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In May 1824 a Viennese audience heard the premiere of Beethoven's 'Grand Symphony, with Solo and Choral Voices entering in the Finale'. The Ninth is a multidimensional examination of the Choral Symphony's place in Beethoven's career, the responses of its earliest listeners to its message of universal brotherhood, and its special resonance in the watershed year which also saw the death of Byron during the Greek struggle for independence.
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Harvey Sachs is a writer and music historian and the author or co-author of eight previous books, of which there have been more than fifty editions in fifteen languages. He has written for The New Yorker and many other publications, has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow of the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and is currently on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He lives in New York City.
Starred Review. Beethoven wasn't always a cultural icon. At least one critic attending the 1824 premiere of his Symphony No. 9 in D Minor likened what he heard to a hideously writhing wounded dragon. Just why the composer and his works endure is the question behind this absorbing book by music historian Sachs (Toscanini). Through detailed musical analysis and condensed readings of cultural politics and 19th-century history, Sachs ponders what role so-called high culture played, plays, and ought to play in civilization. Using the year 1824 and the premiere of the Ninth as ground zero, Sachs reviews the literary, artistic, and social movements of the time, noting how Beethoven's innovative symphony (the first with a vocal score) and its themes of equality and redemption no doubt challenged the resurgent conservatism among Europe's monarchies. Sachs places Beethoven alongside Pushkin, Byron, and other prominent romantics, whose talents he finds linked to a common quest for freedoms—political, artistic, and above all of the mind and spirit. After first presenting the Ninth as a Viennese social event and then as emblematic of Beethoven's artistic process, Sachs shines with a close reading of the Ninth's musical score, interpreting its techniques and emotive narrative. Readers will want a recording nearby. In the book's last chapter, Sachs deals with the impact and legacy of Beethoven's masterwork and explains what makes his music universal. (Apr.)
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Book Description Faber & Faber, 2010. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1 This book is brand new; never used or opened. No remainder marks. ; 1.02 x 8.82 x 5.51 Inches; 208 pages. Seller Inventory # 062212-087-249a
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-0571221459