In the early nineteenth century, seven composers experimented with the design of the piano concerto at roughly the same time. Two mature figures - Johann Baptist Cramer and Carl Maria von Weber - and five young firebrands - Felix Mendelssohn,, Valentin Alkan, Clara Wieck, Robert Schumann, and Franz Liszt - probed the possibilities and challenged the traditions of the genre regarded as problematic and even anachronistic by the 1830s. Lindeman considers each composer's approach to concerto form in a lucid and engaging account. He then pairs this with an analysis of their concertos, including a combination of LaRue timelines and Schenkerian techniques that is logical and insightful. A different perspective is seen in the reviews of Robert Schumann in his Neue Zeietschrift für Musik. The critic's profound dismay with the state of the noble genre is apparent in his reviews of concertos by the Parisian virtuoisi which he regarded with particular disdain. Lindeman's overview reveals that Schumann's criticism offers a touchstone for the reformulation of the genre in the experimental works of the seven composers. Lindeman's book includes measure-by-measure, timeline analyses of the first movements of over 100 concertos. Included are all those of Mozart, Cramer, Beethoven, Hummel, Weber, Field, Moscheles, Alkan, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Wieck, Schumann, and Liszt, plus examples by Sterndale, Bennett, Boiëldieu, Burgmüller, Czerny, Dussek, Ries, and Steibelt. Structural Novelty and Tradition in the Early Romantic Piano Concerto offers the first detailed examination of a critical time in the development of the form. It is an indispensable reference tool for anyone interested in the piano concerto genre.
Dr. Steve Lindeman is a Professor in the School of Music at Brigham Young University, where he teaches theory and jazz studies. His research interests include Felix Mendelssohn, the concerto genre, and jazz. He is the author of a book on changes to the form of the concerto in the early nineteenth century, articles on jazz, Felix Mendelssohn, and other composer / pianists in The Musical Quarterly, the The New Grove / Oxford Dictionary, The Cambridge Mendelssohn Companion (2004), and The Cambridge Companion to the Concerto (2006).