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On the Performance of Beethoven’s Symphonies and Other Essays

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Conductor and composer Felix Weingartner (1863 – 1942) studied with Liszt, succeeded Mahler in directing the Vienna Court Opera, and enjoyed a distinguished international career as a guest conductor with orchestras throughout Europe and the United States. this volume contains English translations of three important essays by the Austrian conductor, in which he expounds upon his belief that art is at its best when an “exceedingly delicate balance is attained between the feeling and the intellect”.

The title essay, a detailed account of specific performing difficulties and questions of interpretation in each of Beethoven’s nine symphonies, follows Wagner’s lead in proposing slight instrumental and orchestral emendations. In “On Conducting”, Weingartner discusses the techniques of other conductors an his views on achieving the essential balance that elicits a work’s full power. “The Symphony Since Beethoven” examines the works of many major nineteenth-century composers,  with attention to the largely fictitious, opposition between “program” music an “absolute” music, symbolized by the supposed enmity among followers of Brahms and Wagner.

An essential volume for music students, Weingartner’s wealth of observations on music and musicians will fascinate any reader interested in the symphonic traditions.

Publisher: Dover Publications
Author / Composer: Felix Weingartner
ISBN-10: 0-486-43966-6

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