By Stephen Rumph
During this provocative research of Beethoven's past due sort, Stephen Rumph demonstrates how deeply political occasions formed the composer's song, from his early enthusiasm for the French Revolution to his later entrenchment in the course of the Napoleonic period. extraordinary in its breadth of study in addition to for its devotion to interdisciplinary paintings in track background, Beethoven after Napoleon demanding situations approved perspectives via illustrating the impact of German Romantic political notion within the formation of the artist's mature variety. Beethoven's political opinions, Rumph argues, weren't rather as liberal as many have assumed. whereas students agree that the works of the Napoleonic period akin to the Eroica Symphony or Fidelio embrace enlightened, progressive beliefs of growth, freedom, and humanism, Beethoven's later works have attracted much less political remark. Rumph contends that the later works exhibit transparent affinities with a local German ideology that exalted historical past, faith, and the natural totality of nation and society. He claims that because the Napoleonic Wars plunged Europe into political and monetary turmoil, Beethoven's turning out to be antipathy to the French reflected the event of his Romantic contemporaries. Rumph continues that Beethoven's flip inward isn't any pessimistic retreat yet a favorable confirmation of recent conservative beliefs.
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Extra resources for Beethoven after Napoleon: Political Romanticism in the Late Works
Years later Beethoven toyed with an oratorio text, Der Sieg des Kreuzes, whose subject was to have been Constantine’s establishment of Christianity in pagan Rome. Hoffmann’s quoting of Christ’s words to Pilate uses the same code, adding another covert patriotic message to Kreisleriana. Critics of German Romanticism have drawn different conclusions as to its concrete political program. Heinrich Heine summed up the mood of the leftist Vormärz in Die romantische Schule (1833–35), which savaged the Romantics as reactionary propagandists.
Astounded, Ludwig looked at him; then a glow suffused Ferdinand’s face, his eyes radiated a burning ﬁre, as he spoke, his voice raised: “Ludwig! What has happened to you? Has the prison air you have breathed here for so long preyed upon you to the A Kingdom Not of This World / 23 point where, sick and ailing, you can no longer feel the glowing breath of spring that moves through the clouds, shining in the golden glow of morning? The children of Nature wallowed in lazy idleness, and the most beautiful gifts she offered them they trampled under foot in stupid wantonness.
Each song also seems curiously to quote the preceding number in the cycle. “Die Liebe des Nächsten” begins with a parody of the opening phrase of “Bitten” and its unctuous appoggiatura, as if to satirize the hypocrite who honors God only with his lips. “Gottes Macht und Vorsehung” starts by retracing the climactic melodic trajectory of “Die Ehre Gottes aus der Natur,” from C to high G, then proceeds to quote the descending dominant-seventh arpeggio from the second phrase. Thus, as the singer declares “Gott ist mein Lied,” he or she takes up an actual song.