Schumann's Virtuosity

Schumann's Virtuosity : Criticism, Composition, and Performance in Nineteenth-Century Germany

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Considered one of the greatest composers-and music critics-of the Romantic era, Robert Schumann (1810-1856) played an important role in shaping nineteenth-century German ideas about virtuosity. Forging his career in the decades that saw abundant public fascination with the feats and creations of virtuosos (Liszt, Paganini, and Chopin among others), Schumann engaged with instrumental virtuosity through not only his compositions and performances but also his music reviews and writings about his contemporaries. Ultimately, the discourse of virtuosity influenced the culture of Western "art music" well beyond the nineteenth century and into the present day. By examining previously unexplored archival sources, Alexander Stefaniak looks at the diverse approaches to virtuosity Schumann developed over the course of his career, revealing several distinct currents in nineteenth-century German virtuosity and the enduring flexibility of virtuosity more

Product details

  • Hardback | 312 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 20.32mm | 544.31g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 4 b&w illus., 31 music exx.
  • 0253021995
  • 9780253021991

About Alexander Stefaniak

Alexander Stefaniak is Assistant Professor of Musicology at Washington University in Saint more

Table of contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: The Virtuosity DiscoursePart I: Schumann and the Piano Virtuosity of the 1830sPart I Introduction1. Florestan among the Revelers: Postclassical Virtuosity and Schumann's Critique of Pleasure2. Florestan's Wine, Clara Wieck's Spirit: Postclassical Virtuosity and Poetic Interiority3. Poetic Showpieces in the Cultivated Salon4. Virtuosity and the Rhetoric of the SublimePart II: The Virtuoso on Mount Parnassus: Schumann and the Culture of the Work ConceptPart II Introduction5. Steps to Parnassus? Schumann's Equivocal Work Concept6. Festivals of the Virtuoso Priesthood: Collaborating with Clara Schumann and Joseph JoachimEpilogueList of Endnote AbbreviationsNotesBibliographyIndexshow more

Review quote

It is refreshing to read a contemporary scholarly book that embraces aesthetics so forcefully without resorting to identity politics and deconstructive modes of discourse that have all but remove aesthetics as a category of musicological research. . . . Recommended. * Choice *show more