Brahms and his world by Brahms, Johannes; Frisch, Walter; Karnes, Kevin; Brahms,

By Brahms, Johannes; Frisch, Walter; Karnes, Kevin; Brahms, Johannes

Since its first booklet in 1990, Brahms and His World has turn into a key textual content for listeners, performers, and students attracted to the lifestyles, paintings, and instances of 1 of the 19th century's such a lot celebrated composers. during this considerably revised and enlarged variation, the editors stay with regards to the imaginative and prescient at the back of the unique publication whereas updating its contents to mirror new views on Brahms that experience built during the last 20 years. To this finish, the unique essays by means of top specialists are retained and revised, and supplemented via contributions from a brand new iteration of Brahms students. jointly, they give thought to such subject matters as Brahms's courting with Clara and Robert Schumann, his musical interactions with the "New German institution" of Wagner and Liszt, his impact upon Arnold Schoenberg and different younger composers, his method of acting his personal song, and his effective interactions with visible artists.

The essays are complemented by way of a brand new collection of feedback and analyses of Brahms's works released through the composer's contemporaries, documenting the ways that Brahms's tune was once understood through 19th- and early twentieth-century audiences in Europe and North the United States. a brand new number of memoirs by means of Brahms's buddies, scholars, and early admirers offers intimate glimpses into the composer's operating equipment and character. And a catalog of the track, literature, and visible arts devoted to Brahms files the breadth of impression exerted through the composer upon his contemporaries.

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The relationship of detail to form, sequential logic to structure as recalled after an initial hearing—comprehending the irreversibility—became a challenge. So, too, was the capacity to perceive the distinctions between levels of form in a complex procedure which, as Schoenberg argued, eschewed evident aspects of musical symmetry (one thinks particularly of Brahms’s playful use of rhythmic asymmetry). All this made demands on the listener’s skill, given that mere “playing around” (Spielerei) was not at stake but deep inner communication through ordered musical sounds.

Brahms’s much discussed concern with historical models was driven by an absolutist instinct: that music as an independent mode of human experience was at once tied to human experience per se—the emotions and thoughts that humans display and have expressed in all of history. That independent element of expression and perception experienced a gradual historical clarification. In this sense, progress in science was regarded on a par with progress in musical technique and aesthetics. The conceit of certainty was such, however, that the forms of musical art seemed clearly understood.

Like Ehrlich, Koestlin sought to reconcile the objective findings about hearing with the apparent subjectivity of aesthetic judgment. However, Koestlin sided more clearly with the idea that the Helmholtz studies and their impact through later work (that of von Oettingen and Riemann) could justify a formalist, Herbartian aesthetic. That aesthetic might justify the autonomy of music even though it could also explain the success of the Wagnerian synthesis of music, words, and images. Koestlin wrote: The effort will be justified to take into consideration the construction of musical aesthetics in the first instance, and the particular nature of the material out of which musical art makes its forms, instead of, as before, taking concepts and claims from some other arenas and imposing them on the face of music.

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