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Wagner, Schumann, and the Lessons of Beethoven's Ninth$
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Christopher Alan Reynolds

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520285569

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520285569.001.0001

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Wagner and Schumann

Wagner and Schumann

Chapter:
(p.160) Chapter 7 Wagner and Schumann
Source:
Wagner, Schumann, and the Lessons of Beethoven's Ninth
Author(s):

Christopher Alan Reynolds

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520285569.003.0008

Chapter 7 questions who influenced whom. Schumann initially seems to have been the better prepared to understand Beethoven’s counterpoint, Wagner the thematic dispersion, but there is a case to be made that it was Wagner who made the discovery about contrary motion. Because Wagner’s deepening appreciation of Beethoven’s Ninth—regarding both counterpoint and thematic dispersion—has implications for how he composed, the chapter begins by reviewing his methods as a composer. Wagner’s views about the relationship of words and music in the process of composition are important. Contrary to Wagner’s subsequent representation of their discussions, Schumann and Wagner must have shared their insights into Beethoven’s Ninth with each other and, in so doing, forever altered the way each composed.

Keywords:   Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Richard Wagner, Robert Schumann, counterpoint

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