19th Century Germany

1/14/2010 - 3/4/2010
Thursday 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

This interdisciplinary course will place Bruckner, Wagner, and other 19th-century Austrian and German composers within the context of their own turbulent time. Bruckner’s monumental symphonies and Wagner’s visionary conception of opera and revolutionary harmonies were formed at the same time as the German state; this course will explore the relationships between music and politics. Topics will include the Franco-Prussian War, Metternich and conservative reaction, the German bourgeoisie, and Bismarck and the Second Reich.

Register here


Week 1: Revolution and Political Romanticism
Beethoven Part 1

  • Funeral Cantata for Joseph II
  • Gellert Lieder
  • Egmont

Week 2: Beethoven from the Congress of Vienna to the 9th Symphony

9th Symphony

Week 3: Profound and Bourgeois, Nationalist and Universal

The strange case of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger

Week 4: From Utopia to Dystopian Chaos

  • Wagner’s Ring and its incoherence

Week 5: Bruckner, Medievalism, Mysticism and the Catholic Ecstatic Vision

  • Mass in B Minor
  • 5th Symphonie

Week 6: History As Seen Through Music

Criticism: Schumann, Hanslick, Liszt, Wolf and Karl Krauss

Week 7: Brahms the Progressive; Brahms the Reactionary; Brahms as Aesthetic Arbitor

  • Rinaldo
  • Triumphlied
  • 4th Symphony

Week 8: Union of Poetry, Philosophy & Music in Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra

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19th Century German Class

Recommended Books

Note: unlike the general recommendations John sometimes adds, this list is limited to the materials actually used in the course.

  • Beethoven after Napoleon: Political Romanticism in the Late Works (California Studies in 19th Century Music)

    by Stephen Rumph

  • Beethoven's Ninth: A Political History

    by Esteban Buch

  • Beethoven

    by William Kinderman

  • Beethoven's Letters

    by Ludwig van Beethoven

  • Beethoven: The Man And The Artist: As Revealed In His Own Words (Volume 1)

    by Ludwwig Van Beethoven, Tom Thomas

  • Cosima Wagner's Diaries: An Abridgement

    by Cosima Wagner

  • Wagner Remembered

    by Stewart Spencer

  • In Search of Wagner

    by Theodor Adorno

  • Richard Wagner & the synthesis of the arts,

    by Jack Madison Stein

  • Wagner's Hitler: The Prophet and His Disciple

    by Joachim Kohler

  • Wagner's Meistersinger: Performance, History, Representation

    University of Rochester Press

  • The Racial Thinking of Richard Wagner

    by Leon Stein

  • Wagner On Music And Drama (A Da Capo Paperback)

    by Albert Goldman, Evert Sprinchorn

  • The Perfect Wagnerite

    by Bernard Shaw

  • The Cambridge Companion to Bruckner (Cambridge Companions to Music)

    Cambridge University Press

  • Bruckner (Master Musicians Series)

    by Derek Watson

  • Bruckner Remembered (Composers remembered series)

    by Stephen Johnson

  • Brahms: The Four Symphonies

    by Professor Walter Frisch

  • The Cambridge Companion to Brahms (Cambridge Companions to Music)

    Cambridge University Press

  • Late Idyll : The Second Symphony of Johannes Brahms

    by Reinhold Brinkmann

  • Brahms and His World: Revised Edition (The Bard Music Festival)

    Princeton University Press

  • Nineteenth-Century Music and the German Romantic Ideology

    by John Daverio

  • Romantic Music: A History of Musical Style in Nineteenth-Century Europe (The Norton Introduction to Music History)

    by Leon Plantinga

  • German Modernism: Music and the Arts (California Studies in 20th-Century Music)

    by Walter Frisch

  • Music Criticisms 1846-99

    by Eduard Hanslick

  • Schumann on Music: A Selection from the Writings

    by Robert Schumann

  • Bismark: The Man and the Statesman

    by A.J.P Taylor

  • Schnitzler's Century: The Making of Middle-Class Culture 1815-1914

    by Peter Gay

  • Fin-De-Siecle Vienna: Politics and Culture

    by Carl E. Schorske

  • The Austrians: A Thousand-Year Odyssey

    by Gordon Brook-Shepherd

  • Germany 1866-1945 (Oxford History of Modern Europe)

    by Gordon A. Craig

  • Germany: A New History

    by Hagen Schulze

  • The Eagles Die: Franz Joseph, Elisabeth, and Their Austria

    by George Richard Marek