First published in 1985, The Music of Brahms laid a fresh emphasis on the vital role of Brahm's studies and performance of earlier music on the formation of his style and musical ethos. Once regarded as providing evidence of musical conservatism, the remarkable scope of his knowledge of music of periods distant from his own, and the range of the stylistic sources which he drew together, now seem progressive from the vantage point of the historically-oriented culture of the late twentieth century. In details of his compositional technique also, he was far more influential on his successors, especially Schoenberg, than was till recently fully acknowledged. Illustrated with many music examples, the book concentrates on details of style and structure in Brahm's development, rather than on biography, the life being discussed briefly in the introduction. The works are considered in four phases according to genre, with an emphasis on connection in the development and elaboration of a unified language. For this revised edition, corrections to the first edition have been incorporated, and the work list and calendar, including details of Brahm's own performances, brought up to date.
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