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Title: A critical reinterpretation of the Beethoven Bagatelles Op. 126
Author: Bowden, Marlene Veronica.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2667 5786
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2005
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This dissertation examines the dialectic between fragmentation and cohesion in six late Beethoven Bagatelles. Fragmentary aspects affect the form, structure and rhetoric of each Bagatelle, and ultimately how a cyclic whole can be perceived. In form, the movements suggest aspects of larger-scale genres, and in structure they allude to archetypal patterns within the Classical style; however, both types of allusion are 'disturbed' by emergent patterns in the music. The dichotomy of fragmentation and cohesion creates a tension which results in a multi-movement cycle permeated with formal and structural ambiguities. I apply various analytical and critical strategies in this enquiry; structural analysis, semiotics and early-nineteenth-century aesthetics and cultural thoughts. Analytical readings are perceived through Schenker's theoretical argument, and I consider the compositional methods of Joachim Riepel and Heinrich Koch in relation to the expansion of a melodic segment. Whilst these two approaches show the degree of cohesion that exists within the cycle, Beethoven's radical play with Classical style patterns frequently results in formal surface articulations conflicting with the underlying levels of harmony and voice-leading. To examine the idea of a fragment, I have selected aphorisms from the critical writings of Friedrich Schlegel, and through metaphorical association the interpretations have been related to the syntax and semantic fields of the six Bagatelles. While the principal goal is to formulate an original interpretation of the Beethoven BagateIles Op.126, it has also been necessary to relate these findings to the critical framework which has traditionally held sway in discussions of Beethoven's middle and late period works.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available