The Possessor and the Possessed: Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, and the Idea of Musical Genius

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 304 pages
The concept of genius intrigues us. Artistic geniuses have something other people don't have. In some cases that something seems to be a remarkable kind of inspiration that permits the artist to exceed his own abilities. It is as if the artist is suddenly possessed, as if some outside force flows through them at the moment of creation. In other cases genius seems best explained as a natural gift. The artist is the possessor of an extra talent that enables the production of masterpiece after masterpiece. This book explores the concept of artistic genius and how it came to be symbolised by three great composers of the modern era: Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven.
 

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Contents

I Time out of Mind
1
II Greatness of Mind
13
III Breaking the Rule
22
IV The Saxon or the Devil
37
V The Genius and the Child
57
VI The Little Man from Salzburg
78
VII Giving the Rule
97
VIII An Unlicked Bear
119
X Odd Men Out
164
XI Beethoven Again
175
XII Gendering Genius
218
XIII Reconstructing Genius
238
Notes
255
Bibliography
271
Index
277
Copyright

IX Mozarts Second Childhood
149

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