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Music and Monumentality – Commemoration and Wonderment in Nineteenth Century Germany - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Music and Monumentality: Commemoration and Wonderment in Nineteenth Century Germany

Alexander Rehding


A few weeks after the reunification of Germany, Leonard Bernstein raised his baton above the ruins of the Berlin Wall and conducted a special arrangement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The central statement of the work, that “all men will be brothers,” captured the sentiment of those who saw a brighter future for the newly reunited nation. This now-iconic performance is a palpable example of “musical monumentality” — a significant concept which underlies our cultural and ideological understanding of Western art music since the nineteenth-century. Although the concept was first raised in the ea ... More

Keywords: Western art music, reunification of Germany, national identity, German music, Leonard Bernstein, Beethoven, monumentality

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780195385380
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385380.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alexander Rehding, author