An Essay in Carnal Musicology
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Quotes
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List of Figures
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List of Music Examples
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Surely, the true importance of a project like this lies in the wonderful hu-man contacts for which it has served as pretext. Herewith, my heartfelt thanks,To the American Council of Learned Societies, for generous fellowshipassistance, without which the book would never have been written.To Wendy Allanbrook, whose work and mentoring profoundly and forever...
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...well-disposed toward the author, then they must feel in their heartsall that he has notated; they must come together, rehearse, investi-gate, finally study the mind of the author, then execute his works. Inthis way they almost succeed in stealing the applause from the com-poser, or at least in sharing the glory with him, for while it is pleas-...
1. “Cello-and-Bow Thinking”: The First Movement of Boccherini’s Cello Sonata in Eb Major, Fuori Catalogo
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Anyone who performs old music or who has written about its history can at-test to identifying with composers. The identification can be a haunting oran irritating experience, containing as it does the potential for possessionor invasion; shot through with sorrow, since, in Western classical music, sooften the composer is long dead; revelatory, voyeuristic; at its best and sweet-...
2. “As My Works Show Me to Be”: Biographical
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On 18 March 1799, at the age of fifty-six, Boccherini sat down to write a let-ter to his publisher Ignaz Pleyel, who had asked him to produce works thatwere simpler, briefer, and more accessible to the amateur. (We must infer thisfrom Boccherini’s reply, since Pleyel’s letters are lost.) Pleyel had been pub-lishing Boccherini’s music in Paris since 1796. By 1799 their relationship had...
3. Gestures and Tableaux
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If [dancers’] motions and features are in perfect consonance withtheir inward feelings, their expression will be so of course, and givelife to the representation....To be successful in dramatic composi-should be enflamed, and genius be, as it were, the lightning that fore-jean-georges noverre, Lettres sur la danse et sur les ballets, 1760...
4. Virtuosity, Virtuality, Virtue
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Would you not state categorically that true sensitivity and performedThe first movement of the Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17, has long been afavorite of mine on account of its opening phrase (see example 11; CD track18). Two descending sextuplet groups outline an elegant, tender gestureof descent. The graceful decorativeness marks it immediately as galant; it...
5. A Melancholy Anatomy
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In 1993, doctors at the University of Pisa honored the 250th anniversary ofBoccherini’s birth in a rather unusual way. They exhumed his “quasi-mummified” corpse from the Chiesa di San Francesco in Lucca, where it hadbeen since 1927, took it to Pisa, and there performed “a complete paleo-pathological examination” of it.1 Among the observations contained in the...
6. “It Is All Cloth of the Same Piece”: The Early String Quartets
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Bordeu: Every sensible molecule [once] had its “me” . . . but howMademoiselle de L’Espinasse: It seems to me that contact suffices.In August 1804, Leipzig’s Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung published an arti-cle on the performance of string quartets, signed “Cambini in Paris.” Aftera series of musings in an early Romantic vein on the technical and spiritual...
7. The Perfect Listener: A Recreation
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Despite assertions of their subsequent enduring friendship in the obituary for Boccherini that appeared in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung and elsewhere, we can be fairly sure that the two men never made direct contact.4 But Haydn would have had plenty of opportunities to become acquainted with Boccherini’s music. ...
Appendix: Chronological Table of String Quartets
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Page Count: 374
Publication Year: 2005