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Beethoven's Folksong Settings : Chronology, Sources, Style - Barry Cooper

Beethoven's Folksong Settings

Chronology, Sources, Style

Hardcover

Published: 3rd November 1994
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Beethoven composed far more folksong settings than any other type of composition. Most are British songs, including Auld Lang Syne and the The Miller of Dee, with text by such authors as Burns, Byron and Scott. Yet Beethoven's settings, commissioned by George Thomson of Edinburgh, have been neglected by performers and scholars alike, and nearly all accounts of them are both superficial and startlingly inaccurate. This book is based on a very elablorate study of a wide range of sources, and dispels the many myths that have been circulating about this music. Every one of the 179 settings is dated to within a few weeks and an account is given of the souces of the melodies and texts, the difficulties of sending the music across Europe during the Napoleonic Wars (smugglers were even called upon to assist!), the fees Beethoven received, and when and how the texts were added. By comparing Beethoven's settings with those of his predecessors Pleyel, Haydhn and Kozeluch, the author demonstrates that Beethoven comprehensively transcended the bounds of convention, producing settings of extra-ordinary quality and originality. Suggestions are also made for overcoming the problems of presenting these songs in performance.

'valuable work' Early Music Review, December 1994 `a huge achievement and is a welcome addition to the literature relating to the composer. Barry Cooper's outstanding contribution hails the beginning of a new era of interest and open-mindedness.' Brio, vol. 32, No. 1 `...the most important source of information on its subject.' Choice `he is unlikely to have produced so many settings without a genuine interest in them, and we are here invited to reassess them. It is nice to meet with such enthusiasm in an academic writer.' Early Music Review 6, December 1994

List of Tables
Abbreviations
Note on the Musical Examples
Introductionp. 1
Enumerating the Settingsp. 5
Compositional Chronologyp. 11
Groups I-II (1809-10)p. 11
Groups III-V (1811-13)p. 14
Groups VI-VII (1814-15)p. 22
Groups VIII-XII (1816-17)p. 25
Groups XIII-XVIII (1818-20)p. 29
Chronological Relationship to Other Outputp. 35
Publication Historyp. 39
Thomson's Editionsp. 39
Unknown Flute Partsp. 43
Early Attempts at Continental Editionsp. 47
The Schlesinger Edition of Op. 108p. 51
Origin of the Melodiesp. 58
Nationalityp. 58
Thomson's Sourcesp. 64
Origin and Incorporation of the Poetic Textsp. 69
The Authors and their Contributionsp. 69
Early Settings (Groups I-V)p. 73
Later Settingsp. 77
Relationship between the Poems and Beethoven's Settingsp. 85
Economics and Logisticsp. 93
Beethoven's Earningsp. 93
Communicationsp. 101
Transmission of Melodiesp. 103
Aspects of performance: Ad libitum Parts and Sequence of Songsp. 108
Optional Use of Stringsp. 108
Sequence of Songsp. 111
The Accompaniments: General Approach and Treatment of Voicesp. 119
Beethoven and his Immediate Predecessorsp. 119
Simplicityp. 126
The Vocal Linep. 129
Lower Voicesp. 135
The Accompaniments: Instrumental Partsp. 143
The Role of the Right Handp. 143
The Role of the String Partsp. 145
Harmonic Style and Modalityp. 149
Motivic Usep. 162
The Ritornellosp. 169
General Strategy of Beethoven's Predecessorsp. 169
Beethoven's Strategy: Motivic Developmentp. 171
Continuity and Phrase-Structurep. 179
Integration of Ritornellos and Accompanimentsp. 186
Integration in O Sanctissimap. 188
A Reassessmentp. 196
Barriers to Appreciationp. 196
Thomson's Rolep. 201
Quality and Innovationp. 203
Stylistic Relationship to Other Outputp. 205
Beethoven's Aims and Achievementp. 208
App. 1. Chronological Listp. 211
App. 2. Principal Music Manuscriptsp. 221
App. 3. Numerical Index of Opus, WoO, and Hess Numbersp. 225
App. 4. Alphabetical Index of Titles and First Linesp. 230
App. 5. Authors of Textsp. 238
App. 6. Summary of Correspondencep. 240
App. 7. Unpublished Versions of Two Settingsp. 244
Bibliographyp. 255
Index of Worksp. 259
General Indexp. 265
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198162834
ISBN-10: 0198162839
Series: Oxford Monographs on Music
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 282
Published: 3rd November 1994
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.2 x 16.1  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.61