Beethoven's habit of composing by making large numbers of preliminary drafts and sketches was sufficiently unusual to attract attention even during his lifetime, and his creative process has attracted a good deal more attention since. The present book incorporates the findings of recent studies on this fascinating subject as well as providing many additional new insights. Cooper examines Beethoven's underlying creative motivation and there is and introduction to his
compositional methods in general. The final part of the book is a detailed study of particular compositional problems in six different works, selected to provide a wide range of genres, dates, and types of problem. The book as a whole adds considerably to our understanding of one of the greatest
figures in the history of our culture.
`his new book impresses not only for the quality of some of its insights into the sketches themselves, but for the exceptional clarity of its writing which should open its findings to lay as well as professional readers'
Bayan Northcott, The Independent
This study of Beethoven's creative procedures is one of the most original monographs on the composer to appear in recent years ... The book is clearly written, its messages are persuasively argued. It is nicely presented, with footnotes where they belong at the bottom of the page and a generous supply of clearly identified musical examples.'
`His book is a work of scholarship, in language the layman can understand ... the best available introduction to Beethoven's composing methods.'
Times Literary Supplement
'Cooper provides a very useful guide to the sketchbooks and their use, the visual appearance of the sketches, their typology and interrelationships, and the evidence they provide of Beethoven's approach to the sketching of form, key, melody and the vertical aspects of a composition. It is an arguing for a continuum between sketch and final version, for an understanding of the 'finality' of a published version as an arbitrary status perhaps conferred more by
external pressures than by any inherent perfection, that Cooper's admirable book reaches its appropriately inconclusive and challenging end.'
Nicholas Marston, Music & Letters
`Scholars have been studying Beethoven's unprecedented working methods for over a century now, but none has provided a more comprehensive and accessible account of the sketch material than Barry Cooper ... always writes clear and cogent prose.'
Bayan Northcott, BBC Music
Approaching Beethoven's creative process. Part 1 Factors affecting Beethoven's creative process: Beethoven's artistic aims; professional pressures; extramusical factors; recurring ideas. Part 2 Beethoven's compositional methods: the sketchbooks and their use; the visual appearance of the sketches; types and relationships of sketches; the sketching of form and key; the sketching of melody; the vertical dimension and finishing touches. Part 3 Stages in the creative process: first conceptions - piano concerto in D minor, Op 31 No 2; planning the later movements - string quartet in B flat, Op 130; musical structure and vivid pictorialism - "Meeresstille", Op 112; the problem of the joins - "Egmont" overture; a creation in three phases - the late bagatelles; a long-running revision - second piano concerto.
Series: Clarendon Paperbacks
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 19th November 1992
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88
Weight (kg): 0.56