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Schubert's Vienna (Aston Magna Academy Book) [Hardcover]

Professor Raymond Erickson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 20, 1997 0300070802 978-0300070804 First Edition
The Vienna in which Franz Schubert lived for the thirty-one years of his life was not just a city of music, dance, and coffeehouses - a centre of important achievements in the arts. It was also the capital of an empire that was constantly at war in the composer's youth and that became a police state during his maturity. Now, in the bicentennial of Schubert's birth, this book paints a picture of the culture, society, and politics of Schubert's Vienna. Authorities examine Vienna's history and politics, class structure, and social conventions. They describe private and public entertainments, including music and dance, as well as classical and popular Viennese theatre, both of which achieved special greatness in the early nineteenth century. They investigate the historical layers of architecture and sculpture that preserved Vienna's past or reflected the imperatives of Schubert's time. They analyze genres of painting that exemplified or went beyond the ideals of Biedermeier society. And they discuss literary currents reflected in (or absent from) the poetry that fired Schubert's musical imagination.

Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

A useful book for those wishing a cram course about one of the 19th century's most prolific composers and his times. Vienna's moniker as the City of Music may suggest a place of flowers and waltzes, but such was not the case at all at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th, when composer Franz Schubert lived his 31 short years there. Marked first by war and then by a peacetime filled with repression and censorship, Vienna was a city where often the safest place to be was inside. This book methodically details life in Schubert's Vienna. Unlike his musical contemporary Beethoven, who moved in higher social circles, Schubert lived a decidedly middle-class life. It is this social stratum that this volume, edited by Erickson (dean of Arts and Humanities at Queens College, City Univ. of New York), chronicles in meticulous depth. The collection has chapters written by various scholars from around the world on everything from the politics of the times to other popular art forms, such as Viennese theater and Biedermeier painting. The book follows a logical order, beginning with an overview and analysis of the era's repressive politics. Establishing that aura of fear and reign of censorship sets the scene for discussion of their impact on Viennese culture--the retreat to the safety of home, for instance, where music became a vital recreation in the salons--and its art forms. Music was among the safest of the arts, because, given its abstractness, it was almost impossible to prove that a composer had nefarious political thoughts as he wrote a particular piece. Scholarly writing whose readability varies depending on the contributor but overall an asset to the library of anyone interested in music or Vienna. (140 b&w and 20 color illustrations, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • Series: Aston Magna Academy Book
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First Edition edition (October 20, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300070802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300070804
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.2 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,513,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Step back in time September 3, 2000
By Katya
Anne Frank wrote "If I read a book that impresses me, I have to take myself firmly in hand before I mix with other people; otherwise they would think my mind rather queer". This is the very sensation I have when closing this book.
Schubert's Vienna is a must-read for anyone who wishes to truly understand the man behind the music. This wonderfully written and masterfully edited book details nearly every aspect of life in Vienna during the time of Franz Schubert. The age is defined historically, politically, socially, and even culturally (referring to the other arts). This makes the book an engaging read even for those who have only a casual interest in the composer but are interested in the city of Vienna or the Romantic era in general. A scholarly work that can be enjoyed by nearly any level student, I defy you to walk away without a sigh of nostalgia for the beauty of Schubert's Vienna.
I thank the editor and contributors for a lovely weekend, I was lost in another world.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schubert's Vienna Fascinates September 26, 2001
I picked-up this book by accident as I had never heard of the Aston Magna Academy. I certainly know about them now. They have produced a book that is a must read for those interested in either Vienna in the late 18th and early 19th century or Franz Schubert & the arts. It is a collection of essays by prominent experts arrayed in three sections;Politics and Social Life, Musical Life and The Other Arts. These different essays give the reader a broad view of the times and influences that gave us the extraordinary music that we enjoy today. A bibliography at the end of each essay points to further resources. This is a fascinating and effective format for presenting history.
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