The Variations of Johannes Brahms

October 2004
11 black and white illustrations
373 pages
24.4x17.2 cm
Poetics of Music
Plumbago Books

The Variations of Johannes Brahms

Julian Littlewood

Paperback out of stock

Lamenting the `regrettable tendency [of musical analysis] towards intellectual gymnastics that overlook aesthetic reality', Julian Littlewood makes good again and again his promise to consider the `broader contexts of affect, kinetic control, stylistic reference, and closural strategies'. He is particularly attentive to performance makings and matters of texture. It is a tribute to his originality of approach that he has been able to add distinctively to the already considerable literature on this subject.

Nicholas Marston, King's College Cambridge
Keywords: Poetics of Music, Music


Littlewood's is a major and indispensable contribution. This is the kind of book that has stimulus and value beyond the confines of its immediate subject. It will provide an essential point of reference for students of the timeless musical art and principle of variation in general. Musicologica Austriaca
In this outstanding and very readable survey of Brahms's variations Julian Littlewood thoroughly explores every conceivable aspect of the composer's use of the form. This superbly produced volume is wholeheartedly recommended. Classical Music
Littlewood's book is an impressive achievement. His elegant hermeneutic analysis will indeed be very stimulating to composers, performers, and scholars. Music & Letters

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