the cultural life of the nineteenth century. REVUE DE MUSICOLOGIE

[T]he first full-length examination of the composer to be published. . . . Will be of hugely significant interest to a wide range of musical historians and listeners. Primarily as, this is the first major study of the composer to be published in the 20th/21st centuries . . . Historians majoring on Beethoven, Bach and Handel will discover detailed information about their subjects. The examination of Moscheles' friendship with Mendelssohn is inspiring and is the underpinning of much further investigation. MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Fascinating reading, and highly recommended. EMAG

The last few years have witnessed increasing awareness of the compositions of Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870). . . . Mark Kroll has now completed these achievements with a full-length study of Moscheles's multifarious activities as composer, performer, teacher, conductor, close associate of Felix Mendelssohn, avid promoter of the music of Beethoven and indefatigable disseminator of pre-19th century music. EARLY MUSIC

It is safe to assume that Ignaz Moscheles and the Changing World of Musical Europe is currently the most complete and accurate account of Moscheles, while paving the way for other research projects on the composer. . . . What Kroll has successfully established here is that, to adopt his own words, "Moscheles was and remains a man worth knowing." AD PARNASSUM

Fascinating reading, and highly recommended. EARLY MUSIC AMERICA