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Early nineteenth-century composers, publishers and writers evolved influential ideals of Beethoven's symphonies as untouchable masterpieces.
Meanwhile, many and various arrangements of symphonies, principally for amateur performers, supported diverse and 'hands-on' cultivation of the same works.
Now mostly forgotten, these arrangements served a vital function in nineteenth-century musical life, extending works' meanings and reach, especially to women in the home.
This book places domestic music-making back into the history of the classical symphony.
It investigates a largely untapped wealth of early nineteenth-century arrangements of symphonies by Beethoven - for piano, string quartet, mixed quintet and other ensembles.
The study focuses on three key agents in the nineteenth-century culture of musical arrangement: arrangers, publishers and performers.
It investigates significant functions of those musical arrangements in the era: sociability, reception and canon formation.
The volume also explores how conceptions of Beethoven's symphonies, and their arrangement, changed across the era with changing conception of musical works.
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