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<<  -- 3 --  Malcolm Miller    CREATIVE REINTERPRETATION

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The conference as a whole delved into the subject of creativity from a number of different angles, with a cross-disciplinary session looking at notions of creativity from literary, visual and psychoanalytical arts. The influence of Haydn's Creation -- the introduction -- on Beethoven's style was the thrust of one paper by Richard Kramer, a leading scholar at City University, New York, while stylistic development between 1792 and 1796 was illuminated by Poundie Burstein (CUNY) who gave a systematic analysis of the expansion of retransitions in the String Quintet version of the earlier Wind Octet, showing the introduction of a strategic use of the Neapolitan relationship in the latter work. One session on 'Recomposition, Autographs and Sketches' brought new light to the well known works, with a fresh look at Beethoven's re-use of his early Bonn Piano Quartets WoO 36 in the Op 2 Vienna piano sonatas by the present author and a novel analysis of sketches for the 'Harp' Quartet Op 74 to illuminate its musical significance by the authority Lewis Lockwood, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University, whose compelling new critical biography of Beethoven has just been published (W W Norton & Co). And a paper presenting a new explanation for the deleted flute part in the autograph of the Fifth Symphony by Glenn Stanley (University of Connecticut), was followed by a detailed examination of the complex network of sources for the 'Archduke' Trio by William Meredith, Director of the Ira F Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies at San Jose University, California, who is currently preparing a new edition of this masterly chamber work. New ideas emerged also in a session on the late quartets, especially Beethoven's recycling of sketch ideas in the late quartets, discussed by the Australian scholar Peter McCallum (University of Sydney), and a novel semiotic approach to texture, considered by Robert Hatten (Indiana University).

From left to right: Professor Herbert Kellmann (University of Illinois), Dr Malcolm Miller (Open University), Mrs Kellmann, Professor Birgit Lodes (Universities of Munich and Vienna), Professor William Kinderman (University of Illinois), Dr Katherine Syer (University of Illinois, wife of Professor Kinderman) and Professor Bruno Nettl (University of Illinois), at the Krannert Center during the 'Missa Solemnis' concert. Behind is a sculture of Beethoven.
From left to right: Professor Herbert Kellmann (University of Illinois), Dr Malcolm Miller (Open University), Mrs Kellmann, Professor Birgit Lodes (Universities of Munich and Vienna), Professor William Kinderman (University of Illinois), Dr Katherine Syer (University of Illinois, wife of Professor Kinderman) and Professor Bruno Nettl (University of Illinois), at the Krannert Center during the 'Missa Solemnis' concert. Behind is a sculture of Beethoven.

Amongst the valuable manuscripts and letters on display at the conference exhibition at the Spurlock Museum, was a particular treasure on loan from the Center for Beethoven Studies San Jose, Ferdinand Hiller's locket with a lock of Beethoven's hair. This relic has been the subject of a book by Martin Russell, and scientific testing has shed light interesting light on medical hypotheses about Beethoven's illnesses. It was supplemented by another lock of Beethoven's hair from the University of Illinois music faculty, previously in the possession of the late Alexander Ringer, Chair of Musicology and foremost author. A tribute to Ringer, who died exactly one year earlier, was given by a former student, Professor Steven Whiting (University of Michigan) who earned his doctorate with a study of Beethoven Variations, and here chaired one of the sessions. Whiting praised Ringer's ability to influence others, his thorough critical approach and his intellectual energy, all of which made him one of the key movers and shakers of the musicological community as well as one of its most prolific and erudite contributors. Still sensing his loss, the University of Illinois music department is nevertheless fortunate to have William Kinderman as their new Professor of Musicology. This Beethoven season (during which Kinderman also performed the Piano Concerto No 3) is sure to impact on the international musical community, both through the new facsimile edition and the new insights offered in the conference, to be published in proceedings, one hopes, in the not too distant future.

The Krannert Center
The Krannert Center

 

Copyright © 7 August 2003 Malcolm Miller, London, UK

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THE KRANNERT CENTER

THE MISSA SOLEMNIS PROJECT

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