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 ?
Certainly Wagner argued for the inherent Germanness of his compositions and he and Hanslick fought bitterly over it
In the chapter in question we find the unequivocal claim that Beckmesser "is nothing other than a caricature of Hanslick" and that "for Wagner, Hanslick was a Jew" (p.
Even the music critic Edward Hanslick who attended early performances of the opera in Vienna confirms this by evaluating the prologue correctly as an element that ruins the illusion (Hanslick 178).
Eduard Hanslick, Geschichte des Concertwesens in Wien, Volume 1 (Wien: Braumiiller, 1869), 231.
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:
14) Se si deve poi attendere il 1883 per avere la prima edizione italiana, a opera di Luigi Torchi, del trattato Vom Musikalisch-Schonen di Hanslick del 1854, la Filosofia della Musica mazziniana viene in Italia letta all'insegna di un insistito accostamento Mazzini-Wagner (Basso, 1991-1992: 231-241; Bertela, 2012: 103-124).
Secondly Hanslick is the offspring of his own Zeitgeist, and his analysis is strongly historically informed by the problems of his own epoch: (23) his pamphlet's conclusions, in order to be confirmed in their general methodological validity, in order to satisfy their claim for confirmation, have to always be put under discussion, and confronted with actual, new issues (including the developments and changes in art).
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.
Plato, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Hanslick, Adorno) comprised the remaining material, a more coherent text would have been accomplished.
Some disbelievers in Wagner's artistic anti-Semitism fume that the model for Beckmesser was not the all-purpose Jew but specifically Eduard Hanslick, the premier traditionalist among the critics at that time, an admirer of early Wagner who, as the composer wrote in his autobiography, "had since developed into one of the most vicious opponents of my work.
Hanslick en la Universidad de Viena, fue uno de los grandes impulsores de la musicologia como disciplina cientifica y autonoma.