A. Peter Brown. the First Golden Age of the Viennese Symphony

A. Peter Brown. The First Golden Age of the Viennese Symphony: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. The Symphonic Repertoire, Volume II. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002. xxvii, 716pp.
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   A. Peter Brown’s Symphonic Compendium Melanie Lowe A. Peter Brown. The First Golden Age of the Viennese Symphony: Haydn, Mozart, Beet-hoven, and Schubert.  The Symphonic Repertoire, Volume II. Bloomington: IndianaUniversity Press, 2002 . xxvii, 716 pp. I n a venture as selfless as it was ambitious, the late musicologist A. Peter Browntook it on himself to address the lack of a broad-based, single-author studyof the symphony. A single volume at inception, the project ultimately ex-panded to a five-volume series titled The Symphonic Repertoire,  two volumes of whichBrown completed before his untimely passing in March 2003 . Volume II, The First Golden Age of the Viennese Symphony,  and volume IV, The Second Golden Age of the Viennese Symphony,  are now published. Brown drafted volume III, The European Sym- phony, ca. 1800  –  ca. 1930,  which is in the final stages of preparation for publication.Hopefully, a generous scholar will realize volume I, The Eighteenth-Century Symphony, for which Brown left some sketches of content and organization, and perhaps an-other can assemble and edit volume V, The Symphony in Europe and the Americas inthe Twentieth Century,  srcinally planned by Brown as a symposium. The symphon-ic repertoire as Brown conceived it is in essence the symphonic canon—that bodyof orchestral works, widely understood as symphonies though not always titled“Symphony” (e.g., tone poems and character pieces)—that receives regular con-cert and recorded performance. His monumental study was not intended to be “ahistory in the narrative sense, since it does not attempt to place a large number of symphonies under a covering hypothesis” (p.xv). Rather, The Symphonic Repertoire  is a compendium of sorts: a “synthesis of ideas” Brown “accumulated” during ascholarly and teaching career that spanned more than three decades (pp.xx–xxi).

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Dec 3, 2018
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