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The Romantic Overture and Musical Form from Rossini to Wagner

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  • Date Published: May 2017
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781316730201

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About the Authors
  • In this book Steven Vande Moortele offers a comprehensive account of operatic and concert overtures in continental Europe between 1815 and 1850. Discussing a broad range of works by German, French, and Italian composers, it is at once an investigation of the Romantic overture within the context of mid-nineteenth century musical culture and an analytical study that focuses on aspects of large-scale formal organization in the overture genre. While the book draws extensively upon the recent achievements of the 'new Formenlehre', it does not use the overture merely as a vehicle for a theory of romantic form, but rather takes an analytical approach that engages with individual works in their generic context.

    • The first comprehensive study of operatic and concert overtures in continental Europe between 1815 and 1850
    • Contributes to theories on musical form in the first half of the nineteenth century, particularly the 'new Formenlehre', a dynamic growing subfield of modern music theory and analysis
    • Studies a varied musical repertoire, including both standard and lesser known works, taking a far broader view than traditional music theory
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    • Winner, 2018 Wallace Berry Award, Society for Music Theory

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book is an important contribution to scholarship in its field. It combines an enviable command of the relevant musical sources and of developing social settings for overtures in the nineteenth century, painting a very broad picture of influence across musical Europe throughout an extended time period that is convincingly drawn and firmly located in up-to-date scholarship that has been perused with rigour. Balanced with this is an eye for analytical minutiae and an ability to establish musical procedures carefully and accurately. That the author manages this balancing act in English prose that is actually enjoyable to read is a testimony to his powers of communication.' John Irving, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2017
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781316730201
    • contains: 23 tables 64 music examples
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Making overtures
    2. Form as formula
    3. Potpourri overtures
    4. Beginning before the beginning
    5. Strong subordinate themes
    6. Open-ended expositions
    7. Recomposed recapitulations.

  • Author

    Steven Vande Moortele, University of Toronto
    Steven Vande Moortele is Assistant Professor of Music Theory at the University of Toronto. His research interests include theories of musical form, the analysis of large-scale instrumental music from the late-eighteenth to the early-twentieth century, and the works of Richard Wagner and Arnold Schoenberg. He is the author of Two-Dimensional Sonata Form: Form and Cycle in Single-Movement Instrumental Works by Liszt, Strauss, Schoenberg, and Zemlinsky (2009) and co-editor of Formal Functions in Perspective: Essays on Musical Form from Haydn to Adorno (with Julie Pedneault-Deslauriers and Nathan John Martin, 2015). From 2013 to 2016, he was also co-editor of the journal Music Theory and Analysis (MTA).


    • Winner, 2018 Wallace Berry Award, Society for Music Theory

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