By Alfred Brendel
During this definitive assortment of a well known pianist's writings—some of them by no means sooner than released in English—Alfred Brendel brings the readability and originality of expression that signify his performances to the published web page. even if discussing Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt, Schoenberg, or different pianists, his reflections will turn out helpful to severe piano avid gamers and listeners alike.
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Extra info for Alfred Brendel on Music: Collected Essays
My position is not, though, as contrary as it might appear: women were not, in any straightforward sense, empowered by feminocentric aesthetic frameworks, nor did they enjoy anything like full agency in musical culture. Female idealization and aestheticization were and are powerful modes of control. Nonetheless, in highlighting a discourse—an ideology—of female sovereignty in polite culture and the fine arts one could argue that (some) women achieved symbolic power, and cultural capital, both of which are overlooked if one doggedly persists with assumptions about female subordination.
At least until the period of the Napoleonic wars, I argue, female participation and “feminine” values in German-speaking lands were ways of positively signaling bourgeois and aristocratic musical identity and taste, even amounting to arguments in favor of music as a fine art. Addressing the origins of nineteenth- and twentieth-century institutions of classical music, and the hegemony of German music, Gramit understandably treats public venues and large genres as the most prestigious and, on this basis, understands the amateur and domestic realms as relatively lacking in aesthetic significance.
Bach knew from his childhood, took place in no small part at the keyboard. The fact that keyboards in the home were strongly (though not exclusively) associated with women set improvisation and composition within reach. Indeed, one of the most startling aspects of the period is the explosion in numbers of published female composers; I explore this in chapters 3–5 through three case studies. The first of these three female composers is Charlotte (“Minna”) Brandes (chapter 3), a keyboardist and opera singer whom the itinerant Reichardt probably knew from the Hamburg salon of Margaretha Augusta Büsch and her husband, Johann Georg Büsch.
Alfred Brendel on Music: Collected Essays by Alfred Brendel