The beloved vision : a history of nineteenth century music /

Publication Type:



Pegasus Books Ltd,, New York, NY, United States, p.ix, 421 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : (2022)

Call Number:



19th century, History and criticism., Music


Includes bibliographical references and index."A rich and luminous biography of nineteenth century music from the acclaimed author of Debussy: A Painter in Sound. When one thinks of "great" classical music -- music with the most emotional resonance and timelessness -- we hearken back to the nineteenth century and the Romantic tradition. We recall the sweet melody of a Schubert song, the heroine dying for love in an Italian opera, the swooning orchestration of a Tchaikovsky symphony. The emotional resonance of nineteenth century has moved generations musicians and resonated with countless listeners. It has inspired artists and writers. But no writer until how has adopted such a vividly insightful narrative approach as Stephen Walsh and he shows how there is more to Romantic music that meets the eye -- and the ear. With authority, insight, and passion, The Beloved Vision, links the music history of this singular epoch to the ideas that lay behind Romanticism in all its manifestations. In this complete, entertaining, and singularly readable account, we come to understand the entire phase in music history that has become the mainstay of the twentieth and twenty-first century concert and operatic repertoire. We also come to understand Beethoven, Mahler, Schubert, Chopin, and Wagner anew. The narrative begins in the eighteenth century, with C.P.E. Bach, Haydn and the literary movement known as Sturm und Drang, seen as a reaction of the individual artist to the confident certainties of the Enlightenment. The windows are flung open, and everything to do with style, form, even technique, is exposed to the emotional and intellectual weather, the impulses and preferences of the individual composer. Risk taking -- the braving of the unknown -- was certainly an important part of what the composers wanted to do, as true of Chopin and Verdi as it is of Berlioz and Wagner. It's an exciting, colorful, story, told with passion but also with the precision and clarity of detail for which Stephen Walsh is so widely admired. The Beloved Vision is a cultural tour de force, by turns bold, challenging, and immensely stimulating." --Longing for chaos -- A young Rhinelander -- Pleasing the crowd and escaping it -- Operas grand and grotesque -- Landscapes of the heart and the mind -- Geniuses, young and not so young -- Opera as politics, politics as opera -- The Mendelssohn set -- The nation takes the stand -- New paths, different directions -- The nation speaks -- The road to Rome, and to Munich -- Bayreuth : its friends and its enemies -- Ars gallica, ars veritatis -- Clouds, forests and more clouds -- The shadow of Bayreuth -- A Russian autocrat and an English misfit -- The song ends but the melody lingers on.