Fantasies of Improvisation: Free Playing in Nineteenth-Century Music

ISBN : 9780190633585

Dana Gooley
328 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jul 2018
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The first history of keyboard improvisation in European music from the time of Beethoven through the later nineteenth century, Dana Gooley's Free Play: Fantasies of Improvisation in Nineteenth-Century Music describes the motives, intentions, and musical styles of the nineteenth century's leading improvisers, and traces the evolution of the performance practice into a glorified ideal.


Prelude: The Virtue of Improvisation
Chapter 1: The School of Abbe Vogler: Weber and Meyerbeer
Chapter 2: The Kapellmeister Network and the Performance of Community:
Hummel, Moscheles, and Mendelssohn
Chapter 3: Carl Loewe's Performative Romanticism
Chapter 4: Schumann and the Economization of Musical Labor
Chapter 5: Liszt and the Romantic Rhetoric of Improvisation
Chapter 6: Improvisatoriness: The Regime of the Improvisation
Postlude: Improvisation and Utopia

About the author: 

Dana Gooley is Associate Professor of Music at Brown University. His research centers on European music and musical culture in the nineteenth century, with an emphasis on performance, reception, and criticism. A specialist of Franz Liszt, he has published The Virtuoso Liszt (Cambridge, 2004) and co-edited two essay collections, Franz Liszt and His World (Princeton, 2006) and Franz Liszt: Musicien Europeen (Editions Vrin, 2012). He has also published articles on music criticism, musical mediation, improvisation, cosmopolitanism, and jazz. Gooley studied classical piano at New England Conservatory and is a self-taught jazz pianist. With his quintet he hosts the Sunday night jam session at Boston's historic jazz club Wally's Cafe.

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