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Beethoven Symphonies Revisited

Performance, Expression and Impact

David Young taught music history and theory at the Royal Northern College of Music, worked for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music as a consultant in South East Asia, and was Professor of Performance Studies at Kampala University and Vice-Chancellor of the East Africa University, Rwanda. He is editor of Haydn the Innovator: A New Approach to the String Quartets(2000) and his scholarly writings have appeared in the RMA Research Chronicle, Current Musicology, New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and the International Haydn Symposium.


Beethoven Symphonies Revisited guides the reader – music student, concert goer, or general music lover – through the movements in a way that renews the novelty and excitement that listeners must have felt at the first performances. Stylistic discussion concentrates on the unusual features of each symphony, placing each individual work in the context of Beethoven's musical advancement and circumstances. His musical innovations are explored, and his contribution to the genre assessed. Thirty author-annotated musical pages elaborate and exemplify. The essential building blocks of key, tonality, metre, rhythm and instrumentation are discussed in detail.

The author’s purpose is twofold: to bring together major research findings and at the same time offer detailed descriptive analyses of all nine symphonies. The approach is singular in its emphasis on the symphonies in the context of performance practice of the time, especially musical direction; the importance of the wind instruments (especially horns) and kettle drums; how counterpoint features in various passages in all the symphonies except the Sixth and Eighth, and how this was influenced by Beethoven's strict training in species counterpoint. New evaluations are offered, especially for the Second, Eighth and Ninth symphonies.

The book’s multi-faceted approach will be invaluable not only for conductors and music students at all levels, but for all concert goers and music lovers who wish to gain insight into the musical intricacies developed and enhanced by Beethoven's symphonic journey.


Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78976-080-4
Hardback Price: £80.00 / $99.95
Release Date: February 2021
   
Page Extent / Format: 240 pp. 234 x 156 mm
Illustrated: Yes
   

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