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Vaughan Williams on Music$
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David Manning

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182392.001.0001

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The Romantic in Music: Some Thoughts on Brahms

The Romantic in Music: Some Thoughts on Brahms

(p.164) (p.165) Chapter 32 The Romantic in Music: Some Thoughts on Brahms
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner divide the musical kingdom of the mid-nineteenth century between them. How far Wagner's dramatic theories belied his practice it is not the place to discuss in this chapter; it is enough to say that Wagner certainly did get at his musical inspiration entirely through his dramatic instinct, and at that time may well have seemed to have exhausted all the possibilities to which the Romantic movement had been pointing. The chapter discusses that technique is too often supposed to begin and end with a knowledge of “textbook” harmony and counterpoint and “textbook” form, founded on a very superficial study of the great masters of old. Now all this kind of technique and much more Brahms, of course, possessed in the highest degree. The composer who perhaps has found that balance between idea and expression in the very highest degree is Richard Wagner.

Keywords:   Johannes Brahms, Richard Wagner, musical kingdom, Romantic movement, technique, textbook harmony, idea, expression

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