Part 2 (pages 73-206) includes 34 short primary source writings that address various issues of the state of music in the 19th century, including the cult of personality, program music, and cultural nationalism.
Davison was not known for pulling any punches in his assessments of new music; he once described Liszt's music as "hateful fungi." This biography of his life includes numerous excerpts of his writings about Beethoven, Berlioz, Bizet, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Rossini, Verdi, Wagner, and others. As an example, this excerpt (from page 38) offers some insight into the conducting technique of Richard Wagner: "This short, spare man, capacious of forehead, has the oddest way with the baton....Wagner's reading of Mendelssohn's music may be signalised in a sentence -- Get to the end as quickly as possible."
NOTE: CLICK ON THE INFORMATION ICON (TO THE RIGHT OF THE TITLE) FOR AN ASSESSMENT OF THIS TITLE AS A RESEARCH SOURCE.
A caveat: While the book is an entertaining read, careful scholarship is required if the anecdotes or reviews are to be used as part of a research paper. Specific citations for most passages are lacking; for instance, the passage above is part of a longer string of comments that seem to be a "mash-up" of several published reviews by Davison. The only bibliographic citation (a term that applies only in a very loose sense here), is contained in this sentence, that precedes the quoted material: "Let us pass in review Davison's notices in the Musical World from March to June 1855." Serious students will want to spend some time in the reference area of the library tracking down the reviews in specific issues of the Musical World to verify the author's quoted material!
Housed at the San José State University, the Center is home to the largest collection of Beethoven materials outside of Europe. It also publishes The Beethoven Journal, serves as headquarters for the American Beethoven Society, and maintains the both the Beethoven Gateway (a free online resource guide) and the Beethoven Auction Database (a listing and descriptions of manuscripts, first editions, etc. sold at auction from 1985 to the present).
View digital reproductions of score autographs, letters, and other documents by Franz Schubert. Other Schubert links (Schubert Society of the USA, The Schubert Institute in the UK, etc.) are available under "About Schubert" on this website.