Beethoven's instrumental fugal style : an investigation of tonal and thematic characteristics in the late-period fugues
The present thesis examines the instrumental fugues written by Beethoven during the last twelve years of his life (1815-27). It does not deal specifically with the fugati nor with the incidental fugues though these may on occasion be mentioned. The fugues to be discussed are therefore as follows: Op. 102 no.2 (III), Op. 106 (IV), Op. 110 (III), Op. 120(var. 32), Op. 133 and Op. 131 (I). The criteria by which the scope of the thesis has been restricted to these particular works are outlined during the Introduction which also includes a discussion of the style of analysis adopted and of the relevance of certain analytical methods. The aims of the thesis in dealing with these works are as follows: first and foremost it is intended that a series of detailed analyses of the late-period fugues be offered, since the fugue as a genre in Beethoven's music has suffered undue neglect. Secondly the thesis seeks to determine the means by which the fugue is integrated into the musical structure as a totality and to assess its role within that structure. Finally the thesis aims to establish whether or not the several fugues exhibit similar tendencies in respect of their tonal characteristics and thematic treatment. In order to fulfill the primary objective of the thesis, the fugues are considered individually, a chapter being devoted to each of them. These analyses form the bulk of the thesis and incorporated within them are observations relevant to the second objective of the thesis. For a number of reasons, enlarged upon during the Introduction, it has seemed fit to divide the analyses into two groups, those in Part II of the thesis being more substantial than are those in Part I. The conclusion deals with the third objective of the thesis by drawing out for further consideration and comparison the salient points from each analysis. In this manner, it is submitted, the present thesis will bridge a substantial gap in the Beethoven literature and in so doing afford fresh insights into certain of Beethoven's most exalted creations.