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Believing in Beethoven

Believing in Beethoven Art-works of the highest rank are distinguished from the others not through their success . . . but through the manner of their failure. For the problems within them . . . are so posed that the attempt to solve them must fail, whereas the failure of lesser works is accidental, a matter of mere subjective incapacity. (pp. 99±100) Are the unfinished sketches which constitute much of the present volume then a picture of a necessary failure, something akin to the author's prevailing view of late Beethoven (`not works but, as it were, fragments of a concealed music', p. 67)? If this is the case, then it is so only as an ironic accident of history. Despite all appearances, Beethoven: The Philosophy of Music is not a book;2 in fact it is Rolf Tiedemann's intelligent reconstruction of a book which Adorno never completed. Indeed, it is not even a fragment in the romantic sense, but rather, as Tiedemann observes, `a diary of [Adorno's] experiences of Beethoven's music' (p. ix). These are memories without structure, ideas without synthesis; reading the text is like eavesdropping on Adorno mumbling dialectically to himself in an attempt to unknot his own thoughts ± http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

Believing in Beethoven

Music Analysis , Volume 19 (3) – Oct 1, 2000

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/1468-2249.00126
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Art-works of the highest rank are distinguished from the others not through their success . . . but through the manner of their failure. For the problems within them . . . are so posed that the attempt to solve them must fail, whereas the failure of lesser works is accidental, a matter of mere subjective incapacity. (pp. 99±100) Are the unfinished sketches which constitute much of the present volume then a picture of a necessary failure, something akin to the author's prevailing view of late Beethoven (`not works but, as it were, fragments of a concealed music', p. 67)? If this is the case, then it is so only as an ironic accident of history. Despite all appearances, Beethoven: The Philosophy of Music is not a book;2 in fact it is Rolf Tiedemann's intelligent reconstruction of a book which Adorno never completed. Indeed, it is not even a fragment in the romantic sense, but rather, as Tiedemann observes, `a diary of [Adorno's] experiences of Beethoven's music' (p. ix). These are memories without structure, ideas without synthesis; reading the text is like eavesdropping on Adorno mumbling dialectically to himself in an attempt to unknot his own thoughts ±

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Oct 1, 2000

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