Cover for metzler: Grasnick 5: Beethoven's Pocket Sketchbook for the Agnus Dei of the Missa solemnis, Opus 123. Click for larger image

Grasnick 5

Beethoven's Pocket Sketchbook for the Agnus Dei of the Missa solemnis, Opus 123

A facsimile edition detailing Beethoven's struggles to complete one of his defining works

Long neglected in scholarship, the so-called Grasnick 5 documents reveal Beethoven working out concepts and ideas, offering fascinating insights into his creative method. This critical edition, the third in the Beethoven Sketchbook Series, offers a facsimile and transcription of the contents of the stitched pocket sketchbook started by the fifty-year-old master during the summer of 1820. At the time, Beethoven labored over the Missa solemnis, Opus 123. The sketchbook's pages yield the entire record of his early ideas on the Agnus Dei of that work as well as a sketch for part of the Benedictus.

Patrizia Metzler and Fred Stoltzfus decipher the quirks of the composer's workshopping--the infamous penmanship, multiple generations of pencil and ink marks, and omitted notation--and wrestle with the legibility issues inherent in the task of dealing with aged documents. Their commentary completes a fruitful scholarly journey and provides context for experts, musicians, and anyone else interested in this fraught period of Beethoven's creative life.

"Building upon two generations of scholarship on what Beethoven referred to as 'my greatest work,' Metzler and Stoltzfus have made a meticulous study of the sketches for the Agnus Dei from the Missa solemnis from late 1820 and early 1821. Their Grasnick 5 beautifully complements the recent editions of the composer’s two main desk sketchbooks from these years."--William Drabkin, editor of Ludwig van Beethoven: A Sketchbook of 1821 (Artaria 197)

"Will help fill a gap in the known sketch material for this great work. The importance of the Illinois volumes of Beethoven sketchbooks in critical editions cannot be overestimated, as they are helping to bring a very large buried cultural treasure trove to light."--Lewis Lockwood, author of Beethoven: The Music and the Life

"Valuable for Beethoven scholars as well as performers and analysts interested in Beethoven's Missa solemnis. A fine addition to the Beethoven Sketchbook Series."--Alan Gosman, coauthor of Beethoven's "Eroica" Sketchbook: A Critical Edition

Patrizia Metzler earned a doctorate in choral conducting at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and is artistic director of the Bach Collegium Paris. Fred Stoltzfus is a professor emeritus of music at UIUC. He edited Franz Joseph's Stabat Mater and is a recipient of the Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society.

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