Urteil und Werturteil in der Musik
Edited By Claudia Maurer Zenck and Ivana Rentsch
Ein Kleinmeister ganz groß. Vom schwierigen Umgang der Musikwissenschaft mit Friedrich Witts „Jenaer Symphonie“
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Ein Kleinmeister ganz groß.Vom schwierigen Umgang derMusikwissenschaft mit FriedrichWitts „Jenaer Symphonie“
This article discusses the history of the so called „Jena Symphony“ which was discovered in 1909 by Fritz Stein. Stein regarded the symphony as a work by the young Beethoven, and he tried to prove his assumption not only with philological, but also with aesthetic arguments, believing that he had detected what he called „the claw of the lion“ within the score, i. e. the special fingerprint of Beethoven. Although the music is clearly a Haydn pastiche, based on his symphonies no. 93 and no. 97. Stein’s theory has not remained undisputed and was ultimately disproved by H. C. Robbins Landon who found a second set of parts of the symphony in question, attributed to Friedrich Witt. This raises the question if – and how – musicological analysis can be converted into an aesthetic judgment that is able to separate „masters“ from „epigones“. This is particularly applicable in the case of a work such as the „Jena Symphony“, which clearly follows the path of imitation, not of innovation, and could be described as an intertextual play with canonic models, better associated with the gallant „game culture“ of the 18th century, not with the romantic cult of the solitary genius.
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