Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Drabkin, William. "Beethoven, Liszt, and the 'Missa solemnis.'" In Liszt and the Birth of Modern Europe, ed. Michael Saffle and Rossana Dalmonte, 237-52. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2003.

Although Liszt's Missa solemnis (1853) is indebted to Beethoven's Missa solemnis (1823), Liszt did not "appropriate" Beethoven's techniques but differentiated his work. Liszt's admiration for Beethoven's music is well illustrated in the fact that he frequently performed, conducted, and taught Beethoven's works. Liszt would have used Beethoven's Missa solemnis as a model for his first large-scale choral piece, written for the consecration of a new basilica. There are several musical parallels, movement by movement, between Beethoven's and Liszt's masses. As an example of the structural parallels, the two composers distinguished the Credo from other movements tonally. In scoring, the similar opening in the two Kyries goes beyond mere coincidence, yet after that Liszt deploys a distant key while Beethoven uses a home key. In thematic relationships, Liszt distinguished himself from Beethoven?s thematic recall and transformation in contrast with Beethoven's use of different themes for each movement as well as his limited recall of thematic motives. Liszt's references to Beethoven?s monumental piece are a natural outcome of his seeking the model for a cyclic mass; in that genre, Beethoven?s serves as an essential model.

Works: Liszt: Missa solemnis (240-46, 248-52).

Sources: Beethoven: Missa solemnis (240, 247-52).

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Hyun Joo Kim

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