Klett-Cotta-Verlag Psychology

Johann Stamitz und die Kunst der Hörtäuschung

Juli 2019, 23. Jahrgang, Heft 91, pp 30-50

The combinatorial recapitulations in Johann Stamitz’ late group of concert symphonies still provoke the question of their originality. Hugo Riemann’s historiographical construction of the »Mannheim symphonists«, considering Stamitz to be a precursor of Haydn, and his general stylistic catalogue of the Mannheim »manners« hindered a recognition of the works as original contributions to the genre. After Werner Korte’s attempt to exemplify his ideas of musicology as a structuralist aesthetics with Stamitz’ combinatoric strategies, Carl Dahlhaus tried to find a way out by explaining Stamitz’ formal surprises as a kind of »mannerism«. From the standpoint of a historiography of sonata form his judgment proved to be negative: Stamitz’ compositional combinatorics seem to negate formal differentiation. The present essay tries to re-evaluate Stamitz’ formal experiments by means of a comparative analysis of the first movements of D-2 and the versions of Eb-5. The recombination of components evokes a dialogue with the listener, as does Joseph Riepel’s Tonordnung (1755). Intertextual relations with the Italian opera symphony and with Thomas Erskine’s Overtures are considered in order to show that Stamitz’ formal decisions operate on a highly complex level.

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