Brahms' First Symphony has been hailed as Beethoven's Tenth. Its controversial status and relationship in the Beethovenian tradition is considered alongside other important issues in the early reception history of this key work in the symphonic repertory. In this 1997 book, David Brodbeck begins with an account of the lengthy genesis and complicated background to the writing of the symphony, before providing a thorough critical reading of the work, movement by movement. In particular, the author reveals a dense web of extra-compositional allusions - references in the music to works by J. S. Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, and Robert Schumann - in which, the author argues, much meaning resides.
• The most detailed study available of Brahms's First Symphony, a key work of the symphonic repertory • The first work to reveal the dense web of extra-compositional allusions - to music by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert and R. Schumann • Discusses the work's relationship to the Beethovenian tradition and its controversial status as 'successor' to Beethoven's Ninth • 1997 is the centenary of Brahms' death
1. Frustrated efforts; 2. Completion, first performances, and publication; 3. Structure and meaning in the first movement; 4. The middle movements; 5. Structure and meaning in the last movement; 6. Early reception.