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Volume 14 • Number 2

Fall 2007


Beethoven's Vision of Joy in the Finale of the Ninth Symphony

by Robert Pascall

The primary purpose of this study is to investigate possible implications of comments by Beethoven and Czerny concerning the finale of the Ninth Symphony and its relation to improvisation. In introducing his Symphony to potential publishers, Beethoven referred to parallels between the finale and the Chorfantasie, op.80, a work that featured improvisation at its first performance and that incorporates improvisational style in its published version. Czerny's comments are, however, explicit and categorical—that the finale of the Ninth constitutes an example of a specific musical structure as used by Beethoven in his piano improvisations.

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