Chapter

A Beethoven Season?

Richard Taruskin

in The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780520249776
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942790 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520249776.003.0011
A Beethoven Season?

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This chapter critically examines stagnation in Western classical music and the various reasons for continued over-emphasis of Beethoven's music. It discusses the increasing seriousness of popular music, which in contrary to contemporary classical music, often raises risky issues of public concern. The stagnation in Western classical music is compared with a period of stagnation in the Soviet Union under Brezhnev, when packaging and repackaging a different sort of greatness reached a thoroughly discredited peak. One of the reasons cited for the continuous repackaging of Beethoven's music is the repression of his Germanic nationalistic roots, as the Germans chauvinist once regarded his music as a symbol of the greatness of the German nation and their superiority to the Latins and the Slavs.

Keywords: Beethoven; Western classical music; popular music; Soviet Union; German chauvinism

Chapter.  4476 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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