Ignaz Moscheles (1794–1870) was a significant figure of the early nineteenth century who unfortunately now, in the shadow of other well-known musicians of the time, has been for the most part neglected. Moscheles was born in Prague in 1794 and enjoyed his prolific career as a well-travelled musician, encompassing Great Britain, Netherlands, France, Belgium and the Austrian-German realm which consisted of the German Confederation states, the Kingdom of Prussia and the Austrian Empire (mainly Austria, Bohemia and Hungary). In 1814, he moved to Vienna, then in 1825, he settled in London and in 1846 he retired from a successful career as a pianist-composer to Leipzig. This thesis analyses Moscheles’ career and concerts from 1807 to 1846. It identifies him as a touring musician, virtuoso pianist, composer and conductor across Europe and sheds new light on aspects that can be further applicable to any nineteenth-century musicians, such as how they promoted themselves, secured patronage and organised concerts.
Moscheles was a transitional figure with different approaches to virtuosity. Having conquered the old school as a bravura pianist he did not become a modern pianist of the new romantic school, but instead chose to remain between both schools as a prominent figure of classicism. This thesis interrogates how he accomplished that and suggests further that Moscheles positioned his free fantasias as the connecting link between those phases. It also gives new insights of his improvisation methods which are connected further to his compositional methods.
My work traces his activities more or less in a chronological manner; however, it does not aim to write a biography. Rather it attempts to re-evaluate European concert life at that time from the lens of a ‘minor’ and ‘non-canonised’ figure and to put our historiography of nineteenth-century music as a whole to test. That being said, the thesis aims to restore credit to this bygone but influential nineteenth-century musician for his contributions to concert life, the repertoire, the revival of early music and the introduction of historical performances in the nineteenth century in London, the endorsement of canonisation of specific music and composers and his influence on the piano recital.
|[sic]||spelling mistakes by the sources|
|*||used in front of names of works to show that the order of the piece in the programme is unknown.|
|↓Programme||used to show that the programme is in alphabetical order since the correct order is unknown, and it is based on reviews and letters|
|✗Programme||used to show that the programme is based on reviews and letters, however although the order is correct, the programme is not complete.|
|…||omission of a few words|
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|AML I:||Moscheles, Charlotte, ed. Aus Moscheles’ Leben. Nach Briefen und Tagebüchern. Vol. 1. 2 vols. Leipzig: Verlag von Duncker & Humblot, 1872.|
|AML II:||Moscheles, Charlotte, ed. Aus Moscheles’ Leben. Nach Briefen und Tagebüchern. Vol. 2. 2 vols. Leipzig: Verlag von Duncker & Humblot, 1873.|
|FM.IML||Moscheles, Felix, ed. Letters of Felix Mendelssohn to Ignaz and Charlotte Moscheles. Translated by Felix Moscheles. Boston: Ticknor and Company, 1888.|
|FK||Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdys Briefwechsel mit Legationsrat Karl Klingemann|
|H. R||The information was provided to me by Henry Roche.|
|MSB.[vol. No.1]||Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Sämtliche Briefe. Bands 12.|
|RMM||Moscheles, Charlotte, ed. Recent Music and Musicians, as Described in the Diaries and Correspondence of Ignaz Moscheles. Translated by A.D. Coleridge. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1879|