E. T. A. Hoffmann's Musical Writings: Kreisleriana; The Poet and the Composer; Music Criticism

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Cambridge University Press, 2003 - Music - 476 pages
This book contains the first complete translation in English of E. T. A. Hoffmann's major musical writings, complementing the well-known Tales. It offers, therefore, a long-awaited opportunity to assess the thought and influence of one of the most famous of all writers on music and the musical links with his fiction. Containing the first complete appearance in English of Kreisleriana, it reveals a masterpiece of imaginative writing whose title is familiar to musicians (from Robert Schumann's piano cycle) and whose profound humour and irony can now be fully appreciated. This volume offers translations aiming at the greatest fidelity to Hoffmann, as well as musical accuracy in the reviews. David Charlton's three introductory essays provide extensive information on the background to Romantic music criticism; on the origins and internal structure of Kreisleriana; and on Hoffmann and opera. A concluding essay by the late Friedrich Schnapp lists Hoffmann's planned reviews and those mistakenly attributed to him.
 

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Contents

KREISLERIANA
23
Prefatory Remarks to Individual Essays
56
Part II
123
Hoffmann and Opera
169
The Poet and the Composer
188
Letter from a Monk to his Friend in the Capital
213
Review of Witts Fifth and Sixth Symphonies
221
Review of Fioravantis I virtuosi ambulanti
229
Review of Beethovens Mass in C
325
Review of Beethovens Overture and Incidental Music to Goethes
341
Old and New Church Music
351
Review of Riems Zwölf Lieder Op 27 extract
376
Review of Boieldieus Le Nouveau Seigneur de village
382
Review of Mozarts Don Giovanni 20 September 1815
397
Some Observations on the Comments made by the Royal Chamber
408
A Letter from Kapellmeister Johannes Kreisler Contributed
414

Review of Weigls Das Waisenhaus extract
252
Review of Paers Sofonisba
262
Review of Spohrs First Symphony
271
Review of Beethovens Overture to Coriolan
286
Review of Gyrowetzs Der Augenarzt extract
293
Review of Beethovens Piano Trios Op 70 Nos 1 and 2
300
Concert under the Direction of Spontini 3 August 1820
421
Further Observations on Spontinis Opera Olimpia extract
431
Sources and Suppositive Reviews by Friedrich Schnapp
458
Index
467
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

German writer, composer, and painter ErnstTheodor Amadeus Hoffman was born in Konigsberg, Prussia in 1776. After beginning a career in the law, Hoffman turned to music, working as a conductor, music director, and critic, and later composing a ballet, an opera, and other works. He established himself as a writer with the four-volume story collection Phatasiestucke in Callier Manier (Fantasy Stories in the Manner of Callot), which was published in 1814-1815. Even though he published several novels and story collections, including Nachtstucke (Hoffman's Strange Stories, 1817) and Die Serapionsbruder (The Serapion Brethren, 1819-1821), Hoffman continued to support himself as a legal official in Berlin. This struggle between artistry and bureaucracy is played out in many of his works. Hoffman died of progressive paralysis in 1822.

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