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Few genres of the last 250 years have proved so crucial to the course of music history, or so vital to public musical experience, as the symphony. This Companion offers an accessible guide to the historical, analytical and interpretative issues surrounding this major genre of Western music, discussing an extensive variety of works from the eighteenth century to the present day. The book complements a detailed review of the symphony's history with focused analytical essays from leading scholars on the symphonic music of both mainstream composers, including Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven and lesser-known figures, including Carter, Berio and Maxwell Davies. With chapters on a comprehensive range of topics, from the symphony's origins to the politics of its reception in the twentieth century, this is an invaluable resource for anyone with an interest in the history, analysis and performance of the symphonic repertoire.
Table of Contents
Introduction: understanding the symphony
Historical Overview of the Genre
The Viennese symphony 1750 to 1827
Other classical repertories
The symphony after Beethoven after
The symphony since Mahler: national and international trends
Studies in Symphonic Analysis
Six great early symphonists
Harmonies and effects: Haydn and Mozart in parallel
Beethoven: structural principles and narrative strategies
Cyclical thematic processes in the nineteenth-century symphony
Tonal strategies in the nineteenth-century symphony
'Two-dimensional' symphonic forms: Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony, before, and after Steven
Symphony/antiphony: formal strategies in the twentieth-century symphony
Performance, Reception and Genre
The symphony and the classical orchestra
Beethoven's shadow: the nineteenth century
The symphony as programme music
'Symphonies of the free spirit': the Austro-German symphony in early Soviet Russia
The symphony in Britain: guardianship and renewal
The symphony, the modern orchestra and the performing canon
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