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Transcendent Mastery

Studies in the Music of Beethoven

Bathia Churgin

433 pp.

3 illustrations

ISBN: 978-1576471227

hardback $59.95

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"The purpose of the four long chapters in this volume is to consider widely and deeply four of Beethoven�s most excellent works. Each work represents a different genre and each comes from a different period of Beethoven�s stylistic development. Thus the Piano Sonata Op. 10 No. 3 (1797-98). represents the early period; the Violin Concerto Op. 61 (1806) and Violin Sonata Op. 96 (1812) the middle period (though with several later traits) and the String Quartet Op. 132 (1825) the late period. As a result the reader becomes acquainted with the special character of each genre as well as the overall development of Beethoven�s style�including a large range of structural types and unique forms. Each work is given a comprehensive analysis rarely applied to single compositions of Beethoven.

In addition to necessary historical background and references to the critical reception comparisons have been included with other works by Beethoven in the same genre and period. This wider personal context combines with an effort to view Beethoven�s music not only in terms of the heritage of Haydn and Mozart but also in relation to the long development of Classic style and its procedures from the early Classic period onward starting in the 1730s.


Bathia Churgin:

Professor emerita in the Music Department of Bar-Ilan University (Israel), a department she founded in 1970. She earned her Ph. D. at Harvard University in 1963 and first taught at Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY). She has been a visiting professor at Tel Aviv University, The Hebrew University, the Harvard Summer School, Northwestern University Summer School, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Queens College and Graduate Center, CUNY, and Indiana University. A specialist in Classic music, the Classic Symphony, and Beethoven, she is the author of four volumes concerning the music of G. B. Sammartini and the book, "Transcendent Mastery: Studies in the Music of Beethoven" (Pendragon, in press). She is also the editor of Beethoven's Third and Fourth Symphonies for the Beethoven-Haus Werke (in press), and coeditor with Mary Sue Morrow of the volume on the l8th-century symphony for the series "The Symphonic Repertoire" (in press, Indiana University Press). A Festschrift in her honor was published by the Journal of Musicology, 18 (winter, 2001)


October 5, 2013

In summary, Transcendent Mastery is a magnificent achievement, and belongs in the personal library of every serious musician involved with music of the classical period

Prof. Roger Kamien, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
“vol. 11, 2013/II”

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