s intellectuality and profound thought are demonstrated in the first paragraph of the introduction to his book, where the author quotes Goethe:
everyone can see the matter; the content can be found only by those who have something to do with it and the form is a secret for most
(p. 7). Aim of the morphology and especially of the functional morphology is precisely the quest for this secret, which – after all – turns a concrete form into a real work of art.
Ratz does not just analyze concrete works, but he tries through functional morphology to teach how
…to identify the unique and great in the works of the
. This is possible only by approaching the work of great composers, as it is formulated within the historical continuity and unity of the west European tradition. The subtitle of the book (On the Principles of the Form in the Inventions and Fugues of J. S. Bach and their Meaning for
Beethoven’s Compositional Technique
) indicates the historical continuity from Bach to Beethoven that is manifested through different – at first glance – forms, but which is governed by common fundamental morphological and intellectual principles: the intellectual (musical) content of the work is manifested through the form only when the parts that constitute this form are capable of displaying its content at every moment in the development of the work through a functional collaboration and by creating some kind of unity that is unique for each work.
On concluding this short review we feel obliged to add that it represents a key addressed to musicologists, to composers and to everyone who would like to understand in depth the morphology of music and musical analysis, since the secrets of the compositional procedures are introduced to the reader through the works of composers like Bach and Beethoven.