Enlightenment and Romanticism in Music History

Enlightenment and Romanticism in Music History

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19th-Century Music, XXV/2–3, pp. 108–126. ISSN: 0148-2076. © 2002 by The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Send requests for permission to reprint to: Rights and Permissions, University

of California Press, Journals Division, 2000 Center St., Ste. 303, Berkeley, CA 94704-1223.

JAMES WEBSTER

At the beginning of the twenty-Ž rst century, the traditional periodization of European mu- sic between 1700 and 1975—late Baroque; Clas- sical; Romantic; modern—seems increasingly problematic. Although my arguments against the idealizing concept of “Classical Style” have (I believe) contributed to a consensus on the need for rethinking the years around 1800, there is as yet no agreement on a music-historio- graphical alternative. My own suggestion along these lines is “First Viennese Modernism,” a

concept that I Ž nd productive regarding not only the music of the later eighteenth century but that of the early nineteenth as well.1

To give the argument in brief: although Viennese music was decisive for the history of the art during the last half of the eighteenth century and the Ž rst quarter of the nineteenth, this was for reasons other than those usually adduced under the banner of “classicism.” It was not typical of the European continent as a whole, nor was the culture that sustained it. But it was modern, in every sense. Moreover, it played a crucial role in the profound intellec- tual-cultural shift from Enlightenment to Ro- manticism, a shift that resonated with the even broader historical change from the ancien régime to postrevolutionary, industrialized,

Between Enlightenment and Romanticism in Music History: “First Viennese Modernism” and the Delayed Nineteenth Century

An earlier, more narrowly focused treatment of this topic was delivered at a conference in Vienna on Viennese Clas- sicism, November 2000; it will appear as “Die ‘Erste Wiener Moderne’ als historiographische Alternative zur ‘Wiener Klassik’,” in Der Begriff der Wiener Klassik in der Musik, ed. Gernot Gruber (in press). A version resembling the present one was delivered at Harvard University in May 2001; I thank Reinhold Brinkmann for the invitation and for constructive suggestions. For suggestions regarding the historiographical literature (and more), I thank Karol Berger, James Hepokoski, and Michael P. Steinberg.

1James Webster, Haydn’s “Farewell” Symphony and the Idea of Classical Style (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 335–66; for “First Viennese Modernism,” see pp. 356–57, 372–73.

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JAMES WEBSTER “First Viennese Modernism”

bourgeois society. In Vienna, the most impor- tant decades of this development comprised not only the prerevolutionary 1780s of Haydn and Mozart and Beethoven’s “heroic” phase of 1803–12 (both privileged by music historians), but also the postrevolutionary, if conservative 1790s (which have received far less attention). These years “between” Enlightenment and Ro- manticism were no mere transition, however; they constituted an equally weighty phase, on the same historical-structural “level,” as those that preceded and followed it. Concomitantly, Romanticism as such did not become predomi- nant in music until 1815, in Viennese music (except for the Lied) perhaps not even until 1828/30. For both reasons, it makes sense to regard the beginning of the music-historical nineteenth century as having been “delayed,” until around 1815 or 1830.

Periods, Periodizations, and Multivalent History

All the temporal spans mentioned above are examples of (music-)historical periods. Few gen- eral historians have systematically discussed issues of periods and periodizations during the last quarter-century. Although on one level this reluctance simply re ects the ever-increasing specialization of the discipline, on historio- graphical grounds it would seem to have been overdetermined: by the apparently simplistic, over-generalizing character of most period des- ignations; by a desire for objectivity in histori- cal writing following World War II, signaled in this case by the nominalistic stance that period terms and concepts are mere labels of conve- nience, lacking explanatory value, on the one hand, and avoiding ideological overtones, on the other; and by a preference for “thickly tex- tured” history and cultural studies, in opposi- tion to the traditional “histories of events.”2 In

this shying away from periodistic thinking, the undeniable attractions of metahistory have doubtless also played a role, particularly as it intersects with the antifoundationalist intel- lectual climate of postmodernism.3

This marginalization of period concepts, how- ever, is based on an illusion or self-deception. Notwithstanding the ostensible sophistication of the arguments raised against them (for ex- ample, that “grand narratives” in history are arbitrary, partial, self-replicating, and often ten- dentious), they remain central, even in the work of those who might wish to deny this. The fact that many histories instantiate older or more fundamental worldviews, literary genres, and rhetorical tropes (a position associated espe- cially with Hayden White)4 does not affect their organizational and rhetorical dependence on “stage narratives,” which is to say on periods and periodizations.5 In this respect, period con- cepts are analogous to plot in literary theory: plot was marginalized by the New Critics and still is in many quarters, yet it remains the most important aspect of Ž ction and drama (including opera).6 The essentiality of both plot and periodization rests in their common status

2From the vast literature I cite Reinhart Koselleck, Fu- tures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time, trans. Keith Tribe (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1985); Philippe Carrard, Poetics of the New History: French Historical Discourse from Braudel to Chartier (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1992); William A. Green, His- tory, Historians, and the Dynamics of Change (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1993), chaps. 2, 9; Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr., Beyond the Great Story: History as Text and Discourse (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 1995).

3For example, although Michel Foucault erects strongly, indeed schematically, differentiated periods (based on his discourse-generating “epistemes”), he attempts not to or- ganize them into a periodization. See The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences, trans. anon. (New York: Vintage Books, 1970). 4Hayden White, Tropics of Discourse (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1978), esp. the intro. and chaps. 2–3; idem, The Content of Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation (Baltimore: John Hopkins Uni- versity Press, 1987). A striking music-historical example is Adolf Sandberger’s account of Haydn’s compositional development, based (unconsciously) on a fairy tale or quest archetype; see Webster, Haydn’s “Farewell” Symphony, pp. 341–47. 5Carrard, Poetics of the New History, chap. 2; Berkhofer, Beyond the Great Story, chap. 5. 6The most useful introduction to plot and narrative in literature—and not only because of its relative accessibil- ity—remains Peter Brooks, Reading for the Plot: Design and Intention in Narrative (New York: A. Knopf, 1984). Regarding plot in opera, see Carolyn Abbate’s post- modernistically inspired dismissal in Unsung Voices: Op- era and Musical Narrative in the Nineteenth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991), pp. 5–11, and the rehabilitation in Jessica Waldoff and James Webster, “Operatic Plotting in Le nozze di Figaro,” in Wolfgang Amadè Mozart: Essays on His Life and His Music, ed. Stanley Sadie (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), pp. 250–95, §§ 1–2.

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as narrative—the primary means by which we organize all types of temporal experience, in- cluding history.7 And in the long run even metahistory is likely to be a less effective “cure” for bad periodizing than a robustly revisionist periodization, one that acknowledges, rather than represses, the need to organize temporally our understanding of the past. For one cannot think about, still less investigate, the cease- less, inŽ nitely complex  ow of historical events without segmenting them into time spans.

A historical period is a construction. Periods don’t just happen; still less are they given “ob- jectively” in the historical record, as Guido Adler, the founder of style analysis in musicol- ogy, believed.8 On the contrary, a periodization is not so much true or false, as a reading, a way of making sense of complex data; periodizations serve the needs and desires of those who make and use them. The moment we inquire into the nature or limits of our chosen time spans, we almost inevitably construe them as having been determined, or at least strongly characterized, by certain classes of phenomena, such that they can be understood as effectively uniŽ ed.9 This is so whoever “we” are, and whether we con- ceive our historical intentions as “objective” or interest-driven.

In a late, untranslated article, Carl Dahlhaus offered a sustained meditation on music-his- torical periods; his conclusion reads as follows:

The analysis of the methodological structure of mu- sic-historical period concepts . . . implies that a period concept

1. belongs primarily but not exclusively to mu- sic history [as opposed to the “present” of the

time interval in question], as reconstructed in retrospect by the historian;

2. represents a coherence of signiŽ cance and func- tionality [einen Sinn- und Funktionszusam- menhang], which is interpretable as an ideal type in Max Weber’s sense;

3. can be described as a network of relationships within which, without its having a center, one can move directly or indirectly from any given point to any other;

4. is a congeries [Konnex] of features, of which the foundational relations [Fundierungsverhält- nisse] are indeterminate as a matter of prin- ciple, but can be determined in a given case [kasuell];

5. entails the expectation—in anticipation of a uniŽ ed coherence [geschlossener Zusammen- hang]—that, through patient efforts of empiri- cal research into detail, at least a portion of the constructed or reconstructed coherence of signiŽ cance and functionality [cf. point 2] can be gradually tracked down in the documents that pertain to the past. Between the ideal type, which as an assumption-in-advance [Vorausnahme] remains to be realized, and the historical document, which as a (possibly mis- leading) testimony to reality [Wirklichkeit] re- quires interpretation, the outlines of that which is unknown, past reality [die vergangene Realität], “wie es eigentlich gewesen,” gradu- ally emerge.10

Thus Dahlhaus agrees that (music-)historical periods are constructions, indeed retrospective reconstructions, which we interpret as concep- tually coherent even though they will scarcely have seemed so in their own time. Weber’s

10Carl Dahlhaus, “Epochen und Epochenbewusstsein in der Musikgeschichte,” in Epochenschwelle und Epochenbewusstsein, ed. Reinhart Herzog and Reinhart Koselleck (Munich: W. Fink, 1987), p. 96; rpt. in Dahlhaus, Gesammelte Schriften, ed. Hermann Danuser et al., vol. I (Laaber: Laaber, 2000), pp. 303–19. “Wie es eigentlich gewesen” (as it actually was) is the famous characteriza- tion of the goal of historical understanding propounded by the nineteenth-century German historian Leopold Ranke. Dahlhaus’s primary example in this article is Viennese Classicism; for a similar discussion oriented toward the nineteenth century, see Foundations of Music History, trans. J. B. Robinson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), pp. 141–44.

7Hans Robert Jauss, Toward an Aesthetic of Reception, trans. Timothy Bahti (Minneapolis: University of Minne- sota Press, 1982), pp. 53–62; Paul Ricoeur, Time and Nar- rative, 3 vols., trans. Kathleen McLaughlin and David Pellauer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984–88), vol. I, pt. 2; vol. III, pt. 4, section 2; Berkhofer, Beyond the Great Story, chap. 2. 8Guido Adler, Handbuch der Musikgeschichte, 2 vols. (2nd edn. Berlin: Keller, 1929–30), I, 69. 9Fritz Schalk, “Über Epoche und Historie,” in Studien zur Periodisierung und zum Epochenbegriff [Mainz:] Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur: Abhandlungen der geistes- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Klasse, 1972, no. 4, pp. 12–38.

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“ideal type” (point 2), with its characteristic combination of empirical research and general- izing speculation, was a central aspect of Dahlhaus’s historiography;11 in other contexts, more plausibly in my view, he uses the concept “coherence of signiŽ cance and functionality” to characterize individual artworks.12 Point 3, with its image of a “network” without a “cen- ter,” relates interestingly to his preferred meta- phors for thematicist analysis, speciŽ cally regarding “subthematicism” in late-style Beethoven and Wagner’s leitmotivic tech- niques.13 Point 4 means that, as a generaliza- tion applying to all periods, no assertion can be made to the effect that one domain (aesthetic ideas, compositional practice, musical institu- tions, economic and social circumstances, and so forth) is foundational with respect to others, but that nevertheless such a determination can often be made in a given individual case (as we will see, Dahlhaus often takes major water- sheds of political-military history as founda- tional for music history). Point 5, Ž nally, amounts to his thesis: the historical “truth” of a period emerges, if at all, through dialogue between empirical investigation and specula- tive re ection: a historiographical version of the hermeneutic circle.14

Recent North American musicology has pro- duced little that can be placed by the side of Dahlhaus’s thoughts on period construction.15

To be sure, our survey texts still tend to be organized around the traditional style periods, but they devote little critical attention to the problematics or historiography of such divi- sions. Indeed the inertia (or reiŽ cation) of the style periods themselves, which have changed little since Adler, doubtless inhibits such questionings. By contrast, in Europe both Jacques Handschin’s Musikgeschichte im Überblick of 1948 and the majority of the rel- evant volumes in Dahlhaus’s more recent Neues Handbuch der Musikwissenschaft proceed on the ostensibly objective (or nominalistic) basis of simply following the centuries as determined by the calendar.16 Handschin’s skeptical com- ments on the traditional style periods have in many ways never been surpassed.17 Dahlhaus’s organization stands in conscious opposition to that in Ernst Bücken’s predecessor series, whose allegiance to the style periods is evident from the titles alone, for example, Heinrich Besseler’s Die Musik des Mitteralters und der Renais- sance and Bücken’s own Die Musik des Rokokos und der Klassik.18 In place of the style periods, Dahlhaus emphasizes the social and organizational “systems” that shaped musical production and reception, as does Lorenzo Bianconi in his in uential Music in the Seven- teenth Century.19 (One might speculate that

11Philip Gossett, “Carl Dahlhaus and the ‘Ideal Type’,” this journal 13 (1989), 49–56. Although Dahlhaus’s appli- cation of the concept sometimes involved special plead- ing—see Gossett, pp.52–56—its value as a general approach to many issues of history and analysis is not thereby com- promised. 12For example, Dahlhaus, “‘Gleichzeitigkeit des Ungleichzeitigen’,” Musica 41 (1987), 307–10 (a study to which I shall return); here, p. 310, col. 1. 13Regarding Beethoven—we may ignore Wagner in this con- text—see Webster, “Dahlhaus’s Beethoven and the Ends of Analysis,” Beethoven Forum 2 (1993), 212–16, 222–24. 14See Beiträge zur musikalischen Hermeneutik, ed. Dahlhaus (Regensburg: G. Bosse, 1975), esp. his “Fragmente zur musikalischen Hermeneutik,” pp. 159–72; trans. Karen Painter, “Fragments of a Musical Hermeneutics,” Current Musicology 50 (1992), 5–20. For an insightful overview of Dahlhaus’s historiography, see James Hepokoski, “The Dahlhaus Project and Its Extra-musicological Sources,” this journal 14 (1991), 221–46. 15A useful (albeit resolutely Germanic) survey is Thomas Hochradner, “Probleme der Periodisierung von Musikge- schichte,” Acta Musicologica 67 (1995), 55–70.

16Jacques Handschin, Musikgeschichte im Überblick (Lucerne: Räber, 1948); Die Musik des 17. Jahrhunderts, ed. Werner Braun (Wiesbaden: Athenaion, 1981); Die Musik des 18. Jahrhunderts, ed. Dahlhaus (Laaber: Laaber, 1985); Dahlhaus, Nineteenth-Century Music, trans. J. Bradford Robinson (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of Cali- fornia Press, 1989). For a (problematical) translation of the Ž rst section of Dahlhaus’s superb introduction to the eigh- teenth-century volume, see “The Eighteenth Century as a Music-Historical Epoch,” trans. Ernest Harriss, College Mu- sic Symposium 26 (1986), 1–6; for an insightful commen- tary on the volume, see Eugene K. Wolf, “On the History and Historiography of Eighteenth-Century Music: Re ec- tions on Dahlhaus’s Die Musik des 18. Jahrhunderts,” Jour- nal of Musicological Research 10 (1991), 239–55. 17Handschin, Musikgeschichte im Überblick, pp. 15–27, 273–76 (the latter passage is the introduction to his single [!] chapter entitled “The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Cen- turies”). 18Heinrich Besseler, Die Musik des Mittelalters und der Renaissance (Postdam: Athenaion, 1931); Ernst Bücken, Die Musik des Rokokos und der Klassik (Potsdam: Athenaion, 1928). 19Lorenzo Bianconi, Music in the Seventeenth Century, trans. David Bryant (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).

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the correlation between Dahlhaus’s and Bianconi’s organization by centuries rather than style periods, and their increased attention to institutional at the expense of compositional history, is not coincidental.)

The course of a given period in any domain— whether the output of an individual artist, an entire artistic repertory, or even the fate of nations and empires—is usually understood in terms of the organic narrative: growth–matu- rity–decay. In particular, because the condition of “maturity” appears at the midpoint or cli- max, it is almost predestined to function as the foundational metaphor for historical investiga- tions of style.20 The danger is that the idealizing tendencies of organicist thinking induce us to think of a style period in terms of any discover- able unity within it (Dahlhaus’s “uniŽ ed co- herence”)—as well as whatever is conceptually most distinct from the preceding and following periods. A telling indication of this orientation is the tendency to “graph” the temporal course of a period by means of a sine-curve or bell- shaped curve, which begins, so to speak, at 0 on the x-axis, mounts smoothly upwards to a high point, more or less in the middle (occasionally two-thirds of the way along, corresponding to the golden section and to the preferred place- ment of dramatic climaxes), and descends into insigniŽ cance (illustrations are given below). The high point represents the conceptual unity of the period (everything foreign is minimized); conversely the “zero-point” at the beginning and end signiŽ es the effective absence of those characteristics, compared to others proper to the preceding and following periods. Hence even an ostensibly nominalistic period construction is everything other than objective or value-free; the organic worldview is as value-laden as any- thing in our culture, perhaps especially when it functions covertly.21 This applies particularly to the “centuries”: just as, during the post- Reformation transition to the modern world, the traditional sense of a century as a mere

marker of chronology gradually turned into a signifying substantive (the French equivalent to “the Enlightenment” was, and is, le siècle des lumières),22 so Dahlhaus’s ideal of a music- historical century as a neutral site where we may hope to discover wie es eigentlich gewesen is unlikely to be realized in practice.

Notwithstanding the sophistication of Dahl- haus’s account of period construction, like most recent historians he says little about the rela- tion between a given historical period and oth- ers. And yet the attempt to understand a given period in isolation is the historiographical equivalent of solipsism: a given period makes sense only in terms of its relations to its tem- poral neighbors, as an element in a periodization or “multistage” narrative. This is true even though periodizations are more value-laden than single periods; many depend on a small reper- tory of ideologically charged worldviews.23 Of these, the most important are the originary, in which phenomena are seen as having enjoyed their perfect or ideal manifestation in their ear- liest stage, followed by decline; the organic (just described); and the teleological, in which phenomena are interpreted in terms of the goal or end to which they are thought to lead. Obvi- ously, each worldview valorizes one of the three possible positions within a ternary periodi- zation: beginning, middle, end.

Contiguous periods, in both verbal descrip- tions and visual representations, tend to be rep- resented as overlapping, rather than merely jux- taposed. Even with respect to generally accepted period divisions, for example Renaissance to Baroque, every teacher of music history ex- plains that the latter did not commence pre- cisely on 1 January 1600, but arose via a com- plex, decades-long process of change. These overlappings doubtless relate to the most per- vasive organic periodizations we know, the stages of a human life and the rhythm of the seasons, in which the boundaries cannot be precisely determined: no single year marks the

20Dahlhaus, Foundations of Music History, pp. 13–18. 21On “covert values” in musicology, see Janet M. Levy, “Covert and Casual Values in Recent Writings about Mu- sic,” Journal of Musicology 5 (1987), 3–27; for organicism in particular, Ruth A. Solie, “The Living Work: Organicism and Musical Analysis,” this journal 4 (1980), 147–56.

22Koselleck, Futures Past, pp. 246–47. 23For a systematic survey of periodizations, see Webster, “The Concept of Beethoven’s ‘Early’ Period in the Context of Periodizations in General,” Beethoven Forum 3 (1994), 1–27.

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change from maturity to old age, no single day (despite the solstice) the onset of winter. Al- though in the imagination (not in reality) win- ter is a zero-state of dormancy, it is not a mere point in time but a period in its own right, indeed a teleologically charged one, pointing toward the renewal of spring. This orientation manifests itself verbally in the ubiquitous meta- phors of decay and rebirth to describe such changes, whether for individual œuvres or en- tire style periods. Thus for Maynard Solomon, Beethoven’s transitions from one period to an- other were marked by crises, in which “the prevailing style either reaches its outer limits of development or undergoes a process of disin- tegration or exhaustion, while a new style, which will predominate in the succeeding pe- riod, may begin to emerge.”24 For Dahlhaus, the years 1789–1814 constitute an overtly transi- tional “pre-Romantic” period.25 Often it is pre- cisely the metaphorical “seeds” produced dur- ing the maturity of the preceding period that are thought to generate the new period’s growth.

All this may explain why we often construe the transitions between periods as subsidiary periods in their own right. Two familiar ex- amples in music history (both borrowed from art history) are “mannerism” as linking Re- naissance and Baroque, and the (now passé) “Rococo” as bridging Baroque and Classical. Whether such linking phases are best consid- ered transitions or small-scale, independent pe- riods cannot be generalized about, but can be determined only by each individual observer in each individual case, in part on the basis of pre- rational notions as to whether or not all peri- ods must have approximately the same length or “weight.” Examples from around 1800 will be given below.

A Ž nal methodological issue involves the no- tion that, within a given area or culture, events in the various domains of human activity—

politics, economics, mentalités, the arts, and so on; and similarly within the several arts— re ect a single Zeitgeist; or, less controver- sially, that they participate together in a “struc- tural history,” developing in temporally con- gruent patterns that can be related to a coher- ent general tendency, for example the rise of modernism around 1900.26 By and large, Zeit- geist thinking in its cruder forms is now re- jected by comparative historians, in favor of what Eugene K. Wolf has engagingly called “contrapuntal” history; one might also suggest “multivalent,” owing to the analogy with a leading current paradigm of musical analysis.27

The thesis is simply that events in different domains do not necessarily run parallel: they may differ in character or “value” at a given place and time; they may develop differentially, regarding both the dates of their beginning, middle, and end stages and their rates of devel- opment; and these differences apply both within a given region and across different ones.28 The “watersheds” between periods can occur at dif- ferent times, whether in different domains in the same geographical area (the Renaissance in music both began and ended later than in the visual arts and literature—and this is not a problem, but an opportunity), or in a single domain in different areas (the musical Baroque persisted longer in Protestant Germany and the Hapsburg lands than in France or Italy). Of course, one can argue that even a single do- main in a single area—say, music in Vienna 1780–1815—was subject to heterogeneous or even opposing forces and values, such that to deŽ ne it as “the x period” privileges certain

24Maynard Solomon, “The Creative Periods of Beethoven” (1973), rpt. in his Beethoven Essays (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1989), p. 122. 25Dahlhaus, Nineteenth-Century Music, pp. 19–20, 55–56, and Die Musik des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 62–68, 335–45. Dahlhaus himself (p. 63) confesses his embarrassment with the “Verlegenheitsterminus” Vorromantik.

26Dahlhaus, Foundations of Music History, chap. 9. For accessible critiques of Zeitgeist thinking, see William We- ber, “Toward a Dialogue Between Historians and Musi- cologists,” Musica e storia 1 (1993), 7–21 (here, 15–18); “Beyond Zeitgeist: Recent Work in Music History,” Jour- nal of Modern History 66 (1994), 321–45. 27For “contrapuntal” history, see Wolf, “The Eighteenth Century,” p. 240. The term “multivalence” was coined by Harold S. Powers in a (still) unpublished study of Verdi’s Otello, presented at a Verdi-Wagner conference at Cornell University in 1984. For discussion and use, see Webster, “The Analysis of Mozart’s Arias,” in Mozart Studies, ed. Cliff Eisen (London: Clarendon Press, 1991), pp. 101–99, and “The Form of the Finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Sym- phony,” Beethoven Forum 1 (1992), 25–62. 28Jauss, Toward an Aesthetic of Reception, pp. 36–39.

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characteristics or criteria and thereby under- states its complexity or perpetuates a covert agenda. On the other hand, in this context the celebration of multifariousness eventually reaches a point of diminishing returns: even if the understanding of historical phenomena that periods offer is always partial and self-inter- ested, the only alternative is—no understand- ing at all.

As a consequence of historical multivalence (to come to this obvious point at last), a histori- cal century need not coincide with the calen- dar. The nineteenth can be construed, not as having lasted precisely from 1800 to 1900 but, depending on which characteristics are taken as deŽ ning, as having begun before or after 1800, or ended before or after 1900, and hence as having been, as a whole, shorter or longer than 100 years. Many historians have written of the “long” nineteenth century, beginning in 1789 or 1782 (or even around 1750)29 and last- ing until the outbreak of the First World War (this latter point is obvious, especially in the arts). But if this is true of (European) history in general, it is even truer of a single domain within it, such as European music; for example, in Dahlhaus’s parsing of music history the sev- enteenth century lasted from ca. 1600 to ca. 1720, the eighteenth from ca. 1720 to 1814, and the nineteenth, oddly (or interestingly), pre- cisely 100 years, from 1814 to 1914.

In recent German historiography, Ž nally, much has been made of the “contemporaneity of the non-contemporaneous” (Gleichzeitigkeit des Ungleichzeitigen), and its converse.30 A simple example in our Ž eld is the common notion that an artwork is “ahead of its time” (which admittedly makes less sense the longer

one ponders it). As a generalized methodology it encourages historians to consider events from different times and domains as belonging to- gether, notionally and possibly even “essen- tially,” and conversely. Although this concept is clearly useful—there are real advantages (as well as disadvantages) to treating the musical Renaissance together with those in art and lit- erature, despite its later date—it tends to pre- serve Zeitgeist thinking after all, because it still privileges the notion of a “deep” or “real” connectedness across domains and decades and therefore often ignores the variety and messi- ness of history wie es eigentlich gewesen. A relevant example is Dahlhaus’s astonishing as- sertion that “the revolutionary stance of the ‘Eroica’ [Symphony] has never been denied: in the inner chronology of world history, the work cries out to be backdated to 1789.”31 This is scarcely more than the “vulgar Marxism” that elsewhere he took pains to disparage: it places the Eroica in the position of a “mere” artistic event on the ephemeral “superstructure” that overlay the real, material-political “base” rep- resented by the French Revolution. (For music historians, why shouldn’t the latter equally well “cry out” to be “foredated” to 1803?) What cries out for skepticism—notwithstanding Beethoven’s having toyed with the title “Bonaparte”—is the uncritical assumption of an “inner chronology of world history”: of a “necessary” connection between a political and social revolution in France beginning in 1789, and a symphony composed and premiered in the very unrevolutionary Vienna of 1803–04.

As this example suggests, notwithstanding his consistent problematizations of period con- struction,32 Dahlhaus often ends up reifying traditional watersheds of political-military his- tory. Thus his division-points within eigh- teenth-century music history fall at 1745, 1763, and 1789, while his nineteenth century “Ž ts comfortably within the years 1814 and 1914—

31Dahlhaus, Ludwig van Beethoven: Approaches to His Music, trans. Mary Whittall (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991), p. 16; admittedly, he attempts to relativize this salvo in Die Musik des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 336–39. 32Dahlhaus, Die Musik des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 1–8, 71– 72, 139–47, 227–31, 335–38 (plus a generalized problematiz- ing paragraph on p. 24); Dahlhaus, Nineteenth-Century Music, pp. 1–8, 54–57, 114–17, 192–95, 263–65, 330–39.

29For the year 1789, see E. J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Revo- lution, 1789–1848 (Cleveland: World, 1962), p. 1; for 1782, see George Macauley Trevelyan, British History in the Nineteenth Century (1782–1901) (London: Longmans, Green, 1922), p. viii; and for 1750, Hobsbawm, Industry and Empire: An Economic History of Britain since 1750 (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1968), p. 1. Cf. David Blackbourn, The Long Nineteenth Century: A History of Germany 1780–1918 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998). 30Ernst Bloch, “Nonsynchronism and the Obligation to Its Dialectics,” trans. Mark Ritter, New German Critique 11 (1977), 22–38; Dahlhaus, “‘Gleichzeitigkeit des Ungleichzeitigen’,” Musica 41 (1987), 307–10; Koselleck, Futures Past, pp. 92–105.

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years whose signiŽ cance derives in the main from political history”; “this premise encour- ages us to divide the century into subperiods or evolutionary stages bounded by dates such as 1830 and 1848 which are regarded as turning points in political history.”33 Even the bound- ary between the eighteenth and nineteenth cen- turies is placed at 1814 (which I would gloss as “1814–15”), marked by the collapse of the French empire and the Congress of Vienna. The “relative autonomy” of music history, of which in other contexts Dahlhaus made so much,34 is honored mainly in the breach.

“First Viennese Modernism”

In thinking anew about the history of music around 1800, the Ž rst step must be to jettison the traditional notion regarding the eighteenth century, namely that it comprised the Baroque and Classical periods, with the former lasting until roughly the middle of the century, the latter then supplanting it and being supplanted in turn by the Romantic at the beginning of the nineteenth (see Ž g. 1a). As is true of watersheds generally, in this construction both divides are often bridged by transitional phases (Ž g. 1b): “Rococo” or “Pre-Classical” in the one case, Beethoven in the other. Today this notion seems insupportable, if only because it derived prima- rily from a nineteenth-century Germanic hypostatization of Bach as a teleological culmi- nation—in ignorance of the chronology of his church cantatas, and without regard for the atypicality of his music and his relative isola- tion, or the many progressive aspects of his musical orientation and style, during the sec- ond quarter of the eighteenth century.35

Indeed, there are good reasons to maintain that, with respect to Europe as a whole, not only did the musical Baroque not last beyond

1720 or so, but that the years roughly from 1720 to 1780 constituted a period in their own right (Ž g. 1c). Admittedly, there is as yet no agreement on what to name it; if one did not fear that brevity equated to insigniŽ cance, one could call it the “short” eighteenth century in music history. It was dominated intellectually by the Enlightenment, culturally and institu- tionally by the international “system” of court opera in Italian, and aesthetically and stylisti- cally by two ideals: neo-Classicism (in the sense of an intended renaissance of the values and ideals of Classical antiquity, as manifested, for example, in tragédie lyrique, opera seria, and Gluck) and the galant, in a broad sense encom- passing not only “easy listening” and social grace, but Rousseau’s ideal of melody “speak- ing” directly to the listener.36 As of the 1760s was added the ideal of sensibility, as mani- fested, for example, in an entire subgenre of opera buffa from Goldoni’s and Piccinni’s La buona Žgliuola (1760) to Figaro and beyond,37

and in the EmpŽndsamkeit of C. P. E. Bach’s keyboard works. Since a composite moniker covering all these aspects will not do, I suggest simply “Enlightenment/galant,” notwithstand- ing the manifold historiographical problems as- sociated with the former concept and the fact that it was more a scientiŽ c-humanistic move- ment than an artistic one.38 Furthermore, as is required of a meaningful period construction,

33Dahlhaus, Nineteenth-Century Music, pp. 1, 54. 34For example, Dahlhaus, Foundations of Music History, chap. 8. 35Stephen A. Crist, “Beyond ‘Bach-Centrism’: Historio- graphic Perspectives on Johann Sebastian Bach and Seven- teenth-Century Music,” College Music Symposium 33–34 (1993–94), 56–69. The original and stil l valuable relativization of the traditional picture of Bach was Robert L. Marshall, “Bach the Progressive: Observations on His Later Works,” Musical Quarterly 62 (1976), 313–57.

36In a characteristically complex argument, Dahlhaus con- cludes that even though the galant, as a primarily social ideal originating in the seventeenth century, is problem- atical when employed as a global characterization of the musical style of the mid-eighteenth, it is nevertheless de- fensible (Die Musik des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 2–4, 24–32). Indeed eighteenth-century writers routinely used it as a general term for “free” styles; see Leonard G. Ratner, Clas- sic Music: Expression, Form, and Style (New York: Schirmer, 1980), pp. xv, 16; David A. Sheldon, “The Con- cept galant in the Eighteenth Century,” Journal of Musi- cological Research 9 (1989–90), 89–108. 37Mary Hunter, “‘Pamela’: The Offspring of Richardson’s Heroine in Eighteenth-Century Opera,” Mosaic 18 (1985), 61–76; Stefano Castelvecchi, “From Nina to Nina: Psycho- drama, Absorption and Sentiment in the 1780s,” Cam- bridge Opera Journal 8 (1996), 91–112; Waldoff, “Senti- ment and Sensibility in La vera costanza,” in Haydn Stud- ies, ed. W. Dean Sutcliffe (Cambridge: Cambridge Univer- sity Press, 1998), pp. 70–119; Hunter, “Rousseau, the Count- ess, and the Female Domain,” in Mozart Studies, ed. Cliff Eisen, vol. II (London: Clarendon Press, 1997), pp. 1–26. 38Weber, “Toward a Dialogue,” pp. 13–14; Berkhofer, Be- yond the Great Story, pp. 225–26.

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Baroque

a. Traditional style periods.

Classical Romantic

Baroque

b. Traditional style periods with overlapping transitional periods.

Classical

(late) Baroque

c. European-oriented (institutional history).

?

(late) Baroque

d. Viennese-oriented (modernism).

First Viennese Modernism

International Italian opera Enlightenment

Galant

e. Viennese-European double perspective.

Haydn’s sublime Mozart reception

Beethoven

f. Dahlhaus.

eighteenth century

Pre-Classical

g. Finscher.

Classical

Romantic

Romantic

Romantic

Romantic

nineteenth century

Romantic

~1750 ~1800

~1750 ~1800

~1780 ~1815

~1750 1809–30

~1780 1809–15

~1720 1814

1780 1800

Rococo Pre-Classical

(middle) Beethoven

International Italian Opera Enlightenment

Galant

~1720~1660

~1660

Trans. Turn 1

1809–15 Turn 2

1827–30

mimesis mimesis expression expression

~1720

Figure 1: Some periodizations of eighteenth-century music.

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in all these respects 1720–80 differed funda- mentally from both the preceding years (which may still count as the Baroque) and the follow- ing ones. Such distinguished (and different) au- thorities as Dahlhaus, Leonard G. Ratner, and Daniel Heartz have urged various aspects of this interpretation,39 and on the whole it seems persuasive to me.

To revert to the years around 1800, however, this construction implies that a subsequent music-historical period began around 1780— again, one that has no name. This suggests renewed attention to Friedrich Blume’s notion of a single “Classic-Romantic” period stretch- ing all the way to 1900 or 1914,40 except that in my view it must be seen as having begun not around 1750 but rather 1780. A long nineteenth century indeed! Notwithstanding Dahlhaus’s provisional objection (which admittedly he him- self relativizes) that important new genres such as the Lied and the characteristic piano piece strike a fundamentally new tone after ca. 1815,41

the coherence of “structural” music history during the period 1780–1900 seems incontro- vertible: see the steady expansion of both bour- geois musical life and institutions and the canon of masterworks, as well as the strong continu- ities affecting many other genres, form- and movement-types, multimovement cyclic pat- terns, tonality, thematically based “logic,” nar- rative paradigms, and so on.

The aesthetic continuities were equally strong. Like Blume, Dahlhaus projects the eigh- teenth century forward into the nineteenth, albeit only up to 1814. In place of stylistic and generic continuities he adduces four aesthetic ones: acceptance of the “organism” model for

musical coherence; a belief in the “originality postulate”; the aesthetic of the sublime; and the presence of “historical consciousness” re- garding past music.42 This composite is a near- equivalent to Lydia Goehr’s “regulative work- concept,” likewise seen as having originated between 1780 and 1800.43 This concept (in whichever guise) dominated musical aesthet- ics throughout the nineteenth century (and re- mained “regulative” in many respects during much of the twentieth as well). Thus systemic, stylistic/generic, and aesthetic factors all sug- gest the cogency of a music-historical period that bridges 1800, rather than beginning then.

Although I agree with the thesis of large-scale continuities beginning around 1780 and lasting well past 1800, my own construction focuses instead on what I call “First Viennese Modern- ism” (referring to both style and period). By this I understand the music of the Viennese realm—but only that realm—from 1740 or 1750 until 1810/15 or 1827/30 (Ž g. 1d). Admittedly, and corresponding to the preceding argument, within this period the phase beginning around 1780 has a special status, to which I shall turn in due course.

The preconditions for Viennese musical mod- ernism began to emerge around 1740: politi- cally with the death of Charles VI and the ac- cession of Maria Theresa; musically with the deaths of Caldara and Fux and the (at least notionally related) emergence of an indigenous galant instrumental music.44 This division point does not correspond with the general European style change around 1720 or 1730; indeed it corresponds to the otherwise discredited Ba- roque/Classical division around 1750. This is not a problem; it is simply that Baroque styles and institutions maintained themselves longer in the Hapsburg realm than in other regions— as stated, until 1740.

39Dahlhaus, Die Musik des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 3–8 (with the variant -1789 rather than -1780 and with the ensuing [sub]-period problematically rubricked as “pre-Romanti- cism” [cf. above]); Ratner, Classic Music; Heartz, “Classi- cal,” The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie (2nd edn. New York: Macmillan, 2001), vol. 5, pp. 924–29. 40In Blume’s articles “Klassik” and “Romantik” in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart: Allgemeine Enzy- klopädie der Musik, ed. Blume (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1949– 68); trans. M. D. Herter Norton as Classic and Romantic Music: A Comprehensive Survey (New York: W. W. Norton, 1970), where the thesis is stated in pointed form on pp. vii–viii. 41Dahlhaus, Die Musik des 18. Jahrhunderts, p. 65.

42Ibid., pp. 62–63. 43Lydia Goehr, The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works: An Essay in the Philosophy of Music (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992). 44This reading is also found in Heartz, Viennese School, pp. xvii–xviii, et passim, and in The New Grove Dictio- nary, 2nd edn., vol. 26, pp. 554–55 (this section of the “Vienna” article was written not by a musicologist but by Derek Beales, the distinguished biographer of Joseph II).

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Depending on the criteria, this period can be seen as having extended to either ca. 1809–15 or ca. 1827–30. The 1809–15 divide began with the bombardment and occupation of Vienna by the French in mid-May 1809 (and the pathos of Haydn’s death two weeks later, which con- Ž rmed the valedictory function of the famous performance of the Creation the preceding year). This defeat led to the collapse of the economic system and virulent in ation; one of its effects was the permanent decline of the noble patron- age system for music, which until then had functioned unchallenged, concretized for us by the rapid loss in real value of Beethoven’s so- called annuity of 1809.45 (For those who focus on Beethoven’s personal style, his adoption of a less heroic and more lyrical vein beginning around 1809 Ž ts well into this picture.46) This phase ended in 1814–15, years marked politi- cally by the Congress of Vienna and the conser- vative stabilization thus brought about, insti- tutionally by the founding of what would be- come the Gesellschaft für Musikfreunde, and musically by Schubert’s mature Lieder begin- ning with Erlkönig and Gretchen am Spinnrade and Beethoven’s temporary retreat into silence. The importance of the latter is emphasized (for us) by his subsequent turn to a very different “late” style. The latter, however, was contem- poraneous with the triumph of Rossini; indeed by the 1820s Viennese musical life had begun to assume an entirely new character, leading to the duality “Beethoven vs. Rossini” (German vs. Italian-French, symphony vs. opera, art as Kultur vs. art in culture) that dominated the historiography of nineteenth-century music from Kiesewetter to Dahlhaus.47 The later po- tential ending-divide, 1827–30, is deŽ ned more simply on the basis of the deaths of Beethoven and Schubert and Vienna’s eclipse as a center of European composition, not only by Berlin

and Leipzig, but even more by Paris following the restoration of 1830, symbolized by the pre- miere of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique in that year.

Although any of these details might be dis- puted, the notion of a Viennese musical period lasting from roughly the middle of the eigh- teenth century through the Ž rst quarter of the nineteenth is unquestionably tenable. Indeed, it may make the most sense to construe the entire span 1809–30 as its long Ž nal phase (see again Ž g. 1d). This corresponds chronologically to one of the traditional ways of parsing the “Classical period,” although (and this is cen- tral to my conception) my construction is geo- graphically restricted and makes no claim to validity in other regions, let alone for Europe as a whole. From a different perspective (to be described below) the shorter period 1780–1815 may seem to have been decisive. In either case, however, to conceptualize these years as “First Viennese Modernism” requires explication, in- deed with respect to each of its terms.

“First”: Obviously, if this period is to be under- stood as representing modernity in any sense, then it can only be as a “Ž rst” or “early” one, because the concept “modern” as such cannot be dissociated from the powerful and widespread changes in virtually all scientiŽ c, intellectual, and artistic domains at the beginning of the twentieth century. Indeed from today’s perspec- tive one construes the period ca. 1900–75 as that of “high” modernism,48 which was fol- lowed either by postmodernism (as I believe) or by the equally troubling, eternally deferred “un- Ž nished project” of late modernism, in the fa- mous phrase of Habermas.49 (Notwithstanding

45Solomon, Beethoven (2nd rev. edn. New York: Schirmer, 1998), pp. 193–94. 46On this subperiod, see The New Grove Dictionary, 2nd edn., vol. 3, pp. 96, 102; Dahlhaus, Beethoven, p. 203. 47Dahlhaus, Nineteenth-Century Music, pp. 8–15 (“The Twin Styles”); for critiques, see Gossett, “Up from Beethoven,” New York Review of Books, 26 October 1989, pp. 21–26; Lawrence Kramer, Classical Music and Postmodern Knowledge (Berkeley and Los Angeles: Uni- versity of California Press, 1995), pp. 46–51.

48See, e.g., Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism; or, the Cul- tural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham, N.C.: Duke Uni- versity Press, 1991), p. 55: “the evaluation of what must now be called high or classical [!] modernism.” Jameson’s chap. 2, “Theories of the Postmodern,” is a useful, skepti- cal introduction to the contested issue of the relations be- tween modernism and postmodernism; regarding histori- cal writing, see Berkhofer, Beyond the Great Story, chaps. 1, 8, 9. For a more optimistic account oriented toward mu- sic, see Kramer, Classical Music, pp. 1–25 et passim. 49Jürgen Habermas, “Die Moderne—Ein unvollendetes Projekt,” in Kleine politische Schriften (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1981), pp. 444–64.

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JAMES WEBSTER “First Viennese Modernism”

the vast literature, there has been as far as I see relatively little acknowledgment that postmodernism is not merely a sensibility, but a historical period—the one we are living in.50

Perhaps this re ects the general recent ten- dency to avoid periodistic thinking, described above. In fact, however, any time or sensibility that sees itself as following and differing from that which preceded it constitutes or inhabits a distinct period.)

Of course, until recently the canonical sense of twentieth-century modernism would have fatally compromised any concept of “First Viennese Modernism” before and after 1800. But twentieth-century modernism no longer enjoys its quasi-mythical status as the goal of postrevolutionary history in the arts—a status whose authority depended on the belief that it was in the course of being realized in one’s own “present.” As just noted, it now belongs irretrievably to the past, its hegemony broken; today, “modernism” functions as scarcely more than an ostensibly nominalistic style and pe- riod designation, like any other. Moreover, dur- ing the last quarter-century postmodernism has extended into almost as many intellectual and cultural domains as did modernism around 1900, so that the latter also cannot be rescued by an appeal to its supposedly exceptional sta- tus as Zeitgeist. These strictures apply above all to the heroic myth of musical modernism, with its avant-garde, scandal-ridden works of Schoenberg (and Stravinsky) that later became canonized, the teleological role of serialism as the culmination of “thematic logic” from Haydn through Brahms, and all the rest. Not- withstanding its promulgation by such impor- tant Ž gures as Adorno and Dahlhaus, it now stands exposed as a classic example of bad old evolutionist thinking: nobody any longer shares Dahlhaus’s conŽ dent belief in the ability to distinguish between those twentieth-century works that will last, and those, as he liked to say, that must be tossed into the dustbin of

history.51 Even the (by modernists) once-de- spised Richard Strauss is now increasingly seen as a legitimate exemplar, a reading that con- forms to that of Dahlhaus and other German scholars who employ the term “modernism” speciŽ cally for the subperiod 1889–1914 (or –1918).52 Like that of modernism in general, the hegemony of musical modernism declined rapidly after ca. 1965, to be replaced by a still- exfoliating pluralism whose further course no- body even pretends to know.

This change is clearly acknowledged in the recent literature.53 In Hermann Danuser’s vol- ume on the twentieth century in Dahlhaus’s Neues Handbuch, the Ž nal chapter is titled “1950–1970” and includes only a brief “Aus- blick” on “modernism, postmodernism, and neomodernism.” 54 To be fair, one must add that it was published in 1984, well before the end of the chronological century; this only makes more telling Danuser’s clear sense that high modernism had already run its course. The Ž rst edition (1981) of Paul GrifŽ ths’s widely read volume on music after World War II was titled Modern Music: The Avant Garde since 1945, conveying the sense that high modern- ism was alive and well; in the second (1995) this was altered to Modern Music and After, with equally strong implications that are clearly expressed in the text (the new section devoted to modernism’s afterlife is titled “Many Riv- ers”).55 A recent political-musical study by Anne

50Again, Jameson (Postmodernism, pp. 35–36, 59–61) gives this sense clearly.

51“The concept of the New Music . . . serves to make a portion of the works created during the 20th century stand out from the mass of the remaining ones” (emphases added): “‘Neue Musik’ als historische Kategorie” (1969), rpt. Dahlhaus, Schönberg und andere: Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Neuen Musik (Mainz: Schott, 1978), p. 29. 52Walter Werbeck, “Richard Strauss und die musikalische Moderne,” in Richard Strauss und die Moderne: Bericht über das Internationale Symposium München, 21. bis 23. Juli 1999, ed. Bernd Edelmann et al. (Berlin: Henschel, 2001), pp. 31–37; Dahlhaus, Nineteenth-Century Music, pp. 330–39; Danuser, Die Musik des 20. Jahrhunderts (Laaber: Laaber, 1984), pp. 13–24. 53Including, in one form or another, by all the participants in the conference “Music and the Aesthetics of Moder- nity” held at Harvard University, November 2001 (it is planned to publish the papers in a volume edited by Karol Berger and Anthony Newcomb). 54Danuser, Die Musik des 20. Jahrhunderts, pp. 392–406. 55Paul GrifŽ ths, Modern Music: The Avant Garde since 1945 and Modern Music and After (London: Dent, 1981; Oxford University Press, 1995).

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complain about the mixture of high and low style in its instrumental music, which seemed to them a violation of cogency and a breach of decorum.61 Even Haydn’s early instrumental works conform to this picture; publications of his music abroad did not begin to appear until 1764,62 reviews and critical commentary not until 1766–68.63 On the other hand, as Heartz emphasizes, Vienna already boasted of note- worthy achievements in the years immediately following 1750;64 one need add only Haydn’s early string quartets, original and masterly “de- spite” their unassuming outward dimensions,65

and his imposing symphonic trilogy Le Matin- Le Midi-Le Soir of 1761. In short, this music had no need of “synthesis,” as the evolutionist sense of “Classical style” must posit; it devel- oped largely on its own.

That growth was tremendous, in both vocal genres and the rapidly developing instrumental ones. As early as the so-called Sturm und Drang of the late 1760s and early 1770s, there must have been a conscious demand for “great” mu- sic; see Haydn’s Quartets from op. 9 through op. 20, perhaps composed for (unidentiŽ ed) Viennese patrons,66 not to mention his aston- ishing Esterházy symphonies from the same years. Even against this background, however, the 1780s witnessed a new musical culture;

Shref er places the divide as early as ca. 1965;56

the sociologically oriented Leon Botstein like- wise concludes that heroic musical modernism died out in the mid-1970s.57 “Modern music,” in this newly historicized and relativized sense, can no longer serve as a basis for rejecting con- cepts of earlier modernisms in music, even em- phatic ones.

“Viennese”: Strictly speaking, one should em- ploy the ugly term “Viennese-European.” For a critical aspect of my construction is that the beginnings of this music were local and mod- est, while its long-term effects were aestheti- cally and historically decisive across the entire continent. To be sure, although there were im- portant local traditions such as the sacred “pastorella” and Hanswurst-type dramatic pro- ductions, Viennese vocal music at midcentury depended primarily on foreign genres and styles: Italianate sacred vocal music and opera seria, and French ballet and opéra comique (the latter two a hallmark of the new sensibility after 1740);58 in the later 1760s opera buffa became important as well.59

By contrast, after 1740 Viennese instrumen- tal music was chie y local and galant in orien- tation; the in uence of C. P. E. Bach, for ex- ample, cannot be documented there until the late 1760s, whether in terms of the dissemina- tion of his works or compositional reception.60

Similarly, at Ž rst this music had little reso- nance elsewhere; the theorists and journalists who debated the burning issues of the day scarcely took notice of Vienna, unless it was to

56Anne Shref er, “Ideologies of Serialism: The Political Implications of Modernist Music, 1945–1965,” delivered at the Harvard conference, in which 1965 marked “the end of high modernism.” 57Leon Botstein, “Modernism,” in The New Grove Dictio- nary, 2nd edn., vol. 16, p. 873. 58Bruce Alan Brown, Gluck and the French Theatre in Vienna (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991). 59Opera Buffa in Mozart’s Vienna, ed. Mary Hunter and James Webster (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). 60A. Peter Brown, Joseph Haydn’s Keyboard Music: Sources and Style (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986), chap. 7; Ulrich Leisinger, Joseph Haydn und die Entwicklung des klassischen Klavierstils bis ca. 1785 (Laaber: Laaber, 1994), chap. 7; Bernard Harrison, Haydn’s Keyboard Music: Studies in Performance Practice (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), chap. 5.

61Ratner, Classic Music, p. xv. 62Joseph Haydn: Werke, XII/1, critical report, p. 25; Webster, “The Chronology of Haydn’s String Quartets,” Musical Quarterly 61 (1975), 35, n. 43. 63Extensive quotations in H. C. Robbins Landon, Haydn: Chronicle and Works, vol. 2, Haydn at Eszterháza, 1766– 1790 (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1978), pp. 128–32, 154–55 et passim; Gretchen Wheelock, Haydn’s Ingenious Jesting with Art: Contexts of Musical Wit and Humor (New York: Schirmer, 1992), chap. 3. 64Heartz, Viennese School, chap. 2. 65Webster, “Freedom of Form in Haydn’s Early String Quar- tets,” in Haydn Studies: Proceedings of the International Haydn Conference, Washington, D.C., 1975, ed. Jens Pe- ter Larsen et al. (New York: W. W. Norton, 1981), pp. 522– 30; “Haydns frühe Ensemble-Divertimenti: Geschlossene Gattung, meisterhafter Satz,” in Gesellschaftsgebundene instrumentale Unterhaltungsmusik des 18. Jahrhundert, ed. Hubert Unverricht (Tutzing: H. Schneider, 1992), pp. 87–103. 66There are no original sources for these works surviving from the Esterházy court, and Burney described a raptur- ously attended performance of Haydn quartets (presum- ably op. 17 or op. 20) in Vienna in 1772: The Present State of Music in Germany, vol. I (2nd edn. London, 1775; facs. New York: Broude, 1969), p. 294.

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indeed Viennese intellectual and cultural life altogether  ourished under Joseph II as never before, nor would again until the later nine- teenth century.67 The court assumed a far more important role in public musical life; in 1778 Joseph founded the “National-Theater” for Ger- man drama and Singspiel (for which Mozart composed Die Entführung aus dem Serail), fol- lowed in 1783 by the new opera buffa troupe (for which he composed Figaro and Così fan tutte). A local music printing industry emerged for the Ž rst time, led by Artaria (likewise founded in 1778), who quickly became Haydn’s leading publisher; it fostered tremendous growth in genres that appealed to both connoisseurs and amateurs and hence could be composed expressly for publication (primarily chamber music, but also music for orchestra and solo keyboard, as well as Lieder).

Of particular signiŽ cance, in part because it established a pattern that lasted well past 1800, was a new convergence between the activities of in uential patrons and composers’ own ar- tistic strivings. As of 1779–80 Haydn enjoyed a signiŽ cantly increased degree of compositional independence from the Esterházy court (a fact whose wide ramiŽ cations have only recently become evident).68 Notwithstanding his re- stricted residence in Vienna of two months per year, he secured patronage from, among others, Baron Gottfried van Swieten; Hofrat Franz Sales von Greiner, whose wife presided over the lead- ing Viennese salon and whose daughter later became famous as Caroline Pichler; Anton Liebe von Kreutzner, a wealthy provisioner to the Hapsburg court; Hofrat Franz Erhard von Keeß; and Michael Puchberg, better known as the recipient of Mozart’s pathetic begging letters from the late 1780s. Of course, Mozart’s arrival in 1781 had already led to his and Haydn’s friendship, which, whatever the (somewhat con- tested) truth about its character or intensity, was of incalculable importance for both com- posers’ compositional development.

The rest (as they say) is history. Beginning in the 1780s Viennese music witnessed a steady

rise in productivity, compositional technique, and artistic pretension. Until 1809, the “sys- tems” that sustained it—modes of composi- tion and publication, noble patrons, musical institutions (including theaters, “academies” and private establishments, as well as middle- class musical activity), generic preferences, and so on—remained essentially unchanged, not- withstanding the death of Joseph (and hence of the opera buffa) and the increased degree of political repression under Leopold II and Francis II, motivated in the Ž rst instance by the French Revolution. As this music developed, it gener- ated not only increasingly impressive examples in the new instrumental styles, but also radical and programmatic masterworks such as the Seven Last Words on the Cross and the Eroica Symphony, as well as humanistically uplifting works on the largest scale, such as Die Zauberöte, the Creation, and Leonore/Fidelio. Beyond that, its reception became increasingly positive and enthusiastic until, around 1800, it culminated in a pan-European triumph, sym- bolized by the reception of the Creation (and of Mozart, after his death). It is this double tri- umph—compositional and in terms of recep- tion—that justiŽ es making this music, despite its local origins, the basis of a historical period.

“Modernism”—on at least four grounds: (1) Viennese instrumental music oriented to-

ward the galant began to be critically discussed elsewhere in the mid-1760s. Although its ini- tial reception was not only spotty but disap- proving, even then it was uniformly understood as new; from around 1780 on it was almost always hailed as pathbreaking, unprecedented; in a word, as modern (cf. point [3] below). Its modernity is therefore not compelled to emerge from a retrospective assessment, as is the case with its so-called Classicism (or any “classic” art).69 On the contrary, except in the case of Beethoven, its later reception as “Classical” has precisely hindered our appreciation of it as modern.

67Derek Beales, “Vienna,” in The New Grove Dictionary, 2nd edn., vol. 26, p. 558. 68Webster, “Haydn, Joseph,” ibid., vol. 11, p. 181.

69As even Charles Rosen acknowledges in Washington Haydn Conference 1975, p. 345.

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(2) With the exception of Handel’s oratorios in England, this music (in its post-1780 phase) is the earliest repertory that has enjoyed an unbroken tradition of performance and study from its own day to ours. Put another way, it was an essential component of the original canon of masterworks created in the late eigh- teenth and (especially) early nineteenth centu- ries, “against” which, in turn, twentieth-cen- tury modernism was created.70 These links con- stitute the primary justiŽ cation for claiming that this repertory was modern in an emphatic sense, even while denying an analogous status for other “new musics” of the past such as the ars nova of the fourteenth century or the seconda prattica—the “nuove musiche”— around 1600.71 A telling (if amusing) indication of this linkage was the function of the “Classi- cal” troika, Haydn-Mozart-Beethoven, as model and hoped-for legimitization of the “Second Viennese School,” Schoenberg-Berg-Webern.

(3) It was in Vienna before and after 1780 that the Ž rst quasi-autonomous instrumental music developed. Like many others before him, E. T. A. Hoffmann called Haydn and Mozart “the creators of modern instrumental music” (die Schöpfer der neuern Instrumentalmusik); like nobody before him, he also called them and especially Beethoven the Ž rst musical “Ro- mantics” (which is to say, moderns) and thus recruited them for the future canon of “abso- lute music.”72 Haydn and Beethoven were the Ž rst composers systematically to exploit what later came to be called “musical logic.”73 With-

out employing the term, Charles Rosen bril- liantly describes Haydn’s modernity: “This sense that . . . the development and the dra- matic course of a work all can be found latent in the material, that the material can be made to release its charged force so that the music . . . is literally impelled from within—this . . . new conception of musical art changed all that followed it.”74 One can go further: like Beethoven, Haydn composed “music about music”: works that not only are music but also problematize it. For Beethoven this assertion may count as self-evident; for Haydn it will sufŽ ce to cite the tonally ambiguous opening of the String Quartet, op. 33, no. 1 (and its consequences), and the Ž nale of op. 33, no. 2; the latter, far from being merely the joke that has lent the work its nickname, is a profound essay in what it means to end, or to begin, a musical composition in the Ž rst place.75 Self- re exivity of this kind is a hallmark of mod- ernism in the arts—with the proviso, as Reinhold Brinkmann has recently pointed out, that “mere” self-re exivity is not enough; to be genuinely modern such phenomena must take on historical; i.e., broad and lasting, sig- niŽ cance (cf. point [2]).76

(4) Most importantly, this music coincided with the beginnings of modern (i.e., post- revolutionary) history.77 Nineteenth-century German historians named the eighteenth, em- phatically, die neueste Zeit (as opposed to the mere Neuzeit, equivalent to our “early modern history,” which had begun around 1500).78 Ever since, historians and literary-cultural scholars

70On the formation of the canon, see William Weber, The Rise of Musical Classics in Eighteenth-Century England: A Study in Canon, Ritual and Ideology (Oxford: Clarendon, 1992); Marcia Citron, Gender and the Musical Canon (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993). 71Dahlhaus, “‘Neue Musik’ als historische Kategorie,” p. 71; cf. the text corresponding to n. 76. Thus I would reject the implication conveyed by Leo Schrade’s title Monteverdi: Creator of Modern Music (New York: Norton, 1950). 72In his famous review of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 (1810), rpt. in Hoffmann, Schriften zur Musik; Nachlese, ed. Friedrich Schnapp (Munich: Winkler, 1963), p. 35; trans. in Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, ed. Elliot Forbes (New York: W. W. Norton, 1971), pp. 151–52. (The comparative “neuer” is aptly translated as “modern” in this context.) 73Not, of course, that Mozart “lacks” logic, but his seems to be of a different kind; at any rate, it has not been a topic of musicological discourse in the same way. This issue warrants a separate study.

74Rosen, The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (New York: Viking, 1971), p. 120. 75On No. 1, see Webster, Haydn’s “Farewell” Symphony, pp. 127–31 (earlier discussions rely on a banally corrupt text that vitiates Haydn’s point); on No. 2, the most inter- esting of many discussions are perhaps Wheelock, Haydn’s Ingenious Jesting with Art, chap. 1; Gerhard J. Winkler: “Opus 33/2: Zur Anatomie eines Schlußeffekts,” Haydn- Studien 6 (1994), 288–97. 76Brinkmann’s point was in response to a paper by Danuser on the self-re exive category of “operas about opera,” de- livered at the Harvard conference cited in n. 53. 77As was emphasized in Karol Berger’s lead paper at the same conference (from which some of the following refer- ences are drawn). 78Koselleck, Futures Past, pp. 231–66.

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have conceptualized the (later) eighteenth cen- tury as having constituted the decisive phase in the creation of our world: Mircea Eliade and Marcel Gauchet as the “disenchantment of the world,” the supplanting of faith by reason;79

Ernst Robert Curtius and Jacques Le Goff as the Ž nal dying-out of medieval mentalités un- der the pressure of the Industrial Revolution;80

Foucault as the age of “normalization”;81

Reinhart Koselleck as the Janus-faced Sattelzeit (“saddle-period”; i.e., cusp) in which many of the essential historical terms and concepts of modernity assumed their present guise;82 Hans Robert Jauss, in terms more explicitly relevant to this study, as the beginning of literary mod- ernism.83 Similarly, Kant’s “critical” philoso- phy and its subsequent dialectical historiciza- tion by Hegel, whose joint foundational role into our own day is undeniable, spanned pre- cisely the Ž fty years 1780–1830.

During the same years, music realized its new destiny as the highest and most Romantic of the arts, while yet, in distinction to genuine Romanticism, maintaining its traditional aes- thetic function as mimesis; the age of “abso- lute music” dawned only later.84 As Dahlhaus emphasized, Hoffmann’s apotheosis of the troika as “Romantics”—that is, as moderns— represented the transfer of a sensibility that had developed a half-generation earlier, in Prot- estant Germany, in a literary-aesthetic context,

to music from Catholic Austria: “Not until Beethoven did the symphony become that which it had always claimed to be, but without actually being so.”85 (He should have written “Haydn,” meaning the Haydn of the London symphonies, especially since he dismisses Mozart’s G-Minor Symphony merely on the grounds that it “scarcely . . . penetrated the consciousness of the musical public”; this does not affect the larger point.) Music’s role in these developments was not a matter of mere contemporaneity, but of cultural deeds no less signiŽ cant or in uential than those of Kant and Hegel. Adorno’s writings on Beethoven have been seminal in this regard,86 although his un- derestimation of Haydn and Mozart, for whom he proposed no link to Kant comparable to the one he posited between Beethoven and Hegel, is no longer sustainable. The Kantian interpre- tation of Mozart and Beethoven as “critical” composers (Haydn still being marginalized) was Ž rst argued seriously in English by Rose Rosengard Subotnik; she speculates interest- ingly that Adorno’s relative lack of interest in Haydn and Mozart may have derived from what seemed to him their excess (as it were) of per- fection, their total integration of sound and meaning.87

What is missing from these and similar ac- counts is an adequate sense of how this music became something that could be placed along- side philosophy.88 As I have argued elsewhere, it did so most obviously by means of a new “dynamic” sublime (precisely in Kant’s sense), which was apotheosized in Haydn’s Creation

79Mircea Eliade, The Myth of the Eternal Return, trans. Willard R. Trask (New York: Pantheon, 1954); Gauchet, The Disenchantment of the World: A Political History of Religion, trans. Oscar Burge (Princeton: Princeton Univer- sity Press, 1997). 80Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, trans. Willard R. Trask (New York: Harper and Row, 1963), pp. 19–24, 585–96; Le Goff, L’imaginaire médiéval: essais (Paris: Gallimard, 1985). 81Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Vintage Books, 1979), pp. 170–94. 82See Koselleck’s intro. to Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe: Historisches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialen Sprache in Deutschland, ed. Otto Brunner et al., vol. I (Stuttgart: E. Klett, 1972), p. xv; compare “Das achtzehnte Jahrhundert als Beginn der Neuzeit,” in Epochenschwelle, ed. Herzog and Koselleck, pp. 269–82. 83Hans Robert Jauss, “Der literarische Prozess des Modernismus von Rousseau bis Adorno,” Epochenschwelle, pp. 243–68. 84Dahlhaus, The Idea of Absolute Music, trans. Roger Lustig (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), chap. 2.

85Dahlhaus, “E. T. A. Hoffmanns Beethoven-Kritik und die Ästhetik des Erhabenen,” Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 38 (1981), 79–92 (here, 90), and cf. “Romantische Musik- ästhetik und Wiener Klassik,” ibid., 29 (1972), 289–300. 86Adorno, Beethoven: The Philosophy of Music, ed. Rolf Tiedemann, trans. Edmund Jephcott (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998). 87Rose Rosengard Subotnik, Developing Variations: Style and Ideology in Western Music (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991), chaps. 4, 7 (originally publ. 1979–82); the speculation is found on p. 50. The same applies to Dahlhaus, esp. regarding Mozart; see Webster, “Dahlhaus’s Beethoven,” pp. 211–12. 88Notwithstanding Subotnik’s claims for Mozart’s last three symphonies (Developing Variations, chap. 6). But see Pe- ter Gülke’s suggestive comments about Haydn in “Nahezu ein Kant der Musik,” Musik-Konzepte 41 (1985), 67–73.

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both artistically and culturally-politically.89 In- deed, the sublime was exploited by all three composers, most obviously by Haydn from 1791 to 1802 and Beethoven from 1803 to 12, during which the sublimity of Mozart’s Requiem, Don Giovanni, and La clemenza di Tito was grasped as well, and the musical sublime Ž rst theorized by Christian Friedrich Michaelis and Hoffmann.90 And, to repeat, the triumph of this music was pan-European; the Haydn-Mozart- Beethoven style was imitated virtually every- where until the rise of musical Romanticism in the emphatic sense, which, however, oc- curred only after 1810. The vast majority of Field’s and Dussek’s Romantic piano music originated in the second decade of the century; the same applies to Weber’s Lieder and piano works; the Lied is commonly regarded as hav- ing become a Romantic genre with Schubert’s works of mid-decade.

Hence, although this climactic phase does not yet have a name, it must be understood not as a mere transition, but as a period in its own right (see Ž g 1e). It grew out of the Enlighten- ment, which—Vienna still lagging behind other centers in this respect—remained a decisive force at least up to 1800, as works like Die Zauberöte and the Creation abundantly tes- tify. Again like the Kantian period in philoso- phy, it links the Enlightenment with Romanti- cism, rather than dividing them. Neither the traditional black-and-white division of a “Clas- sical” from a “Romantic” period of music his- tory (Ž g. 1a) nor a straightforward periodization

according to centuries à la Dahlhaus (Ž g. 1f) can do justice to the character and effects of the music of the period 1780–1815. The con- cept of musical modernism is far more adequate to all this than either “Classicism” or Dahlhaus’s “pre-Romanticism,” whereby the fact that this modernism  ourished in a rela- tively conservative (not reactionary) intellec- tual-social context doubtless contributed to its staying power in the long term.

Haydn, Beethoven, and the Delayed Nineteenth Century

In conclusion, I would like to explore brie y the later stages of “First Viennese Modernism,” those that impinge speciŽ cally on the begin- ning of the music-historical nineteenth cen- tury. In particular, this construction seems tai- lor-made for understanding Beethoven, both compositionally and in terms of reception, with- out having to enter the tired debate as to whether he was a “Classical” or a “Romantic” composer. The key decade is the 1790s, which have been notably marginalized in the domi- nant narratives in comparison with both the 1780s (Haydn’s supposed mastery of “Classical style” with the String Quartets, op. 33) and the Ž rst decade of the 1800s (the triumph of Beethoven’s “heroic” style).

The argument (naturally) has three aspects. First, for Beethoven, the recent music of Mozart and Haydn was, precisely, modern: the newest and most imposing of all. In the central genres string quartet and symphony, it required at least a decade of strenuous effort (1793–1802) for him to make them his own.91 It was only on the basis of later developments, chief among them the reception of his own music, that Haydn and Mozart were turned into “classics” (a fate that soon thereafter befell him as well). One thinks of Adorno’s notion of the “ageing of the new music,” although he meant this in an entirely different sense.92 Of course, the

89Webster, “The Creation, Haydn’s Late Vocal Music, and the Musical Sublime,” in Haydn and His World, ed. Elaine Sisman (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997), pp. 57–102. Kramer (Classical Music and Postmodern Knowl- edge, pp. 85–86) had already pointed out elements of block- age and aporia in Haydn’s “Chaos,” which in Kant’s ac- count are necessary prerequisites for, or initial stages of, the experience of the sublime, and their resolution by the Creation of Light. 90Sisman, Mozart: The “Jupiter” Symphony No. 41 in C Major (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), chap. 2, and “Learned Style and the Rhetoric of the Sub- lime in the ‘Jupiter’ Symphony,” in Wolfgang Amadè Mozart, pp. 221–26, 233–36; Michael Fend, “Literary Mo- tifs, Musical Form, and the Quest for the ‘Sublime’: Cherubini’s Eliza ou le Voyage aux glaciers du Mont St Bernard,” Cambridge Opera Journal 5 (1993), 17–38; Michela Garda, Musica sublime: Metamorfosi di un’idea nel Settecento musicale (Milan: Ricordi, 1995). On Michae- lis, see Webster, “The Creation,” pp. 61–64, 68–69.

91A cogent recent account is Lewis Lockwood, “Beethoven before 1800: The Mozart Legacy,” Beethoven Forum 3 (1994), 39–52. 92Theodor W. Adorno, “Das Altern der Neuen Musik” (1956), rpt. in Gesammelte Schriften, ed. Rolf Tiedemann et al., vol. 14 (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1980), pp. 143–67.

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avant-garde aspects of Beethoven’s own behav- ior and style (which I would be the last to deny) were ipso facto modernist; indeed the pattern of reception, from incomprehension to canoni- zation, is yet another similarity between the Ž rst and second Viennese modernisms.

Second, there is a strong analogy, based on their shared evolutionist orientation, between the insupportable marginalizations of Haydn’s music before 1781 (on the grounds of its sup- posed immaturity)93 and of Beethoven’s “early” music—again, taken to be that of the 1790s. In Beethoven’s case, the concept of Viennese mod- ernism centering around 1800 permits us to judge these works without recourse to the shop- worn notion of a merely preparatory phase in his personal development, teleologically subor- dinate to the “new path” around 1800 and the “heroic” style after 1803; and to free ourselves from the burden of concepts like “imitation” and “in uence” and the search for “models” for particular works. It also permits us to jetti- son the tired historiographical notion of a Clas- sical style that he had to “overcome,” not to mention the silly and in part fabricated stories of his troubled relationship with Haydn.94 In- stead, we may judge his works of the 1790s more simply—and more productively—as among the most prominent, novel, and suc- cessful of their (very advanced) milieu.

Third, the relationship between Haydn and Beethoven in the 1790s was a complementary one, in a positive sense, particularly when viewed in the context of Viennese musical life, many of whose “systems” and institutions, as noted above, functioned continuously until 1809. (I can only touch on the “outer” aspects of this relationship here; a fresh study of their compositional relations during this decade is sorely needed.) They often met and not infre- quently collaborated in concerts. As had been the case for Haydn and Mozart during the 1780s, many leading Viennese patrons favored both composers, often in the same genre or genres in

more or less the same years—almost as if some of them had been carrying out a common “project.” Moreover, this support took place in, precisely, a modernist climate, in which these patrons certainly expected, and may well have demanded, ever “newer” works of ever higher artistic pretension. As Tia DeNora has persuasively argued, at least one cause of Beethoven’s artistic radicalism may have been precisely the need to both arouse and satisfy such expectations.95 (Might his angry outbursts at Prince Lichnowsky’s palace have been in part “staged”? Certainly Haydn’s triumph with the Creation was in substantial part “arranged” by Swieten and his colleagues—without, of course, compromising Haydn’s artistic integ- rity.) Both composers produced an unbroken series of masterworks, together covering every important genre except opera, until Haydn had to lay down his pen in the winter of 1802–03.

In his recent contributions to the debate on “Classical style,” Ludwig Finscher has proposed that “Viennese Classicism” should apply only to Haydn and Mozart, only to their instrumen- tal music, and only during the two decades from 1780 to 1800.96 Not only does this con- struction create an oddly hump-shaped mini- phase that no longer even pretends to any sta- tus as a period (see Ž g. 1g), it ignores the Haydn- Beethoven relationship of the 1790s, even though the latter is analogous to the Haydn- Mozart relationship in the 1780s that he re- gards as fundamental, and even though it too falls within his two-decade period. I prefer the much longer span from around 1750 to 1809– 15 or 1827–30 (Ž g. 1d), even though on one reading the years from 1780 to 1815 occupy a central and perhaps even privileged position within it (Ž g. 1e), and on another (as outlined above) the years 1809 to 1830 constitute its long, honorable fading into Romanticism.

93Webster, Haydn’s “Farewell” Symphony, pp. 357–66. 94Webster, “The Falling-out Between Haydn and Beethoven: The Evidence of the Sources,” in Beethoven Essays: Stud- ies in Honor of Elliot Forbes, ed. Lewis Lockwood and Phyllis Benjamin (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Department of Music, 1984), pp. 3–45.

95Tia DeNora, Beethoven and the Construction of Genius: Musical Politics in Vienna, 1792–1803 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1995), pp. 5–8, 143–46. 96Finscher, “Haydn, Mozart und der Begriff der Wiener Klassik,” in Die Musik des 18. Jahrhunderts, pp. 236–39; repeated in substance in “Klassik,” Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart: Allgemeine Enzyklopädie der Musik, 2nd edn., vol. 5, cols. 236–38.

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Before and after 1800 Beethoven gradually made the new Viennese modernism his own and then developed it decisively further. His “heroic” music entered directly into the heri- tage of the musical sublime that Haydn had created in his London symphonies and espe- cially his late sacred vocal music; it is this renewed and sustained tradition that suggests reading the period 1780–1815 altogether as the age of the Kantian sublime in music.97 Indeed Viennese music celebrated a triple climax from 1780 to 1815: Haydn and Mozart in the 1780s; Haydn (and Beethoven) in the 1790s; Beethoven alone in the last Ž fteen years of the “long” eighteenth century. (In the other way of con- struing the end of this period there followed a fourth climax, with late-style Beethoven and Schubert.) Although modern as early as the 1750s and emphatically so by the 1780s, this music continually “remodernized” itself—with- out compromising its already astonishing level of quality—and thereby achieved a stereoscopic depth and multifariousness in the aesthetic do- main that was the counterpart to its multilay- ered historical signiŽ cance, described above.

This double conjunction enabled it to become a “style” in the emphatic sense. Neither Beethoven’s “heroic” manner nor the ensuing “lyrical” phase beginning in 1809 (mentioned above) fundamentally changed this style; many authorities, of whom I cite only Rosen, agree that even his late music exhibits a deep conti- nuity with not only his own earlier music, but that of Haydn and Mozart as well, and a corre- spondingly sharp difference from all other mu- sic after 1815, let alone after 1830.98 To recast a saying of Goethe, although his music could “outdo” that of Haydn and Mozart, it could not “surpass” it. Still, what Beethoven did accom- plish was more than enough. By means of an achievement that may indeed be called heroic, he prevented this music from ageing—into our own day—and thereby guaranteed its status as the Ž rst genuinely modern music. Only after 1809–15, with the decline of the social and economic practices and musical institutions that had sustained Viennese modernism until its European triumph, or just before 1830, with the deaths of its last two great Ž gures, could the music-historical nineteenth century commence.

97Rather than in terms of Adorno’s sense of a Beethovenian- Hegelian age (cf. above). 98Rosen, The Classical Style, pp. 379–87.

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