The Critical Reception of Beethoven’s Compositions by His German Contemporaries, Op. 125
The Center for Beethoven Research at Boston University is pleased to announce the online publication of Robin Wallace’s The Critical Reception of Beethoven’s Compositions by His German Contemporaries, Op. 125.* This long-awaited publication provides English translations of the German-language reception of Beethoven’s iconic Ninth Symphony up to 1830. Wallace’s exceptional work marks the first of several projected online publications by the Center to complete the translation project started in the first two volumes of The Critical Reception of Beethoven’s Compositions by His German Contemporaries (University of Nebraska Press, 1999; 2001). These publications will ultimately make the remainder of the entire body of German-language Beethoven reception prior to 1830 accessible to English-speaking readers.
*Access provided by the Center for Beethoven Research at Boston University
© 2017 by Robin Wallace
All Rights Reserved.
From the Foreword of Robin Wallace’s The Critical Reception of Beethoven’s Compositions by His German Contemporaries, Op. 125:
“This online resource contains work completed after the first two volumes of The Critical Reception of Beethoven’s Compositions by His German Contemporaries were published by the University of Nebraska Press in 1999 and 2001. Those volumes concluded with the reviews of Fidelio, Op. 72. Since then I have received many inquiries, from Beethoven scholars and others, about the reviews of Beethoven’s remaining works: whether and when they would also appear in translation. This publication is offered in response to that broad and continuing interest. The 9th symphony is one of Beethoven’s most important and controversial works, and the amount of press coverage it received in the few years after its first performance in 1824 far exceeds that devoted to any of the earlier symphonies. No concert report previously published matches Friedrich August Kanne’s lengthy description, in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung mit besonderer Rücksicht auf den österreichischen Kaiserstaat, of the 9th’s premiere at the Theater Near the Kärnthnerthor in Vienna and the repeat performance a few weeks later at the Grand Redoutensaal. Likewise, no previous review—not even that of the 5th symphony by E. T. A. Hoffmann—can match in length and analytical detail the review of the 9th symphony published by Joseph Fröhlich in Caecilia in 1828. The extensive back and forth between Adolf Bernhard Marx, one of the 9th’s earliest champions, and more skeptical writers in the Berliner allgemeine musikalische Zeitung makes fascinating reading. The many shorter concert reports show that both at its premiere and at various performances over the next few years, the work was received with a mixture of perplexity, fascination, and awe.”