Eduard Hanslick

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Hanslick, Eduard


Born Sept. 11, 1825, in Prague; died Aug. 6, 1904, in Baden, near Vienna. Austrian music critic.

A student of the Czech composer V. J. Tomašek, Hanslick graduated from the law faculty of the University of Vienna. In 1856 he became an assistant docent at the University of Vienna in history and the aesthetics of music, and in 1861 he became a professor. In the treatise On the Musically Beautiful (1854), Hanslick took the position of a theoretician of formalism, declaring that “the content of music is moving sound forms” and that music may depict only the dynamic side of feelings divorced from their content. Following the philosopher I. Kant, he affirmed that “the beautiful does not have a goal, for it is pure form.” Influenced by criticism Hanslick recognized that the argument given in his book was inadequate, and subsequently he concerned himself with the history of music. A formalistic approach was expressed also in the critical articles that Hanslick published beginning in 1846. In them he came out against Wagner and Liszt, failed to appreciate the creativity of outstanding composers of the 19th century (including Chopin, Berlioz, and Verdi), and attacked many of the most important developments in Russian music.


Geschichte des Concertwesens in Wien, vols. 1-2. Vienna, 1869-70.
Aus dem Concertsaal, 2nd ed. Munich-Berlin, 1886.
Die moderne Open Kritiken und Studien, vols. 1-9. Berlin, 1875-1900.
Aus meinem Leben, vols. 1-2, 4th ed. Berlin, 1911.
In Russian translation:
O muzykal’no-prekrasnom. Moscow, 1895. [With an introduction by G. Larosh.]


Markus, S. “Voinstvuiushchii formalist E. Ganslik.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1949, no. 8.
Markus, S. Istoriia musykal’noi estetiki, vol. 2. Moscow, 1968.
References in periodicals archive ?
Often dismissed as mere decoration, ornament enjoys a long history in musical and philosophical writing extending from Plato through Immanuel Kant, Eduard Hanslick, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephane Mallarme, Jacques Derrida, and Vladimir Jankelevitch, before reaching an apex in France at the turn of the twentieth century.
Chapter 1 concerns the Germanness of "Vienna's leading musical tastemaker," Eduard Hanslick, and chapter 2 discusses the cultural self-perception of Goldmark (to which half of the book is devoted).
The illustrious music critic Eduard Hanslick once passed judgment on one of his quartets, and it is worth quoting his remarks in full just to get an idea of the violence of the great critics reaction:
And there is no doubt they have done so wittingly, since the ensemble render Smetana's quartets neither as absolute chamber music, as defined by Eduard Hanslick, nor even programme chamber music, but rather instrumental music dramas.
En De lo bello en la musica, el checo Eduard Hanslick escandalizo un poco, en 1854, cuando sostuvo que la musica no es un lenguaje de sentimientos, como creian los romanticos, sino una logica del sonido en movimiento.
Commentators have equated his hostility with that of the great Viennese music critic Eduard Hanslick, one of Wagner's most vociferous opponents, who preferred instead the chaste sublimity of Beethoven and Brahms; and some have chosen to see a Wagnerian anti-semitism here in Beckmesser's characterisation, a caricature of wheedling, cajoling and self-seeking, rather like the dwarf Mime in the Ring's Siegfried.
Sin embargo, a pesar de la separacion de Nietzsche con el pensamiento de Schopenhauer, la idea de la musica como arte elevado por excelencia, podemos considerarla como una constante en el pensamiento del filosofo, El modo en que Schopenhauer asigno a las artes y especialmente a la musica un puesto central, se convirtio en uno de los documentos mas importantes de su tiempo, La teoria ontologica de la musica fue una de las mas importantes contribuciones a la teoria estetica y que influyo no solo en compositores-teoricos como Richard Wagner, sino tambien en criticos como Eduard Hanslick.
Eduard Hanslick, On the Musically Beautiful, translated by
Eduard Hanslick, the influential Viennese music critic, "called Fuchs the 'master of Kleinkunst' (small-scale art).
Generally speaking," wrote Eduard Hanslick, the most vehemently literate of Wagner's contemporary critics, "one can be certain that with the appearance of so much as the point of Wotan's spear, a half hour of emphatic boredom is in store.
Critic Eduard Hanslick savaged the composition, saying it "stinks to the ear.
Beckmesser, the foolish town clerk in Die Meistersinger, is sometimes thought to be a caricature of Eduard Hanslick, leader of the anti-Wagner faction in Vienna and music critic of the Neue Freie Presse.