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Political Beethoven
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Musicians, music lovers and music critics have typically considered Beethoven's overtly political music as an aberration; at best, it is merely notorious, at worst, it is denigrated and ignored. In Political Beethoven, Nicholas Mathew returns to the musical and social contexts of the composer's political music throughout his career - from the early marches and anti-French war songs of the 1790s to the grand orchestral and choral works for the Congress of Vienna - to argue that this marginalized functional art has much to teach us about the lofty Beethovenian sounds that came to define serious music in the nineteenth century. Beethoven's much-maligned political compositions, Mathew shows, lead us into the intricate political and aesthetic contexts that shaped all of his oeuvre, thus revealing the stylistic, ideological and psycho-social mechanisms that gave Beethoven's music such a powerful voice - a voice susceptible to repeated political appropriation, even to the present day.


'In this meticulously researched volume, the author offers many intriguing points.'

Source: CHOICE

In writing Political Beethoven, Nicholas Mathew has provided a thoroughly-researched and fascinating look at the composer’s lesser-known works, giving a vivid description of the music, criticism, and theatricality of the period surrounding the Congress of Vienna.’

Jane Riegel Ferencz Source: Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association

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  • Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung mit besonderer Rücksicht auf den österreichischen Kaiserstaat [Wiener allgemeine musikalische Zeitung]. Vienna.

  • Allgemeine Musikzeitung für Beförderung der theoretischen und praktischen Tonkunst. Frankfurt.

  • Berliner allgemeine musikalische Zeitung. Berlin.

  • Berlinische musikalische Zeitung. Berlin.

  • Berliner Musikzeitung. Berlin.

  • Berlinische Nachrichten von Staats- und gelehrten Sachen. Berlin.

  • Cäcilia. Mainz.

  • Harmonicon. London.

  • Leipziger Kunstblatt für gebildete Kunstfreunde, in besondere für Theater und Musik. Leipzig.

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  • Musikalische Zeitung für die österreichischen Staaten. Linz.

  • Musikalisches Kunstmagazin. Berlin.

  • Der neue teutsche Merkur. Weimar.

  • Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review. London.

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