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Chapter 20 - Conductors

from Part III - Performance and Publishing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 May 2019

Natasha Loges
Affiliation:
Royal College of Music, London
Katy Hamilton
Affiliation:
Royal College of Music, London
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Summary

A symbiosis in music between performance and composition prevailed throughout the nineteenth century. It was particularly evident among conductors. Conducting did not emerge as a distinct profession until the last quarter of the century. But even then, those who sought to make conducting a career either dabbled in composition or harboured lifelong hopes to succeed with their own music. The instincts of a fellow composer dominated the approach to interpretation from the podium.

In Johannes Brahms’s circle of close friends and colleagues, there was perhaps no better example of this link between composing and conducting than Otto Dessoff (1835–92). Dessoff is remembered only as a conductor, despite many fine works to his name. It was to Dessoff that Brahms entrusted the first performance, in 1876, of his First Symphony Op. 68 Dessoff was born in Leipzig to Jewish parents; he met Brahms in 1853 but became a close friend in the 1860s, after they both settled in Vienna.

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Brahms in Context , pp. 196 - 205
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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References

Brahms, J., Johannes Brahms im Briefwechsel mit Franz Wüllner, ed. Wolff, E. (Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 1974)Google Scholar
Draheim, J. and Jahn, G. (eds.), Otto Dessoff (1835–1892) Ein Dirigent, Komponist und Weggefährte von Johannes Brahms (Munich: Katzbichler, 2001)Google Scholar
Dyment, C., Conducting the Brahms Symphonies: From Brahms to Boult (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2016)Google Scholar
Fifield, C., Hans Richter (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2016)Google Scholar
Hinrichsen, H. J., Musikalische Interpretation: Hans von Bülow (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1999)Google Scholar
Musgrave, M. and Sherman, B. (eds.), Performing Brahms: Early Evidence of Performing Style (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)Google Scholar
Obert, S. and Schmidt, M (eds.), Im Mass der Moderne: Felix Weingartner – Dirigent, Komponist, Autor, Reisender (Basel: Schwabe, 2009)Google Scholar
Walker, A., Hans von Bülow: A Life and Times (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010)Google Scholar

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