Chapter

A Modernist Epilogue

Stephen Rumph

in Beethoven after Napoleon

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780520238558
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930124 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520238558.003.0010
A Modernist Epilogue

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This chapter summarizes the musical criticism of Beethoven's works, among which Hoffman's works stand at the head of the line. The reviews of Beethoven's works have translated his heroic style into Romantic terms, leaving a compelling portrait of Beethoven as mystic visionary and conquistador of the spirit world. However, his late works did not enjoy the same journalistic coverage. It was a century after his death that literature dedicated specifically to the late period arose, which critical tradition emerged in tandem with modernism, the objectivist, anti-Romantic movement during the end of World War I. At the same time avant-garde composers were turning back to classical forms, pioneers of the early-music movement were challenging Romantic interpretations, and critics became intensely interested in the late works of Beethoven. It was then that the modernists rediscovered Beethoven's late music, analyzed its style, and cleared a space for criticism.

Keywords: Beethoven; musical criticism; heroic style; anti-Romantic movement; modernism

Chapter.  9389 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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