Musicology

“Model and Emulation: Beethoven and E. T. A. Hoffmann’s Grand Trio”

Wednesday afternoon, October 31, 2-6pm, Bayside A
Bernhard Appel
Beethoven-Archiv, Bonn

“Model and Emulation: Beethoven and E. T. A. Hoffmann’s Grand Trio”

E. T. A. Hoffmann’s reviews of some of Beethoven’s outstanding compositions (5th Symphony op. 67, Trios for piano op. 70, Music to Egmont op. 84, Mass op. 86, Coriolanus Overture op. 62) are considered to be highlights within the history of musical criticism and of crucial importance as documents for the emancipation and autonomy of instrumental music. But Hoffmann’s advanced aesthetic viewpoints stand in contrast to his own instrumental compositions, which are regarded as conservative. Generally it is accepted that Hoffmann’s compositional ideals were J. Haydn and particularly Mozart. This lecture will show that Hoffmann’s Grand Trio in E major, composed in 1809, but not completely published until 1971, follows Beethoven in a surprising way.