The dedication of a piece of music is a feature generally overlooked, but it can reveal a great deal about the work, the composer, the society and the music world in which the composer lived.
This book explores the musical, biographical and sociological aspects of the practice of dedicating new compositions in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and makes a significant contribution towards a better understanding of the impact these tributes had on Beethoven’s life and work, and their function within the context of the musical, cultural and economic environments in which they appeared. As the first of its kind, this study demonstrates that, as a result of their different functions, published dedications and handwritten inscriptions are distinct from one another, and for that reason they have been classified in different categories. This book, therefore, challenges the idea of what exactly can be termed as a ‘dedication’, a concept which extends far beyond the dedication of musical works.
Table of Contents
1. The Purpose of the Study
2. Historical Overview of Dedications
II. BACKGROUNG, FACTS AND FIGURES ON GROUPS OF DEDICATEES
3. Types of Work, Dedicatee, and Related Issues
4. Why Dedicate?
5. Intended Dedications
6. Beethoven’s Works Dedicated by Others
7. Dedications to Beethoven
III. STORIES BEHIND THE TRIBUTES
8. Official Dedications
9. Unofficial Dedications, Handwritten Inscriptions, and Musical Gifts
Dr Artur Pereira is a researcher based at the University of Manchester with particular interests in the music of Beethoven and the early Romantic period. He is also a pianist with an international career as a soloist and chamber musician. As a recording artist, his albums feature historically informed performances of Beethoven’s piano sonatas and piano music by Portuguese composers.
Artur Pereira has achieved the seemingly impossible. He has discovered an area of Beethoven’s life that has never been explored. As he says, dedications were an important part of composers’ lives. Did you know one dedicatee gave Beethoven a horse? This is essential reading if you want to discover an aspect of Beethoven’s life - musical and personal - that has hitherto remained in the shadows. As well as being a formidable Beethoven scholar, Pereira is also a concert pianist. His knowledge of all aspects of The Master’s life is therefore rounded and complete.
John Suchet, Writer and Radio Presenter
This book is everything from an indispensable reference tool to a compelling narrative account of a favourite composer through an unusual lens, shedding enlightenment upon a splendid array of personalities: patrons, friends, fellow-musicians, hoped-for donors and more, and we are in Dr Pereira’s debt.
Musical Opinion (July–September 2021 issue)