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Book review. Mozart Jahrbuch 2001

Irvine, Thomas (2006) Book review. Mozart Jahrbuch 2001 Eighteenth-Century Music, 3, (1), pp. 143-146. (doi:10.1017/S1478570606220542).

Record type: Article


This collection is devoted to the legacy of Wolfgang Plath, whose premature death in 1995 robbed Mozart scholarship of a distinct and influential voice. It was his conviction that the best research is often the pursuit of little problems. Plath, clearly influenced by Karl Popper, believed attempts at their solution would lead to a kind of collective progress in the aggregate. He wasn’t shy about his methodological premises: his controversial position paper ‘Der gegenwa¨rtige Stand der Mozartforschung’ (1964; reprinted, with the rest of his works on Mozart, in Mozart-Schriften: Ausgewählte Aufsätze, ed. Marianne Danckwardt (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1991), 78–85), which he presented at a panel discussion at the 1964 meeting of the International Musicological Society in Salzburg, was remarkable both for the controversy it engendered and for its prescience. In German Mozart research the grand exercises in Geistesgeschichte at which his polemics were aimed are now more the exception than the rule, and the smaller problems whose solution he proposed as an alternative continue to set the agenda. Indeed, there is little doubt that the discipline has moved substantially forward in a series of small steps, and it would be no exaggeration to say that Plath had something to do with this. Plath’s own interests, besides methodological reflection, included an extremely focused brand of critical source study, which he pursued in his capacity as one of the lead editors of the Neue Mozart Ausgabe, and an analytical fascination with compositional process. I found all three here, in five groupings organized mostly by genre; the final section of the volume is devoted to two ‘Arbeitsgruppen’ (working groups) consisting of longer essays and substantial transcriptions of plenary discussions.

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Published date: March 2006


Local EPrints ID: 67349
ISSN: 1478-5706
PURE UUID: 1bd69100-8f1e-4ecb-a2b0-7f7b964f5753

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Date deposited: 02 Oct 2009
Last modified: 19 Jul 2017 00:19

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