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Contents

Music in the Nineteenth Century

DEVELOPING VARIATION

Chapter:
CHAPTER 13 The Return of the Symphony
Source:
MUSIC IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

Indeed it is. One of Dahlhaus's most fertile insights was the observation that by the late nineteenth century all “serious” composers (as he put it; perhaps we'd better say all German composers) had become “miniaturists.” That is, all did their thematic thinking-in-music in terms of motifs rather than full-blown melodies—whether their field was opera or chamber music—and the crucial composerly problem of the latter part of the century became the fundamental tension between “the brevity of the musical ideas and the monumentality of the formal designs.”40 To drive the point home, Dahlhaus proclaimed the two seminal practitioners of the new motivic “miniaturism” to have been the Wagner of the Ring and the Brahms of the chamber music. And while there was surely an element of calculated shock in the unexpected coupling, it is very liberating so to view them: it frees us from the polemics of contemporaneous musical politicking and allows us to view the supposed adversaries from a historical vantage point that subsumes (or as Hegel would have said, “sublates”) their differences.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 13 The Return of the Symphony." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-013011.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 13 The Return of the Symphony. In Oxford University Press, Music in the Nineteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 24 Nov. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-013011.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 13 The Return of the Symphony." In Music in the Nineteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 24 Nov. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-013011.xml
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