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«Seiner Leidenschaften Meister sein» - «In control of the passions»

Zur Reflexion des Gefühls im Musikdenken - Emotion as reflected in musical thinking

Joachim Noller

Was heißt es, wenn Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach vom ausführenden Musiker fordert, er müsse selbst gerührt sein, bevor er seine Zuhörer in Rührung versetzen könne? Der Autor schreibt über die Idee der Emotion, über ihre Rolle im Szenario sogenannter Musikanschauung (von ca. 1750 bis heute). Von Interesse ist dabei weniger die Gefühlshaltigkeit der Musik selbst, als vielmehr die Art, wie das Musikdenken dieselbe be- und verhandelt; nicht Emotionen in tatsächlicher Wirkung, sondern wie sie, als Denkfigur, in musikalischen Zusammenhängen theoretisch bewältigt werden.
What does it mean when Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach demands that a performing musician must himself be moved before he can move his listeners? The author writes about the idea of emotions and their role in the scenario of what is called music appreciation (from about 1750 till the present day). His focus is not primarily on the emotional content of music as such, but rather the way in which it is treated in thinking about music; not on the actual impact of emotions, but the way in which they have been thought about in a musical context, as concepts around which a theoretical discourse crystallizes.
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V Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony: more (the) expression of feeling with painting


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Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony: more (the) expression of feeling with painting

On 22nd December 1808, Beethoven's Sixth Symphony (as counted today) received its first performance under his direction in a concert at the Theater an der Wien in which no less than the Fifth Symphony, the Piano Concerto in G major, the Choral Fantasia Op. 80, an improvised fantasia at the piano as well as further vocal pieces were performed. The whole thing lasted some 4 hours and proved too much for even the most well-disposed listener. The Choral Fantasia, given at the end, went so disastrously off the rails that Beethoven broke off and played the entire work through again from the beginning. After this imbroglio, the audience must surely have had only the vaguest recollection of the first piece in the concert. When they got home, they could read the programme notes, however: Pastoral-Symphonie, with the adjunct (as if it were a subtitle) More the expression of feeling than painting, as well as the titles given to the individual movements: Feelings of joy awakened in people by the arrival in the country, then Scene by the Brook, then Peasants at their Merrymaking, then Thunder and rainstorm and in the final movement Charitable feelings after the storm, conjoined with feelings of thankfulness to the Divinity425.

So the audience at the first performance were already not only confronted with the (my apologies!) "programme", but also with a set of instructions on...

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