Brahms and Schubring: Musical Criticism and Politics at Mid-Century

Frisch, Walter M.

Comprising the first substantial critical account of Brahms's music, Adolf Schubring's essay, published in 1862, is especially valuable for having appeared so early in the composer's career, on the verge of his thirtieth year and the period Tovey called his "first maturity." Schubring makes a fine witness to the early Brahms because, unlike Tovey and the rest of us, he had no knowledge of the composer's later development. And although basically sympathetic, he pulls no punches. Much of the music comes in for strong -- and impressively perceptive -- criticism. Interesting in its own right, Schubring's article also opens a broader perspective on the highly "politicized" German musical scene at mid-century, in which the Rezeptionsgeschichte of the young Brahms plays an important role.



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19th-Century Music

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University of California Press
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July 29, 2015