By Stephen Rumph
During this provocative research of Beethoven's past due type, Stephen Rumph demonstrates how deeply political occasions formed the composer's track, from his early enthusiasm for the French Revolution to his later entrenchment throughout the Napoleonic period. amazing in its breadth of study in addition to for its devotion to interdisciplinary paintings in tune heritage, Beethoven after Napoleon demanding situations accredited perspectives via illustrating the effect of German Romantic political concept within the formation of the artist's mature type. Beethoven's political beliefs, Rumph argues, weren't really as liberal as many have assumed. whereas students agree that the works of the Napoleonic period reminiscent of the Eroica Symphony or Fidelio include enlightened, innovative beliefs of growth, freedom, and humanism, Beethoven's later works have attracted much less political statement. Rumph contends that the later works convey transparent affinities with a local German ideology that exalted heritage, faith, and the natural totality of nation and society. He claims that because the Napoleonic Wars plunged Europe into political and monetary turmoil, Beethoven's growing to be antipathy to the French reflected the event of his Romantic contemporaries. Rumph keeps that Beethoven's flip inward isn't any pessimistic retreat yet a good confirmation of recent conservative beliefs.
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Extra info for Beethoven after Napoleon: Political Romanticism in the Late Works
7. “Ja, herrlich, unerschüttert, kühn Stand einst der Deutsche da; Ach! über schwanke Trümmer ziehn Verhängnißvolle Sterne hin. ” (1. There on the high cliff sang an ancient bard’s spirit; it sounded like the music of an Aeolian harp in a fearful, heavy dirge that tore my heart apart . . . . . . . 5. “I am seeking, indeed, but ﬁnd no longer, Alas! the past. I see, indeed, so fearfully and heavily, I seek there in the host of stars, the golden age of the Germans” . . . . . . . .
H. ” Johnston’s ﬁnal component, education, arrives with the central thesis of Hoffmann’s review, Beethoven’s Besonnenheit. The concept of Besonnenheit, as shown above, belongs to the ideals of Germanic Bildung advocated by the reformers. Hoffmann’s argument takes on a familiar Francophobia as he sneers at those “aesthetic geometers” (Messkünstler) who “have often complained of the complete lack of true unity and inner coherence in Shakespeare” (p. 37). The defense of Shakespeare against the rigid unities of French Classicism had become a battleground for the German Romantics, most famously in A.
In another borrowing from Jean-Paul (himself paraphrasing Lessing), Hoffmann declares that “Romantic taste is rare, Romantic talent rarer,” turning the tables on enlightened criticism: But the wise judges, gazing about with a self-important air, offer assurance: one may trust their judgment as men of great understanding and deep insight. . But how is it, that the inner, deep structure of all Beethoven’s compositions escapes your feeble gaze? Has it not dawned upon you that you do not understand the master’s language, understood only by the initiated, when to you the portals of the most holy sanctuary remain shut?