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Notes 60.1 (2003) 155-158



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Form und Metrik: Zahlen in den Symphonien von Anton Bruckner. By Wolfgang Grandjean. (Publikationen des Institut für Österreichische Musikdokumentation, 25.) Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 2001. [285 p. ISBN 3-7952-1055-0. DM 110.] Music examples, illustrations, bibliography.
Bruckner Symphonien in Bearbeitungen: Die Konzepte der Bruckner-Schüler und ihre Rezeption bis zu Robert Haas. By Wolfgang Doebel. (Publikationen des Institut für Österreichische Musikdokumentation, 24.) Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 2001. [522 p. ISBN 3-7952-1034-8. DM 144.] Illustrations, bibliography.
Zwischen Einfühlung und Abstraktion: Studien zum Problem des symphonischen Typus Anton Bruckners.By Bo Marschner. Translated from the Danish by Karl Antz. (Studier og publikationer fra Musikvidenskabeligt Institut Aarhus Universitet, 6.) Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2002. [480 p. ISBN 87-7288-931-4. € 40.] Music examples, bibliography.

These three studies of Bruckner's music differ in style, approach, and topic. Wolfgang Grandjean's Form und Metrik explores the role periodic structures play in Bruckner's music. His starting point is Bruckner's so-called metrical numbers, the sequential numbering of bars into metrical groups found in Bruckner's composition scores. These numbers, Grandjean writes, provide "evidence of the formal organization of his works and therefore are indispensable tools for the understanding of his music and for musical analysis" (p. 13). This is a strong statement, especially considering that few scholars have paid serious attention to these numbers, but Grandjean ably demonstrates their importance to the metrical structuring of Bruckner's works. Grandjean approaches his topic in several ways. He compares Bruckner's careful regulation of periodic structures with theoretical discussions by Johann Christian Lobe, Adolf Bernhard Marx, Ernst Friedrich Richter, and particularly Simon Sechter, all which [End Page 155] Bruckner himself had studied (pp. 40-77). He summarizes Bruckner's analyses of the periodic organization of Beethoven's Third and Ninth Symphonies, the latter of which had not previously been discussed in the literature (pp. 82-96). The most rewarding portions of Grandjean's book deal directly with Bruckner's music. As Grandjean shows, Bruckner's control of metrical and periodic structuring became increasingly strict and sophisticated in the symphonies of the 1870s. This development is also evident in Bruckner's metrical numbering itself, which was done rather mechanically in earlier works but became a flexible and integral part of his composition process. This development was complete by 1878 and motivated revisions of Bruckner's early work that largely aimed to "regulate" their periodic structures. Grandjean nicely illustrates these points with a comparative study of the Linz and Vienna versions of Symphony No. 1 (pp. 103-19). The first work composed entirely after the maturation of Bruckner's metrical thinking was Symphony No. 6 (1879-81), a work that is extraordinarily well controlled in its periodic structures, and Grandjean devotes the single longest section of the book (pp. 203-73) to an intensive analysis of this key work. The book also features several shorter analyses that consider various issues, including the metrical placement of the final bar of a movement (pp. 120-30), the syntactical implication of Bruckner's periodic patterns (pp. 142-49), and the compositional function of metrical numbers as reflected in the extensive sketches and drafts of the 1893 choral work Helgoland (pp. 190-99), among others. The book is short on comparative perspective; Grandjean offers only a brief excursus on syntactic norms in Brahms and Schubert (pp. 158-60). Form und Metrik is a specialist's book and will be of real benefit to those interested in a theoretically minded approach to the analysis of Bruckner's symphonies and of periodic structure.

Doebel's Bruckner Symphonien in Bearbeitungen returns to the perennial topic of the authenticity of different versions and editions of Bruckner's symphonies. Doebel's work originated as a doctoral dissertation (University of Hamburg, 2000) and like many dissertations, Bruckner Symphonien in Bearbeitungen is rather...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-150X
Print ISSN
0027-4380
Pages
pp. 155-158
Launched on MUSE
2003-08-19
Open Access
No
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