For years, historians have described the music of the so-called "Viennese School" as directly descending from German Lutherism up to Bach's death in 1750. In this fascinating book, Daniel Heartz shows how it actually grew out of Italian Catholicism, combined with current French fashions and local traditions. Haydn and Mozart, who stand at the very center of this study, were viewed as the highest peaks on the musical horizon by their contemporaries. It is that world of perception that Professor Heartz recreates, calling upon the visual arts and the architecture of the period to support his thesis. His focus is on music as a part of cultural history in a particular time and place. Stylistic terms and a priori periods mean less to him than the common denominators of geography, the arts, and political history. The treasure trove of hitherto unseen documents that Professor Heartz uncovered while working in the Viennese archives bears witness to the enormously rich musical life of Vienna during the four decades' reign of the Empress Maria Theresa. This enlightened monarch helped make her capital the musical center of the Western world.Vom Verlag:
This study of the history of 18th-century European music redefines the Viennese notions of classical and baroque. It argues that the stature of Haydn and Mozart were heirs not to the German tradition of Bach and Handel but to a Catholic and Italian inheritance.
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