Heinrich Schenker and Beethoven's 'Hammerklavier' Sonata: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Heinrich Schenker and Beethoven's 'Hammerklavier' Sonata

1st Edition

By Nicholas Marston


186 pages

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Hardback: 9780754652274
pub: 2013-10-28
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pub: 2017-07-05
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In 1912 Heinrich Schenker contracted with the Viennese publisher Universal Edition to provide an 'elucidatory edition' (Erläuterungsausgabe) of Beethoven's last five piano sonatas. Each publication would comprise a score, newly edited by Schenker and using the composer's autograph manuscript as principal source, together with a substantial commentary combining analytical, text-critical and performance-related matter. Four of the five editions appeared between 1913 and 1921, but that of the 'Hammerklavier' Sonata, op. 106, was never published. It has generally been assumed that this was simply because Schenker was unable to locate the autograph manuscript, which remains missing to this day. But as Nicholas Marston shows in a detailed history of the Erläuterungsausgabe project, other factors were involved also, including financial considerations, Schenker's health concerns, and his broader theoretical ambitions. Moreover, despite the missing autograph he nevertheless developed a voice-leading analysis of the complete sonata during the years 1924-1926, a crucial period in the development of his mature theory of tonal music. Marston's book provides the first in-depth study of this rich analysis, which is reproduced in full in high-quality digital images. The book draws on hundreds of letters and documents from Schenker's Nachlaß; it both adds to our biographical knowledge of Schenker and illuminates for the first time the response of this giant of music theory to one of the most significant masterworks in all music.


'… a detailed history and study of Schenker's voice-leading analysis of each movement.' Beethoven Journal ’Marston’s comprehensive account in this book of all the documentary evidence about Schenker’s interaction with Opus 106 … lifts the veil on that silence in a most illuminating way … The result is one of the most thought-provoking Schenker publications and works of Beethoven analysis for some time. Marston demonstrates that Schenker’s thinking about the piece was both profound and incomplete’. Musicology Australia

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction; The Erläuterungsausgabe project and Op. 106: 1912-1926; First movement: allegro; Second movement: scherzo: assai vivace; Third movement: adagio sostenuto; Fourth movement: largo - allegro risoluto: fuga a tre voci con alcune licenze; After 1926; Epilogue; Appendices; Bibliography; Indexes.

About the Author

Nicholas Marston is University Reader in Music Theory and Analysis in the Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge; he is also a Fellow of King's College. His work on Beethoven's sketches, the music of Schumann and Schenkerian theory has appeared in major international journals and in books published by Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press.

About the Series

Royal Musical Association Monographs

Royal Musical Association Monographs

This series was originally supported by funds made available to the Royal Musical Association from the estate of Thurston Dart. Its purpose is to provide a medium for specialized investigations of a topic, concept or repertory - studies of a kind that would not normally be feasible for commercial publishers and that would be too long for most periodicals.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / History & Criticism
MUSIC / Individual Composer & Musician