Gestaltungskraft. Ausdrucknuancen der Joachim-Tradition

Gebauer, Peter Johannes (2021). Gestaltungskraft. Ausdrucknuancen der Joachim-Tradition In: Borchard, Beatrix; Schüssler-Bach, Kerstin (eds.) Brahms-Studien Band 1 (pp. 54-90). Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag

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„Gestaltungskraft“ – the „power of shaping“ – referred to a mode of performance mostly associated with (string) chamber music, with the intention to present music as logically and comprehensibly as possible, while at the same time giving the impression of spontaneity. Although there was no simple set of rules as to how this was to be accomplished, it was built on a system of musical grammar, based on a deep understanding of the inner logic of the music itself. The intuitive use of this complex system of expression and emphasis was Joseph Joachim’s main concern at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, and while Joachim can be seen as the last major exponent, the tradition goes back to such diverse musicians as Felix Mendelssohn and Franz Liszt, and referring to music from Bach to Brahms. The essay explores the complex system of nuancing – including the interaction of dynamic, agogic and expressive accents, and the rubato concept also referred to as „das Freispielen“, which was an integral part of „Gestaltungskraft“. In addition, Joachim’s remarkably well-documented intonation philosophy is examined with regard to its role as an additional expressive means.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


Bern Academy of the Arts
Bern Academy of the Arts > Institute Interpretation


Gebauer, Peter Johannes0000-0002-9963-6652;
Borchard, Beatrix and
Schüssler-Bach, Kerstin


M Music and Books on Music > M Music
M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study






Georg Olms Verlag




Johannes Gebauer

Date Deposited:

16 Aug 2021 15:41

Last Modified:

15 Oct 2021 14:00


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