Chapter

Music Recollected in Tranquillity: Postures of Memory in Beethoven

Kristina Muxfeldt

in Vanishing Sensibilities

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199782420
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919154 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199782420.003.0004
Music Recollected in Tranquillity: Postures of Memory in Beethoven

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This companion to chapter three looks at passages in Beethoven’s music that have been understood to be representations of memory, mainly by twentieth-century critics, although the topic equally occupied Romantic poets. In recent years subjective experiences of memory have become an object of intense scrutiny in the sciences and in literary studies, and scientists have been turning to representations by artists to guide research in cognition: poets and composers often have foreshadowed conclusions emerging from scientific investigation. The chapter takes up a number of striking instances in Beethoven’s music (contrasted with others in Schubert and Schumann), which are also the most immediate musical precedents for Schumann’s remarkable portrayal of memory in the song cycle Frauenliebe und Leben.

Keywords: Beethoven; Schumann; representations of memory; subjectivity; cognition; Romantic poets

Chapter.  11639 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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