Back to Beethoven
- Nicholas Cook
‘Back to Beethoven’ begins in the early nineteenth century, with Beethoven's work that characterized the age of Romanticism and which explored and celebrated the inner world of feeling and emotion and became dedicated to personal expression. Two further ideas are then examined: the relationships of authority that permeate musical culture, and the power of music to transcend boundaries of time and space. Heinrich Schenker's system of musical analysis in the first part of the twentieth century is then examined. His view that the composer speaks with the voice of Nature and the concept of the ‘spirit realm’ are explained. Finally, the legacy of nineteenth-century concerts and ‘pure’ instrumental music are discussed.