Ignaz Moscheles and the Changing World of Musical Europe

Ignaz Moscheles and the Changing World of Musical Europe

Mark Kroll
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 352
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt6wp9nb
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  • Book Info
    Ignaz Moscheles and the Changing World of Musical Europe
    Book Description:

    This book, the first full-length study devoted to Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870), explores how the son of middle-class Jewish parents in Prague became one of the most important musicians of his era, achieving recognition and world-wide admiration as a virtuoso pianist, conductor and composer, a sought-after piano teacher, and a pioneer in the historical performance of early music. Placing Moscheles' career within the context of the social, political and economic milieu in which he lived, the book offers new insights into the business of music and music making; the lives and works of his contemporaries, such as Schumann, Meyerbeer, Chopin, Hummel, Rossini, Liszt , Berlioz and others; the transformation of piano playing from the classical to romantic periods; and the challenges faced by Jewish artists during a dynamic period in European history. A section devoted to Moscheles' engagement as both a performer and editor with the music of J. S. Bach and Handel enhances our understanding of nineteenth-century approaches to early music, and the separate chapters that detail Moscheles' interactions with Beethoven and his extraordinarily close relationship with Mendelssohn adds considerably to the existing literature on these two masters. MARK KROLL has earned worldwide recognition as a harpsichordist, scholar and educator during a career spanning more than forty years. Professor emeritus at Boston University, Kroll has published scholarly editions of the music of Hummel, Geminiani, Charles Avison and Francesco Scarlatti, and is the author of Johann Nepomuk Hummel: A Musician's Life and World; Playing the Harpsichord Expressively; and The Beethoven Violin Sonatas.

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-390-4
    Subjects: Music, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. viii-xi)
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xii-xii)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xv)
  6. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xvi-xviii)
  7. CHAPTER 1 FROM PRAGUE AND VIENNA TO ENGLAND, 1794–1825
    (pp. 1-58)

    “The best of fathers, husbands, sons, and friends.” This is how Charlotte Moscheles described her husband Ignaz in the final paragraph of her bookAus Moscheles’ Leben, published two years after his death, in 1872, and translated into English in 1873.¹ It would be entirely natural if Charlotte had exaggerated these characteristics at this sensitive time of mourning. However, newspapers, journals and eyewitness accounts confirm that Ignaz Moscheles was not only the man Charlotte described, but much more: a kind and generous person, a beloved artist, a virtuoso pianist, a renowned pedagogue, a fine conductor, and a musical pioneer.

    Ignaz...

  8. CHAPTER 2 A HOME IN ENGLAND, 1825–1846
    (pp. 59-121)

    Moscheles seems to have had predicted his future with accuracy in 1821. He had indeed found a “home in England,” a place where he would enjoy “respect and friendship” as a man and as a musician. Ignaz and Charlotte arrived in London on 2 May 1825 and soon moved into 77 Norton Street, their home for the next five years. By this time Moscheles’ reputation had reached new heights. No longer was he simply called a “pianoforte player from Vienna,” asThe Morning Postdubbed him in 1821.¹ He was now, according to the same paper, “the celebratedPianiste.”² Moreover,...

  9. CHAPTER 3 LEIPZIG, 1846–1870
    (pp. 122-157)

    The number of years that Moscheles lived in London and Leipzig were almost the same, but his experiences in the two cities could not have been more different. Moscheles and his wife certainly enjoyed as comfortable a life in Leipzig as they did in London, although on a different scale. Charlotte mentions that their flat in Leipzig was smaller than 3 Chester Place, but she adds that it was still sufficiently spacious to accommodate social and musical gatherings; in other words, they continued to maintain the same lively social interactions with friends and colleagues.¹ According to Moscheles’ descendant Agnes Weiske,...

  10. CHAPTER 4 THE PIANIST, THE PEDAGOGUE AND HIS PIANOS
    (pp. 158-199)

    Moscheles the pianist inspired passionate responses from audiences across Europe for over fifty years. From his first successes in Prague and Vienna, to rave reviews in Paris and an almost total domination of the London piano scene, critics extolled the virtues of his playing in enthusiastic and even worshipful terms, citing both his superiority to other players and the extent of his influence. While today he is remembered as one of the most admired virtuoso pianists during an era of great virtuosity, less is known about the aspects of his playing that so entranced listeners—his technique, the subtleties of...

  11. The Plates
    (pp. None)
  12. CHAPTER 5 ENCOUNTERS WITH BEETHOVEN AND HIS MUSIC
    (pp. 200-242)

    The figure of Beethoven loomed large throughout Moscheles’ life. He revered the composer and his music from the time he was a boy until his final days at the age of seventy-five, long after Beethoven himself had died. Moscheles expressed his feelings in no uncertain terms in 1837, as he was planning his first series of historical concerts: “Beethoven is great—whom should I call greater?”¹ We have discussed Moscheles’ previous encounters with Beethoven, especially with regard to the 1823 concerts in Vienna. This chapter continues that discussion by examining the Beethoven-Moscheles relationship in detail. We begin by returning to...

  13. CHAPTER 6 A FRIENDSHIP LIKE NO OTHER: MENDELSSOHN AND MOSCHELES
    (pp. 243-260)

    “What are all prodigies as compared with him? Felix, a boy of fifteen, is a phenomenon.”¹ We will recall those words of astonishment and admiration that Moscheles wrote in his diary after meeting Mendelssohn for the first time in Berlin in 1824 (see Chapter 1). Moscheles knew from the start that he was in the presence of a “master, not a pupil,” and it was only at the persistent requests of Felix’s mother Lea that Moscheles, with great reluctance, agreed to be Mendelssohn’s teacher. Charlotte tells us that the lessons “are repeated every second day,” and Moscheles’ diary entries from...

  14. CHAPTER 7 LE CONCERT C’EST MOSCHELES: HISTORICAL SOIRÉES AND THE INVENTION OF THE SOLO PIANO RECITAL
    (pp. 261-313)

    On 23 and 24 July 1847 an auction was held in London that offered for sale “An Extensive and Valuable Collection of Music Including the Greater Portion of the Library of Ignace Moscheles.” It was indeed extensive. There are over five hundred items, including vocal, instrumental and keyboard works; organs, pianos and harps; violins, cellos and even trumpets.¹

    As mentioned in Chapter 3, Moscheles was in London shortly before the dates of this auction, and one of the purposes for the trip was probably to take care of some last-minute details and make a final decision about what he would...

  15. CHAPTER 8 THE JEWISH MUSICIAN
    (pp. 314-335)

    Moscheles was identified as a Jewish musician throughout his life. The review of his Prague debut recital mentioned this in 1808;Dwight’s Journal of Musiccalled Moscheles “the son of the Jew tradesman” sixty-two years later, in 1870; and he was described as the “Jewish pianist from Vienna” in 1884, fourteen years after his death, by Ferdinand Hiller in his long and loving tribute to his old friend and mentor.¹

    What is less obvious, however, is how Moscheles himself viewed his Jewish heritage. According to Agnes Weiske, Moscheles’ parents maintained a private synagogue in their home.² We can therefore assume...

  16. EPILOGUE REMINISCENCES OF MOSCHELES’ FAMILY BY HIS GREAT-GREAT GRANDSON HENRY ROCHE
    (pp. 336-340)

    Moscheles was survived by fourteen grandchildren: nine born to Emily and Antonin Roche, and five to Serena and Georg Rosen. Only two—Raphael and Nina Roche—made plans to follow their grandfather’s profession, but musical and artistic gifts have continued to emerge and flourish among later generations. These gifts are of course found in families with no such forebears; conversely, some great men seem to have absorbed so much genius in their own being as to leave little or none for their descendants. But Moscheles’ love and generous care for his children seem to have acted as an example to...

  17. List of Works
    (pp. 341-360)
  18. Bibliography
    (pp. 361-374)
  19. Index
    (pp. 375-384)
  20. Back Matter
    (pp. 385-385)