Edited by Gregory Butler, George Stauffer, and Mary Dalton Greer University of Illinois Press, 2007 Library of Congress ML410.B13A36 2008 | Dewey Decimal 780.92
That Johann Sebastian Bach is a pivotal figure in the history of Western music is hardly news, and the magnitude of his achievement is so immense that it can be difficult to grasp. In About Bach, fifteen scholars show that Bach's importance extends from choral to orchestral music, from sacred music to musical parodies, and also to his scribes and students, his predecessors and successors. Further, the contributors demonstrate a diversity of musicological approaches, ranging from close studies of Bach's choices of musical form and libretto to wider analyses of the historical and cultural backgrounds that impinged upon his creations and their lasting influence. This volume makes significant contributions to Bach biography, interpretation, pedagogy, and performance.
Contributors are Gregory G. Butler, Jen-Yen Chen, Alexander J. Fisher, Mary Dalton Greer, Robert Hill, Ton Koopman, Daniel R. Melamed, Michael Ochs, Mark Risinger, William H. Scheide, Hans-Joachim Schulze, Douglass Seaton, George B. Stauffer, Andrew Talle, and Kathryn Welter.
Philip Lambert University of Illinois Press, 2013 Library of Congress ML410.W6975L36 2013 | Dewey Decimal 780.92
The music of Alec Wilder (1907-1980) blends several American musical traditions, such as jazz and the American popular song, with classical European forms and techniques. Stylish and accessible, Wilder's musical oeuvre ranged from sonatas, suites, concertos, operas, ballets, and art songs to woodwind quintets, brass quintets, jazz suites, and hundreds of popular songs. In this biography and critical investigation of Wilder's music, Philip Lambert chronicles Wilder's early work as a part-time student at the Eastman School of Music, his ascent through the ranks of the commercial recording industry in New York City in the 1930s and 1940s, his turn toward concert music from the 1950s onward, and his devotion late in his life to the study of American popular songs of the first half of the twentieth century. The book discusses some of his best-known music, such as the revolutionary octets and songs such as "I'll Be Around," "While We're Young," and "Blackberry Winter," and explains the unique blend of cultivated and vernacular traditions in his singular musical language.
One of the country's most enduringly successful composers, Aaron Copland created a distinctively American style and aesthetic in works for a diversity of genres and mediums, including ballet, opera, and film. Also active as a critic, mentor, advocate, and concert organizer, he played a decisive role in the growth of serious music in the Americas in the twentieth century.
In The American Stravinsky, Gayle Murchison closely analyzes selected works to discern the specific compositional techniques Copland used, and to understand the degree to which they derived from European models, particularly the influence of Igor Stravinsky. Murchison examines how Copland both Americanized these models and made them his own, thereby finding his own compositional voice. Murchison also discusses Copland's aesthetics of music and his ideas about its purpose and social function.
‘I think my music deserves to be considered as a whole’, Igor Stravinsky remarked at the end of a long and restless career, and that is exactly what the authors of The Apollonian Clockwork do. In 1982, convinced that there is no essential difference between ‘early’ and ‘late’ Stravinsky, Louis Andriessen and Elmer Schönberger were the first to write a monograph on the composer which radically breaks with the habit of dividing his works into ‘Russian’, ‘neoclassical’ and ‘serial’. In an essay which continually shifts in its approach, style and perspective, the authors elaborate on their insight that a single, immutable compositional attitude underlies the whole of Stravinsky’s oeuvre. By this token the book not only offers an analysis of the composer’s protean work and artistry but takes example by it as well.
In this major new interpretation of the music of J.S. Bach, we gain a striking picture of the composer as a unique critic of his age. By reading Bach's music "against the grain" of contemporaries, Laurence Dreyfus explains how Bach's approach to musical invention posed a fundamental challenge to Baroque aesthetics.
Among his numerous children, Johann Sebastian Bach sired five musically gifted sons. The eleventh volume of Bach Perspectives presents essays that explore these men's lives and careers via distinctive and, in several cases, alternative and interdisciplinary methodologies. Robert L. Marshall traces how each of the sons grappled with ”and at times suffocated beneath ”their illustrious father's legacy. Mary Oleskiewicz's essay investigates the Bach family's connections to historical keyboard instruments and musical venues at the Prussian court, while David Schulenberg looks at Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's diverse and innovative keyboard works. Evan Cortens digs into everything from performance materials to pay stubs to offer a detailed view of the business of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's liturgical music. Finally, Christine Blanken discusses how the rediscovery of Bach family musical manuscripts in the Breitkopf archive opens up new perspectives on familiar topics.
The official publication of the American Bach Society, Bach Perspectives pioneers new areas of research into the life, times, and music of the master composer. In Volume 10 of the series, Matthew Dirst edits a collection of groundbreaking essays exploring various aspects of Bach's organ-related activities. Lynn Edwards Butler reconsiders Bach's report on Johann Scheibe's organ at St. Paul's Church in Leipzig. Robin Leaver clarifies the likely provenance and purpose of a collection of chorale harmonizations copied in Dresden. George Stauffer investigates the ways various independent trio movements served Bach as an artist and teacher. In separate contributions, Christoph Wolff and Gregory Butler seek the origins of concerted Bach cantata movements spotlighting the organ and propose family trees of both parent works and offspring. Finally, Matthew Cron provides a broad cultural frame for such pieces and notes how their components engage in a larger discourse about the German Baroque organ's intimation of heaven.
Johann Sebastian Bach was a Lutheran and much of his music was for Lutheran liturgical worship. As these insightful essays in the twelfth volume of Bach Perspectives demonstrate, he was also influenced by--and in turn influenced--different expressions of religious belief. The vocal music, especially the Christmas Oratorio, owes much to medieval Catholic mysticism, and the evolution of the B minor Mass has strong Catholic connections. In Leipzig, Catholic and Lutheran congregations sang many of the same vernacular hymns. Internal squabbles were rarely missing within Lutheranism, for example Pietists' dislike of concerted church music, especially if it employed specific dance forms. Also investigated here are broader issues such as the close affinity between Bach's cantata libretti and the hymns of Charles Wesley; and Bach's music in the context of the Jewish Enlightenment as shaped by Protestant Rationalism in Berlin. Contributors: Rebecca Cypess, Joyce L. Irwin, Robin A. Leaver, Mark Noll, Markus Rathey, Derek Stauff, and Janice B. Stockigt.
As the official publication of the American Bach Society, Bach Perspectives has pioneered new areas of research in the life, times, and music of Bach since its first appearance in 1995. In a series long known for its major essays by leading Bach scholars and performers, Bach Perspectives, Volume 6 is no exception.
This volume opens with Joshua Rifkin’s seminal study of the early source history of the B-minor orchestral suite. It not only elaborates on Rifkin’s discovery that the work in its present form for solo flute goes back to an earlier version in A minor, ostensibly for solo violin, but also takes this discovery as the point of departure for a wide-ranging discussion of the origins and extent of Bach's output in the area of concerted ensemble music.
Jeanne Swack presents an enlightening comparison of Georg Phillip Telemann’s and Bach's approach to the French overture as concerted movements in their church cantatas, and Steven Zohn views the B-minor orchestral suite from the standpoint of the "concert en ouverture," responding to Rifkin by suggesting that the early version of the B-minor orchestral suite may also have been scored for flute.
Correspondence capturing Dreiser's own take on his long and eventful life
In addition to his novels, short stories, plays, poetry, and a flood of journalism, Theodore Dreiser is estimated to have written an astonishing 20,000 letters. A Picture and a Criticism of Life presents a selection from his previously unpublished letters and shows Dreiser in every mood and circumstance, from crisply professional to happily unbuttoned. Meticulously annotated by Donald Pizer, the selections often shed significant new light on the writer's beliefs and activities during the various stages of his long career.
A volume in the series The Dreiser Edition, edited by Thomas P. Riggio
As the official publication of the American Bach Society, Bach Perspectives has pioneered new areas of research in the life, times, and music of Bach since its first appearance in 1995. Volume 8 of Bach Perspectives emphasizes the place of Bach's oratorios in their repertorial context.
These essays consider Bach's oratorios from a variety of perspectives: in relation to models, antecedents, and contemporary trends; from the point of view of musical and textual types; and from analytical vantage points including links with instrumental music and theology.
Christoph Wolff suggests the possibility that Bach's three festive works for Christmas, Easter, and Ascension Day form a coherent group linked by liturgy, chronology, and genre. Daniel R. Melamed considers the many ways in which Bach's passion music was influenced by the famous poetic passion of Barthold Heinrich Brockes. Markus Rathey examines the construction and role of oratorio movements that combine chorales and poetic texts (chorale tropes). Kerala Snyder shows the connections between Bach's Christmas Oratorio and one of its models, Buxtehude's Abendmusiken spread over many evenings. Laurence Dreyfus argues that Bach thought instrumentally in the composition of his passions at the expense of certain aspects of the text. And Eric Chafe demonstrates the contemporary theological background of Bach's Ascension Oratorio and its musical realization
This provocative addition to the Bach Perspectives series offers a counternarrative to the isolated genius status that J.S. Bach and his music currently enjoy. Contributors contextualize Bach by examining the output, reputation, and compositional practices of his contemporaries in Germany whose work was widely played and enjoyed in his time, including Georg Philipp Telemann, Christoph Graupner, Gottlieb Muffat, and Johann Adolf Scheibe. Essays place Bach and his work in relation to his peers, examining avenues of composition they took while he did not and showing how differing treatments of the same subjects or texts resulted in markedly different compositional results and legacies. By looking closely at how Bach's contemporaries addressed the tasks and challenges of their time, this project provides a more nuanced view of the musical world of Bach's time while revealing in more specific terms than ever how and why Bach's own music remains fresh and compelling.
Contributors are Alison Dunlop, Wolfgang Hirschmann, Michael Maul, Andrew Talle, and Steven Zohn.
Beethoven’s sixteen string quartets are some of the most extraordinary and challenging pieces of music ever written. Originally composed and performed between 1798 and 1826, they have inspired artists of all kinds—not only musicians—and have been subject to endless reinterpretation. But what is it like to personally take up the challenge of these compositions, not only as a musician, but as a member of a quartet, where each player has ideas about style and expression? To answer this question, Edward Dusinberre, first violinist of the renowned Takács Quartet, offers a rare peek inside the workings of his ensemble, while providing an insightful history of the compositions and their performance.
Founded in Hungary in 1975 and now based in Boulder, Colorado, the Takács is one of the world’s preeminent string quartets, and performances of Beethoven have been at the center of their work together for over forty years. Using the history of both the Takács Quartet and the Beethoven quartets as a foundation, Beethoven for a Later Age provides a backstage look at the daily life of a quartet, showing the necessary creative tension between individual and group and how four people can at the same time forge a lasting artistic connection and enjoy making music together over decades. The key, Dusinberre reveals, to a quartet crafting its own sound is in balancing continuity with change and experimentation—a theme that lies at the heart of Beethoven’s remarkable compositions. In an accessible style, suitable for novices and chamber music enthusiasts alike, Dusinberre illuminates the variety and contradictions of Beethoven's quartets, which were composed against the turbulent backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars and their aftermath, and he brings the technical aspects of the music to life.
Beethoven for a Later Age vividly shows that creative engagement with Beethoven’s radical and brilliant quartets continues to be as stimulating now as it was for its first performers and audiences. Musicians and music lovers will be intrigued by Dusinberre’s exploration of the close collaboration at the heart of any great performance.
Beethoven's ten violin sonatas have long been cornerstones of the chamber music repertoire. The "Spring" and "Kreutzer" sonatas are the best known of these works, which stand at the pinnacle of music for violin and piano.
Lewis Lockwood and Mark Kroll's volume The Beethoven Violin Sonatas is the first scholarly book in English devoted exclusively to the Beethoven sonatas, and deals with them in unprecedented depth. It presents seven critical and historical essays by some of the most important American and European Beethoven specialists of our time. The authors examine the sonatas within the history of the genre, the social and cultural context in which they were written, their significance within Beethoven's life and works, and the issues they raise regarding performance practices of the period.
Who hasn't been stirred by the strains of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony? That's a good question, claims Esteban Buch. German nationalists and French republicans, communists and Catholics have all, in the course of history, embraced the piece. It was performed under the direction of Leonard Bernstein at a concert to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall, yet it also serves as a ghastly and ironic leitmotif in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. Hitler celebrated his birthdays with it, and the government of Rhodesia made it their anthem. And played in German concentration camps by the imprisoned, it also figured prominently at Mitterand's 1981 investiture.
In his remarkable history of one of the most popular symphonic works of the modern period, Buch traces such complex and contradictory uses—and abuses—of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony since its premier in 1824. Buch shows that Beethoven consciously drew on the tradition of European political music, with its mix of sacred and profane, military and religious themes, when he composed his symphony. But while Beethoven obviously had his own political aspirations for the piece—he wanted it to make a statement about ideal power—he could not have had any idea of the antithetical political uses, nationalist and universalist, to which the Ninth Symphony has been put since its creation. Buch shows us how the symphony has been "deployed" throughout nearly two centuries, and in the course of this exploration offers what was described by one French reviewer as "a fundamental examination of the moral value of art." Sensitive and fascinating, this account of the tangled political existence of a symphony is a rare book that shows the life of an artwork through time, shifted and realigned with the currents of history.
In the years spanning from 1800 to 1824, Ludwig van Beethoven completed nine symphonies, now considered among the greatest masterpieces of Western music. Yet despite the fact that this time period, located in the wake of the Enlightenment and at the peak of romanticism, was one of rich intellectual exploration and social change, the influence of such threads of thought on Beethoven’s work has until now remained hidden beneath the surface of the notes. Beethoven’s Symphonies presents a fresh look at the great composer’s approach and the ideas that moved him, offering a lively account of the major themes unifying his radically diverse output.
Martin Geck opens the book with an enthralling series of cultural, political, and musical motifs that run throughout the symphonies. A leading theme is Beethoven’s intense intellectual and emotional engagement with the figure of Napoleon, an engagement that survived even Beethoven’s disappointment with Napoleon’s decision to be crowned emperor in 1804. Geck also delves into the unique ways in which Beethoven approached beginnings and finales in his symphonies, as well as his innovative use of particular instruments. He then turns to the individual symphonies, tracing elements—a pitch, a chord, a musical theme—that offer a new way of thinking about each work and will make even the most devoted fans of Beethoven admire the symphonies anew.
Offering refreshingly inventive readings of the work of one of history’s greatest composers, this book shapes a fascinating picture of the symphonies as a cohesive oeuvre and of Beethoven as a master symphonist.
In this abridgment of his monumental study, Berlioz and the Romantic Century, Jacques Barzun recounts the events and extraordinary achievements of the great composer's life against the background of the romantic era. As the author eloquently demonstrates, Berloiz was an archetype whose destiny was the story of an age, the incarnation of an artistic style and a historical spirit. "In order to understand the nineteenth century, it is essential to understand Berlioz," notes W. H. Auden, "and in order to understand Berlioz, it is essential to read Professor Barzun."
Reverence for J. S. Bach's music and its towering presence in our cultural memory have long affected how people hear his works. In his own time, however, Bach stood as just another figure among a number of composers, many of them more popular with the music-loving public. Eschewing the great composer style of music history, Andrew Talle takes us on a journey that looks at how ordinary people made music in Bach's Germany. Talle focuses in particular on the culture of keyboard playing as lived in public and private. As he ranges through a wealth of documents, instruments, diaries, account ledgers, and works of art, Talle brings a fascinating cast of characters to life. These individuals--amateur and professional performers, patrons, instrument builders, and listeners--inhabited a lost world, and Talle's deft expertise teases out the diverse roles music played in their lives and in their relationships with one another. At the same time, his nuanced recreation of keyboard playing's social milieu illuminates the era's reception of Bach's immortal works.
In 1921, insurance executive Charles Ives sent out copies of a piano sonata to two hundred strangers. Laden with dissonant chords, complex rhythm, and a seemingly chaotic structure, the so-called Concord Sonata confounded the recipients, as did the accompanying book, Essays before a Sonata . Kyle Gann merges exhaustive research with his own experience as a composer to reveal the Concord Sonata and the essays in full. Diffracting the twinned works into their essential aspects, Gann lays out the historical context that produced Ives's masterpiece and illuminates the arguments Ives himself explored in the Essays . Gann also provides a movement-by-movement analysis of the work's harmonic structure and compositional technique; connects the sonata to Ives works that share parts of its material; and compares the 1921 version of the Concord with its 1947 revision to reveal important aspects of Ives's creative process. A tour de force of critical, theoretical, and historical thought, Charles Ives's Concord provides nothing less than the first comprehensive consideration of a work at the heart of twentieth century American music.
The familiar old world of classical music, with its wealthy donors and ornate concert halls, is changing. The patronage of a wealthy few is being replaced by that of corporations, leading to new unions of classical music and contemporary capitalism. In Composing Capital, Marianna Ritchey lays bare the appropriation of classical music by the current neoliberal regime, arguing that artists, critics, and institutions have aligned themselves—and, by extension, classical music itself—with free-market ideology. More specifically, she demonstrates how classical music has lent its cachet to marketing schemes, tech firm-sponsored performances, and global corporate partnerships. As Ritchey shows, the neoliberalization of classical music has put music at the service of contemporary capitalism, blurring the line between creativity and entrepreneurship, and challenging us to imagine how a noncommodified musical practice might be possible in today’s world.
One of the most idiosyncratic and charismatic musicians of the twentieth century, pianist Glenn Gould (1932–82) slouched at the piano from a sawed-down wooden stool, interpreting Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart at hastened tempos with pristine clarity. A strange genius and true eccentric, Gould was renowned not only for his musical gifts but also for his erratic behavior: he often hummed aloud during concerts and appeared in unpressed tails, fingerless gloves, and fur coats. In 1964, at the height of his controversial career, he abandoned the stage completely to focus instead on recording and writing.
Jonathan Cott, a prolific author and poet praised by Larry McMurtry as "the ideal interviewer," was one of the very few people to whom Gould ever granted an interview. Cott spoke with Gould in 1974 for Rolling Stone and published the transcripts in two long articles; after Gould's death, Cott gathered these interviews in Conversations with Glenn Gould, adding an introduction, a selection of photographs, a list of Gould's recorded repertoire, a filmography, and a listing of Gould's programs on radio and TV. A brilliant one-on-one in which Gould discusses his dislike of Mozart's piano sonatas, his partiality for composers such as Orlando Gibbons and Richard Strauss, and his admiration for the popular singer Petula Clark (and his dislike of the Beatles), among other topics, Conversations with Glenn Gould is considered by many, including the subject, to be the best interview Gould ever gave and one of his most remarkable performances.
In this intriguing study, William Kinderman opens the door to the composer's workshop, investigating not just the final outcome but the process of creative endeavor in music. Focusing on the stages of composition, Kinderman maintains that the most rigorous basis for the study of artistic creativity comes not from anecdotal or autobiographical reports, but from original handwritten sketches, drafts, revised manuscripts, and corrected proof sheets. He explores works of major composers from the eighteenth century to the present, from Mozart's piano music and Beethoven's Piano Trio in F to Kurtág's Kafka Fragments and Hommage à R. Sch. Other chapters examine Robert Schumann's Fantasie in C, Mahler's Fifth Symphony, and Bartók's Dance Suite. Revealing the diversity of sources, rejected passages and movements, fragmentary unfinished works, and aborted projects that were absorbed into finished compositions, The Creative Process in Music from Mozart to Kurtág illustrates the wealth of insight that can be gained through studying the creative process.
Early seventeenth-century Italy saw a revolution in instrumental music. Large, varied, and experimental, the new instrumental repertoire was crucial for the Western tradition—but until now, the impulses that gave rise to it had yet to be fully explored. Curious and Modern Inventions offers fresh insight into the motivating forces behind this music, tracing it to a new conception of instruments of all sorts—whether musical, artistic, or scientific—as vehicles of discovery.
Rebecca Cypess shows that early modern thinkers were fascinated with instrumental technologies. The telescope, the clock, the pen, the lute—these were vital instruments for leading thinkers of the age, from Galileo Galilei to Giambattista Marino. No longer used merely to remake an object or repeat a process already known, instruments were increasingly seen as tools for open-ended inquiry that would lead to new knowledge. Engaging with themes from the history of science, literature, and the visual arts, this study reveals the intimate connections between instrumental music and the scientific and artisanal tools that served to mediate between individuals and the world around them.
Franz Schubert's song cycles Schone Mullerin and Winterreise are cornerstones of the genre. But as Richard Kramer argues in this book, Schubert envisioned many other songs as components of cyclical arrangements that were never published as such. By carefully studying Schubert's original manuscripts, Kramer recovers some of these "distant cycles" and accounts for idiosyncrasies in the songs which other analyses have failed to explain.
Returning the songs to their original keys, Kramer reveals linkages among songs which were often obscured as Schubert readied his compositions for publication. His analysis thus conveys even familiar songs in fresh contexts that will affect performance, interpretation, and criticism. After addressing problems of multiple settings and revisions, Kramer presents a series of briefs for the reconfiguring of sets of songs to poems by Goethe, Rellstab, and Heine. He deconstructs Winterreise, using its convoluted origins to illuminate its textual contradictions. Finally, Kramer scrutinizes settings from the Abendrote cycle (on poems by Friedrich Schlegel) for signs of cyclic process. Probing the farthest reaches of Schubert's engagement with the poetics of lieder, Distant Cycles exposes tensions between Schubert the composer and Schubert the merchant-entrepreneur.
Dmitry Shostakovich was one of the most successful composers of the twentieth century—a musician who adapted as no other to the unique pressures of his age. By turns vilified and feted by Stalin during the Great Purge, Shostakovich twice came close to succumbing to the whirlwind of political repression of his times and remained under political surveillance all his life, despite the many privileges and awards heaped upon him in old age. Through it all, Shostakovich showed a remarkable ability to work with, rather than against, prevailing ideological demands, and it was this quality that ensured both his survival and his musical posterity.
Pauline Fairclough’s absorbing new biography offers a vivid portrait of Shostakovich. Featuring quotations from previously unpublished letters as well as rarely seen photographs, Fairclough’s book provides fresh insight into the music and life of a composer whose legacy, above all, was to have written some of the greatest and most cherished music of the last century.
James Wierzbicki University of Illinois Press, 2011 Library of Congress ML410.C3293W54 2011 | Dewey Decimal 780.92
This compact introduction to the life and works of composer Elliott Carter provides a fresh perspective on one of the most significant American composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. A leading voice of the American classical music tradition and a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, Carter was initially encouraged to become a composer by Charles Ives, and he went on to learn from Walter Piston at Harvard University and Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Drawing on Carter's voluminous writings and compositions, James Wierzbicki provides a clear discussion of Carter's evolving understanding of musical time and the influence of film on his work. Celebrating his 100th birthday in 2008 by premiering a number of new compositions, Carter has been a powerful presence on the American new music scene, an important connection to American music's foundational figures, and a dynamic force in its continuing evolution.
Covering works by popular figures like Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst as well as less familiar English composers, Eric Saylor's pioneering book examines pastoral music's critical, theoretical, and stylistic foundations alongside its creative manifestations in the contexts of Arcadia, war, landscape, and the Utopian imagination. As Saylor shows, pastoral music adapted and transformed established musical and aesthetic conventions that reflected the experiences of British composers and audiences during the early twentieth century. By approaching pastoral music as a cultural phenomenon dependent on time and place, Saylor forcefully challenges the body of critical opinion that has long dismissed it as antiquated, insular, and reactionary.
A singular resource, Exploring the World of J. S. Bach puts Bach aficionados and classical music lovers in the shoes of the master composer. Bach scholar Robert L. Marshall and veteran writer-translator Traute M. Marshall lead readers on a Baroque Era odyssey through fifty towns where Bach resided, visited, and of course created his works. Drawing on established sources as well as newly available East German archives, the authors describe each site in Bach's time and the present, linking the sites to the biographical information, artistic and historic landmarks, and musical activities associated with each. A wealth of historical illustrations, color photographs, and maps supplement the text, whetting the appetite of the visitor and the armchair traveler alike.
This fascinating memoir, written by one of the greatest American violinists of the twentieth century, recounts an extraordinary life in music.
Once called by the New York Times "a violinist's violinist and a musician's musician," Louis Kaufman was born in 1905 in Portland, Oregon. He studied violin with Franz Kneisl at New York's Institute of Musical Art. He was the original violist of the Musical Art Quartet (1926-1933) and won the Naumburg Award in 1928, the year of his American solo recital debut in New York's Town Hall.
During these early years, he played chamber music with Pablo Casals, Mischa Elman, Jascha Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler, Gregor Piatigorsky, and Efrem Zimbalist, among others. After performing the violin solos for Ernst Lubitsch's 1934 film The Merry Widow, Kaufman became the most sought after violin soloist in Hollywood, playing in some 500 films, including Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, The Diary of Anne Frank, Wuthering Heights, The Grapes of Wrath, and Spartacus. He worked closely with Robert Russell Bennett, Bernard Herrmann, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Alfred Newman, Miklós Rózsa, Max Steiner, Franz Waxman, and Victor Young.
Extraordinary as it seems today, Kaufman was largely responsible for bringing the once-forgotten music of Antonio Vivaldi to its current popularity worldwide among both classical musicians and the general population of music lovers.
The book includes a music CD with Kaufman’s performances of Vivaldi’s Concerto 2 of op. 9, Havanaise by Camille Saint Saëns, Nocturne for Violin and Piano by Aaron Copland, Much Ado about Nothing Suite for violin and piano by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Jerome Kern, among other favorites.
"Demonstrates the clarity of [Brown's] editorial technique, his thoroughly impressive control of the sources, his exhaustive knowledge of the repertory, and his penetrating stylistic insight. It is a summation of his quarter century of scholarship."—Journal of the American Musicological Society
Aging and creativity can seem a particularly fraught relationship for artists, who often face age-related difficulties as their audience’s expectations are at a peak. In Four Last Songs, Linda and Michael Hutcheon explore this issue via the late works of some of the world’s greatest composers.
Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901), Richard Strauss (1864–1949), Olivier Messiaen (1908–92), and Benjamin Britten (1913–76) all wrote operas late in life, pieces that reveal unique responses to the challenges of growing older. Verdi’s Falstaff, his only comedic success, combated Richard Wagner’s influence by introducing young Italian composers to a new model of national music. Strauss, on the other hand, struggling with personal and political problems in Nazi Germany, composed the self-reflexive Capriccio, a “life review” of opera and his own legacy. Though it exhausted him physically and emotionally, Messiaen at the age of seventy-five finished his only opera, Saint François d’Assise, which marked the pinnacle of his career. Britten, meanwhile, suffering from heart problems, refused surgery until he had completed his masterpiece, Death in Venice. For all four composers, age, far from sapping their creative power, provided impetus for some of their best accomplishments.
With its deft treatment of these composers’ final years and works, Four Last Songs provides a valuable look at the challenges—and opportunities—that present themselves as artists grow older.
Without scenery, costumes, and stage action, an opera would be little more than a concert. But in the audience, we know little (and think less) about the enormous efforts of those involved in bringing an opera to life—by the stagehands who shift scenery, the scenic artists who create beautiful backdrops, the electricians who focus the spotlights, and the stage manager who calls them and the singers to their places during the performance. The first comprehensive history of the behind-the-scenes world of opera production and staging, From the Score to the Stage follows the evolution of visual style and set design in continental Europe from its birth in the seventeenth century up to today.
In clear, witty prose, Evan Baker covers all the major players and pieces involved in getting an opera onto the stage, from the stage director who creates the artistic concept for the production and guides the singers’ interpretation of their roles to the blocking of singers and placement of scenery. He concentrates on the people—composers, librettists, designers, and technicians—as well as the theaters and events that generated developments in opera production. Additional topics include the many difficulties in performing an opera, the functions of impresarios, and the business of music publishing. Delving into the absorbing and often neglected history of stage directing, theater architecture and technology, and scenic and lighting design, Baker nimbly links these technical aspects of opera to actual performances and performers, and the social context in which they appeared. Out of these details arise illuminating discussions of individual productions that cast new light on the operas of Wagner, Verdi, and others.
Packed with nearly two hundred color illustrations, From the Score to the Stage is a revealing, always entertaining look at what happens before the curtain goes up on opening night at the opera house.
This book is the first full biography of George Szell, one of the greatest orchestra and opera conductors of the twentieth century. From child prodigy pianist and composer to world-renowned conductor, Szell's career spanned seven decades, and he led most of the great orchestras and opera companies of the world, including the New York Philharmonic, the NBC and Chicago Symphonies, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and Opera, and the Concertgebouw Orchestra. A protégé of composer-conductor Richard Strauss at the Berlin State Opera, his crowning achievement was his twenty-four-year tenure as musical director of the Cleveland Orchestra, transforming it into one of the world's greatest ensembles, touring triumphantly in the United States, Europe, the Soviet Union, South Korea, and Japan.
Michael Charry, a conductor who worked with Szell and interviewed him, his family, and his associates over several decades, draws on this first-hand material and correspondence, orchestra records, reviews, and other archival sources to construct a lively and balanced portrait of Szell's life and work from his birth in 1897 in Budapest to his death in 1970 in Cleveland.
Readers will follow Szell from his career in Europe, Great Britain, and Australia to his guest conducting at the New York Philharmonic and his distinguished tenure at the Metropolitan Opera and Cleveland Orchestra. Charry details Szell's personal and musical qualities, his recordings and broadcast concerts, his approach to the great works of the orchestral repertoire, and his famous orchestrational changes and interpretation of the symphonies of Robert Schumann. The book also lists Szell's conducting repertoire and includes a comprehensive discography.
In highlighting Szell's legacy as a teacher and mentor as well as his contributions to orchestral and opera history, this biography will be of lasting interest to concert-goers, music lovers, conductors, musicians inspired by Szell's many great performances, and new generations who will come to know those performances through Szell's recorded legacy.
George Szell was the Cleveland Orchestra's towering presence for over a quarter of a century. From the boardroom to the stage, Szell's powerful personality affected every aspect of a musical institution he reshaped in his own perfectionist image. Marcia Hansen Kraus's participation in Cleveland's classical musical scene allowed her an intimate view of Szell and his achievements. As a musician herself, and married to an oboist who worked under Szell, Kraus pulls back the curtain on this storied era through fascinating interviews with orchestra musicians and patrons. Their recollections combine with Kraus's own to paint a portrait of a multifaceted individual who both earned and transcended his tyrannical reputation. If some musicians hated Szell, others loved him or at the least respected his fair-minded toughness. A great many remember playing under his difficult leadership as the high point in their lives. Filled with vivid backstage stories, George Szell's Reign reveals the human side of a great orchestra ”and how one visionary built a premier classical music institution.
This irresistible collection of stories is perfect for anyone interested in a fresh perspective on what it means to be a human being who creates art. Grace Notes for a Year sheds light on the fragile and perilous process of inspiration, composition, and performance required to create classical music, whether the final product is a masterpiece or a mess. Each page of the book corresponds to a different day of the year and features a true story about a famous figure in musical history. These delightful anecdotes—inspirational, informative, and often hilarious—disprove the myth of the artist as untouchable. Instead, Norman Gilliland exposes in them human vulnerability we can all relate to. From Beethoven to Wagner, these artists suffered from poverty, spent lazy days in bed, had scandalous love affairs, and often failed in their creative endeavors as often as they succeeded.
Haydn is the last major composer whose music was regularly discussed by his contemporaries in terms derived from the classical tradition of rhetoric. Within a generation of his death, that discourse had fallen from favor, but the historical relationship between Haydn and the rhetorical tradition endured.
In this volume, a distinguished group of contributors in fields from classics to literature to musicology restores the rhetorical model to prominence and shows what can be achieved by returning to the idea of music as a rhetorical process. An accompanying DVD, specially designed for this project, presents performances and illustrations keyed to its chapters, making musicological arguments accessible to nonspecialists and advancing additional arguments of its own through the medium of performance. The volume thus reaches beyond musicology to enrich and complicate the larger debate over rhetoric's role in eighteenth-century culture.
The years between roughly 1760 and 1810, a period stretching from the rise of Joseph Haydn’s career to the height of Ludwig van Beethoven’s, are often viewed as a golden age for musical culture, when audiences started to revel in the sounds of the concert hall. But the latter half of the eighteenth century also saw proliferating optical technologies—including magnifying instruments, magic lanterns, peepshows, and shadow-plays—that offered new performance tools, fostered musical innovation, and shaped the very idea of “pure” music. Haydn’s Sunrise, Beethoven’s Shadow is a fascinating exploration of the early romantic blending of sight and sound as encountered in popular science, street entertainments, opera, and music criticism.
Deirdre Loughridge reveals that allusions in musical writings to optical technologies reflect their spread from fairgrounds and laboratories into public consciousness and a range of discourses, including that of music. She demonstrates how concrete points of intersection—composers’ treatments of telescopes and peepshows in opera, for instance, or a shadow-play performance of a ballad—could then fuel new modes of listening that aimed to extend the senses. An illuminating look at romantic musical practices and aesthetics, this book yields surprising relations between the past and present and offers insight into our own contemporary audiovisual culture.
We’re all familiar with the image of a fierce and scowling Beethoven, struggling doggedly to overcome his rapidly progressing deafness. That Beethoven continued to play and compose for more than a decade after he lost his hearing is often seen as an act of superhuman heroism. But the truth is that Beethoven’s response to his deafness was entirely human. And by demystifying what he did, we can learn a great deal about Beethoven’s music. Perhaps no one is better positioned to help us do so than Robin Wallace, who not only has dedicated his life to the music of Beethoven but also has close personal experience with deafness. One day, at the age of forty-four, Wallace’s late wife, Barbara, found she couldn’t hear out of her right ear—the result of radiation administered to treat a brain tumor early in life. Three years later, she lost hearing in her left ear as well. Over the eight and a half years that remained of her life, despite receiving a cochlear implant, Barbara didn’t overcome her deafness or ever function again like a hearing person.
Wallace shows here that Beethoven didn’t do those things, either. Rather than heroically overcoming his deafness, as we’re commonly led to believe, Beethoven accomplished something even more difficult and challenging: he adapted to his hearing loss and changed the way he interacted with music, revealing important aspects of its very nature in the process. Creating music became for Beethoven a visual and physical process, emanating from visual cues and from instruments that moved and vibrated. His deafness may have slowed him down, but it also led to works of unsurpassed profundity.
Wallace tells the story of Beethoven’s creative life from the inside out, interweaving it with his and Barbara’s experience to reveal aspects that only living with deafness could open up. The resulting insights make Beethoven and his music more accessible, and help us see how a disability can enhance human wholeness and flourishing.
Image and Structure in Chamber Music was first published in 1964. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The major portion of this book is devoted to descriptions of the most important chamber music works, taken up in separate chapters by composer in broadly chronological order—Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Brahms. There are also chapters on the intimacy of chamber music, on the antecedents of the above-named composers, on nationalistic chamber music, on twentieth-century chamber music, and on chamber music in the United States.
In his study of Bach’s Clavier-Ubung III, Gregory Butler makes a major contribution to organ music and Bach studies by giving to original printed copies of this work the kind of attention normally reserved for manuscripts. He details the work’s chronology, production, aim, and even spiritual program, treating the prints as unique documents with discernible variants and readings. The need to examine early printed copies of music is being recognized as an important tool which can reveal as much as the study of early manuscripts. Composers themselves frequently took a major role in the preparation of the engraving. Clavier-Ubung III—arguably the most carefully planned, intellectually conceived, and challenging volume of organ music ever published—is a particularly useful example of Bach’s printed works known chiefly from the print itself. The print is richer in information than any of the other original prints of Bach’s music, making it a distinctly suitable repertory for the author’s innovative treatment. Butler reveals fascinating new information on the genesis and history of the collection’s composition, finding, in part, that sections of the work were composed considerably earlier than previously was believed.
“I complain bitterly of the editions of my last operas, made with such little care, and filled with an infinite number of errors.”—Giuseppe Verdi
The University of Chicago Press, in collaboration with Casa Ricordi, has undertaken to publish the first critical edition of the complete works of Giuseppe Verdi. The series, based exclusively on original sources, is the only one to present authentic versions of all of the composer’s works; together with his operas, the critical edition presents his songs, his choral music and sacred pieces, and his string quartet and other instrumental works.
The Works of Giuseppe Verdi will be an invaluable standard reference work—a necessary acquisition for all music libraries and a joy to own for all lovers of opera. The new series of study scores presents an adaptation of each critical edition that provides scholars with an affordable and portable option for exploring Verdi’s oeuvre. The study scores have been designed to distinguish editors’ marks from Verdi’s own notations while remaining clear enough for use in performance. The introduction to each score discusses the work’s sources, composition, and performance history, as well as performance practices, instrumentation, and problems of notation. The newest editions of the study scores examine two of Verdi’s three-act operas: La traviata and Rigoletto.
This clearly written guide to good listening habits is an excellent introduction to the essential musical knowledge one needs to understand the great musical masterpieces of past and present. Complete with examples and illustrations, this handbook introduces its reader to technicalities such as notation, terminology, and metrics, and will enable him to follow a score, identify instruments, pick out themes, and recognize common musical terms.
Libby Larsen has composed award-winning music performed around the world. Her works range from chamber pieces and song cycles to operas to large-scale works for orchestra and chorus. At the same time, she has advocated for living composers and new music since cofounding the American Composers Forum in 1973. Denise Von Glahn 's in-depth examination of Larsen merges traditional biography with a daring scholarly foray: an ethnography of one active artist. Drawing on musical analysis, the composer 's personal archive, and seven years of interviews with Larsen and those in her orbit, Von Glahn illuminates the polyphony of achievements that make up Larsen 's public and private lives. In considering Larsen 's musical impact, Von Glahn delves into how elements of the personal ”a 1950s childhood, spiritual seeking, love of nature, and status as an important woman artist ”inform her work. The result is a portrait of a musical pathfinder who continues to defy expectations and reject labels.
Spanish émigré guitarist Celedonio Romero gave his American debut performance on a June evening in 1958. In the sixty years since, the Romero Family—Celedonio, his wife Angelita, sons Celín, Pepe, and Angel, as well as grandsons Celino and Lito—have become preeminent in the world of Spanish flamenco and classical guitar in the United States. Walter Aaron Clark's in-depth research and unprecedented access to his subjects have produced the consummate biography of the Romero family. Clark examines the full story of their genius for making music, from their outsider's struggle to gain respect for the Spanish guitar to the ins and outs of making a living as musicians. As he shows, their concerts and recordings, behind-the-scenes musical careers, and teaching have reshaped their instrument's very history. At the same time, the Romeros have organized festivals and encouraged leading composers to write works for guitar as part of a tireless, lifelong effort to promote the guitar and expand its repertoire. Entertaining and intimate, Los Romeros opens up the personal world and unfettered artistry of one family and its tremendous influence on American musical culture.
Mad Music is the story of Charles Edward Ives (1874–1954), the innovative American composer who achieved international recognition, but only after he’d stopped making music. While many of his best works received little attention in his lifetime, Ives is now appreciated as perhaps the most important American composer of the twentieth century and father of the diverse lines of Aaron Copland and John Cage. Ives was also a famously wealthy crank who made millions in the insurance business and tried hard to establish a reputation as a crusty New Englander. To Stephen Budiansky, Ives’s life story is a personification of America emerging as a world power: confident and successful, yet unsure of the role of art and culture in a modernizing nation. Though Ives steadfastly remained an outsider in many ways, his life and times inform us of subjects beyond music, including the mystic movement, progressive anticapitalism, and the initial hesitancy of turn-of-the-century-America modernist intellectuals. Deeply researched and elegantly written, this accessible biography tells a uniquely American story of a hidden genius, disparaged as a dilettante, who would shape the history of music in a profound way. Making use of newly published letters—and previously undiscovered archival sources bearing on the longstanding mystery of Ives’s health and creative decline—this absorbing volume provides a definitive look at the life and times of a true American original.
Drawing on hundreds of operas, singspiels, ballets, and plays with supernatural themes, Magic Flutes and Enchanted Forests argues that the tension between fantasy and Enlightenment-era rationality shaped some of the most important works of eighteenth-century musical theater and profoundly influenced how audiences and critics responded to them.
David J. Buch reveals that despite—and perhaps even because of—their fundamental irrationality, fantastic and exotic themes acquired extraordinary force and popularity during the period, pervading theatrical works with music in the French, German, and Italian mainstream. Considering prominent compositions by Gluck, Rameau, and Haydn, as well as many seminal contributions by lesser-known artists, Buch locates the origins of these magical elements in such historical sources as ancient mythology, European fairy tales, the Arabian Nights, and the occult. He concludes with a brilliant excavation of the supernatural roots of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni, building a new foundation for our understanding of the magical themes that proliferated in Mozart’s wake.
In Making Light Raymond Knapp traces the musical legacy of German Idealism as it led to the declining prestige of composers such as Haydn while influencing the development of American popular music in the nineteenth century. Knapp identifies in Haydn and in early popular American musical cultures such as minstrelsy and operetta a strain of high camp—a mode of engagement that relishes both the superficial and serious aspects of an aesthetic experience—that runs antithetical to German Idealism's musical paradigms. By considering the disservice done to Haydn by German Idealism alongside the emergence of musical camp in American popular music, Knapp outlines a common ground: a humanistically based aesthetic of shared pleasure that points to ways in which camp receptive modes might rejuvenate the original appeal of Haydn's music that has mostly eluded audiences. In so doing, Knapp remaps the historiographical modes and systems of critical evaluation that dominate musicology while troubling the divide between serious and popular music.
Masterworks of the Orchestral Repertoire was first published in 1968. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The fullest enjoyment of an orchestral performance or a record concert comes with a background of knowledge about the music itself. This handbook is designed to help music lovers get the ultimate pleasure from their listening by providing them with that background about a large portion of the orchestral repertoire.
Professor Ferguson analyzes and interprets the most important classical symphonies, overtures, and concertos, as well as selected orchestral works of modern composers. He goes beyond a conventional analysis of structure since he believes (with a majority of the music-loving public) that great music is actually a communication -- that it expresses significant emotions. The great composers, on their own testimony, have striven not merely to create perfect forms but to interpret human experience. Mingled with the analyses, then, the reader will find comments on the expressive purport of the music.
For twenty-five years Professor Ferguson has supplied the program notes for the subscription concerts of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, and this volume is an outgrowth of that activity. In preparing the material for book publication, however, he studied the musical compositions anew, and the resulting chapters provide a much deeper exploration of the musical subjects than did the program notes. The themes of important works are illustrated by musical notations, and a brief glossary explains technical terms.
We seem to see melodrama everywhere we look—from the soliloquies of devastation in a Dickens novel to the abject monstrosity of Frankenstein’s creation, and from Louise Brooks’s exaggerated acting in Pandora’s Box to the vicissitudes endlessly reshaping the life of a brooding Don Draper.
This anthology proposes to address the sometimes bewilderingly broad understandings of melodrama by insisting on the historical specificity of its genesis on the stage in late-eighteenth-century Europe. Melodrama emerged during this time in the metropolitan centers of London, Paris, Vienna, and Berlin through stage adaptations of classical subjects and gothic novels, and they became famous for their use of passionate expression and spectacular scenery. Yet, as contributors to this volume emphasize, early melodramas also placed sound at center stage, through their distinctive—and often disconcerting—alternations between speech and music. This book draws out the melo of melodrama, showing the crucial dimensions of sound and music for a genre that permeates our dramatic, literary, and cinematic sensibilities today.
A richly interdisciplinary anthology, The Melodramatic Moment will open up new dialogues between musicology and literary and theater studies.
The Works of Giuseppe Verdi is the first critical edition of the composer’s oeuvre. Together with his operas, the series presents his songs, his choral music and sacred pieces, and his string quartet and other instrumental works.
This edition of Messa da Requiem is based on Verdi’s autograph score and other original sources. The appendices include two pieces from the compositional history of the Requiem: an early version of the Libera me, composed in 1869 as part of a collaborative work planned as a memorial to Rossini; and the Liber scriptus, which in the original score of the Manzoni memorial Requiem was composed as a fugue for chorus. The introduction to the score traces the complex compositional and performance histories of the Requiem and discusses the work’s problems of instrumentation and notation, while the critical commentary gives a full description of the sources and an account of all editorial decisions.
Messa da Requiem is the fourth work to be published in The Works of Giuseppe Verdi. Following the strict requirements of the series, this edition is based on Verdi's autograph and other authentic sources, and has been reviewed by a distinguished editorial board—Philip Gossett (general editor), Julian Budden, Martin Chusid, Francesco Degrada, Ursula Günther, Giorgio Pestelli, and Pierluigi Petrobelli. It is available as a two-volume set: a full orchestral score and a critical commentary. The appendixes include two pieces from the compositional history of the Requiem: an early version of the Libera me, composed in 1869 as part of a collaborative work planned as a memorial to Rossini; and the Liber scriptus, which in the original score of the Manzoni memorial Requiem was composed as a fugue in G minor. The score, which has been beautifully bound and autographed, is printed on high-grade paper in an oversized format. The introduction to the score discusses the work's genesis, instrumentation, and problems of notation. The critical commentary, printed in a smaller format, discusses the editorial decisions and traces the complex compositional history of the Requiem.
Gioachino Rossini's Mosè in Egitto is an opera that emerged from the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Italian tradition of oratorios written to be performed during Lent. The three-act opera draws from the Biblical book of Exodus to chronicle the story of Moses liberating the Israelites from Pharaoh's rule and guiding them out of Egypt. The librettist, Andrea Leone Tottola, also borrowed from an eighteenth-century drama to add a love affair between Pharaoh's son and an Israelite girl that motivates Pharaoh's final, fatal refusal in the opera to free the Israelites.
This critical edition presents the version performed in 1820 after Rossini had revised the unsuccessful and now lost third act of 1818. The edition includes an appendix with the original aria for Pharaoh written by Michele Carafa, which was performed throughout the nineteenth century even after Rossini replaced it with one of his own. Also featured are vocal ornamentation used in Paris performances and detailed information on the Paris productions between 1822 and 1840. This comprehensive critical edition provides a reliable source for interpretation and study of a work that Rossini called "sublime."
Music Lessons marks the first publication in English of a groundbreaking group of writings by French composer Pierre Boulez, his yearly lectures prepared for the Collège de France between 1976 and 1995. The lectures presented here offer a sustained intellectual engagement with themes of creativity in music by a widely influential cultural figure, who has long been central to the conversation around contemporary music. In his essays Boulez explores, among other topics, the process through which a musical idea is realized in a full-fledged composition, the complementary roles of craft and inspiration, and the degree to which the memory of other musical works can influence and change the act of creation. Boulez also gives a penetrating account of problems in classical music that are still present today, such as the often crippling conservatism of established musical institutions. Woven into the discussion are stories of his own compositions and those of fellow composers whose work he championed, as both a critic and conductor: from Stravinsky to Stockhausen and Varèse, from Bartók to Berg, Debussy to Mahler and Wagner, and all the way back to Bach.
Including a foreword by famed semiologist Jean-Jacques Nattiez, who was for years a close collaborator and friend of the composer, this edition is also enriched by an illuminating preface by Jonathan Goldman. With a masterful translation retaining Boulez’s fierce convictions, cutting opinions, and signature wit, Music Lessons will be an essential and entertaining volume.
For centuries the gamelan beleganjur percussion orchestra has been an indispensable part of political, social, and spiritual life on the island of Bali. Traditionally associated with warfare and rituals for the dead, the music has recently given rise to an exciting new musical style featured in contests that are attended by thousands. Ethnomusicologist Michael Bakan draws us into these intensely competitive events, in which political corruption, conflicting notions of identity, and irrepressible creativity rupture the smooth surface of cultural order.
Building from his own experiences as a beleganjur drummer, Bakan also takes us inside a distant musical world and into the lives of musicians connecting across vast cultural divides. Rich with musical examples, photographs, and an accompanying compact disc, Music of Death and New Creation is an unprecedented exploration of how music embodies and shapes life in contemporary Indonesia and beyond.
During the last years of his life, Rossini gathered his numerous vocal and piano pieces into fourteen unpublished albums, which he called Pèchès de vieillesse ("sins of my old age"). In 1857 he presented Musique anodine, a Prélude and six songs, to his wife Olimpe, in gratitude for her care during his long illness. This was the thirteenth album in the series. The first was Album italiano, a dozen pieces for one, two, or four voices with piano. Among the best known of these pieces is "La regata veneziana," three canzonettas for mezzo-soprano in Venetian dialect, in which the heroine encourages her racing gondolier. Another song, "Le gittane," has never before been published with its Italian text.
Based on the composer's own manuscripts, this critical edition restores Rossini's expressively precise musical notation. Appendixes contain earlier versions of six songs, some with different texts from the final versions.
Philippe Sollers, Translated and with an Introduction by Armine Kotin Mortimer University of Illinois Press, 2010 Library of Congress ML410.M9S6413 2010 | Dewey Decimal 780.92
Both a beguiling portrait of the artist and an idiosyncratic self-portrait of the author, Mysterious Mozart is Philippe Sollers's alternately oblique and searingly direct interpretation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's oeuvre and lasting mystique, audaciously reformulated for the postmodern age.
With a mix of slang, abstractions, quotations, first- and third-person narratives, and blunt opinion, French writer and critic Philippe Sollers taps into Mozart's playful correspondence and the lesser-known pieces of his enormous repertoire to analyze the popularity and public perceptions of his music. Detailing Mozart's drive to continue producing masterpieces even when saddled with debt and riddled with illness and anxiety, Sollers powerfully and meticulously analyzes Mozart's seven last great operas using a psychoanalytical approach to the characters' relationships.
As Sollers explores themes of constancy, prodigy, freedom, and religion, he offers up bits of his own history, revealing his affinity for the creative geniuses of the eighteenth century and a yearning to bring that era's utopian freedom to life in contemporary times. What emerges is an inimitable portrait of a man and a musician whose greatest gift is a quirky companionability, a warm and mysterious appeal that distinguishes Mozart from other great composers and is brilliantly echoed by Sollers's artful tangle of narrative.
Following the conquest of Mexico by Cortés and much of Central America by Alvarado, cathedral churches were established throughout the region, all with European-style polyphonic choirs. Among the most important of these early centers of Spanish culture was the cathedral of Guatemala City, where polyphony was already in use in the 1540s.
Shortly after 1600, the organist and choir director of the cathedral collected, organized, and copied into choirbooks all of the then-extant music used by the choir. The manuscript presented here in modern edition, one of at least five choirbooks prepared at the time, contains a number of otherwise unknown works by such major Old World composers as Francisco Guerrero and Cristóbal de Morales. Significant works by Hernando Franco and Pedro Bermúdez, choirmasters of the Guatemala City Cathedral, are also included. The manuscript presents a unified repertory for Holy Week and for the Salve services in Lent, including four settings of the Passion, for which the Spanish were famous throughout Christendom. Some of the works predate the sixteenth-century reform of the Roman Breviary and Missal, among them the original versions of several Vespers hymns and Magnificat settings by Guerrero that are otherwise known only in later versions found in Spanish sources. An extensive historical introduction by Robert J. Snow discusses the formation of the cathedral's musical repertory and illuminates both Old and New World practices of sixteenth-century Spanish liturgical music.
Rossini's Otello, first performed in 1816, remained an immensely popular opera throughout the nineteenth century and was only eclipsed by Verdi's more Shakespearean version. The critical edition by Michael Collins allows us to rediscover Rossini's Otello as one of the composer's early masterpieces in the tragic genre.
The first of eight serious operas newly-written for the Teatro San Carlo of Naples, Otello reveals Rossini as a composer deeply concerned with both character development and large-scale musical forms. Desdemona's "Willow Song" is a fine example: here not only is variation technique used for dramatic ends, but the song itself forms part of a larger scheme that encompasses the entire third act as a single, unified piece.
Far more than a mere forerunner to Verdi, Rossini's Otello deserves to be known for its own innovative qualities.
This volume makes available for the first time in a facsimile edition one of the most important musical manuscripts of the late Middle Ages.
Copied probably in Venice around 1430, the Oxford manuscript contains the most comprehensive surviving collection of secular songs of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. Of the 326 pieces, 216 are not found in any other source. Including works by Guillaume Dufay, Binchois, and nearly all other leading composers of their generation, it is central to an understanding of fifteenth-century song traditions. Because of the copyist's clear and distinctive hand, it is also significant for studies of late medieval musical notation. David Fallows's introduction includes a history of the manuscript, analysis of its preparation, and survey of its choice of repertory, as well as a full inventory of the music and alphabetical indexes by title and composer. The original-size facsimile includes beta-radiographs of all watermarks, as well as ultraviolet photos that show the copyist's changes and revisions.
This volume is the first edition in a new series called Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Music in Facsimile edited by Margaret Bent and John Nádas and published by the University of Chicago Press. This series will include high-quality reproductions of some of the most important and frequently studied European music manuscripts of the late thirteenth through early fifteenth centuries. Each beautifully produced facsimile edition will include a detailed critical introduction and a complete inventory by an acknowledged expert in the field.
As both composer and critic, Peggy Glanville-Hicks contributed to the astonishing cultural ferment of the mid-twentieth century. Her forceful voice as a writer and commentator helped shape professional and public opinion on the state of American composing. The seventy musical works she composed ranged from celebrated operas like Nausicaa to intimate, jewel-like compositions created for friends. Her circle included figures like Virgil Thomson, Paul Bowles, John Cage, and Yehudi Menuhin. Drawing on interviews, archival research, and fifty-four years of extraordinary pocket diaries, Suzanne Robinson places Glanville-Hicks within the history of American music and composers. "P.G.H."--affectionately described as "Australian and pushy"--forged alliances with power brokers and artists that gained her entrance to core American cultural entities such as the League of Composers, New York Herald Tribune, and the Harkness Ballet. Yet her impeccably cultivated public image concealed a private life marked by unhappy love affairs, stubborn poverty, and the painstaking creation of her artistic works. Evocative and intricate, Peggy Glanville-Hicks clears away decades of myth and storytelling to provide a portrait of a remarkable figure and her times.
Over the past century, the Philadelphia Orchestra has earned its reputation as one of the finest orchestras in the world. Philadelphia Maestros tells the tale of this marvelous orchestra through the tenures of three conductors: Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti, and Wolfgang Sawallisch. With their singular approaches to sound and public image, all three maestros left an indelible mark on the Orchestra, and the cultural life of the city of Philadelphia. A lifelong fan and scholar of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Phyllis White Rodríguez-Peralta paints intimate portraits of the conductors using archival material and interviews with musicians, including pianists Gary Graffman and Lang Lang, and violinist Sarah Chang. Rodríguez-Peralta's text captivates as she recounts Eugene Ormandy's performance as a last-minute substitute for guest conductor Arturo Toscanini; Riccardo Muti's magnetic presence and international fame; and the role of Wolfgang Sawallisch in moving the Orchestra to its grand new hall at the Kimmel Center. Engaging and entertaining, Philadelphia Maestros will be a welcome addition to any aficionado's bookshelf.
This is a groundbreaking study of the prestigious Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics during the Third Reich. Making extensive use of archival material, including some discussed here for the first time, Fritz Trümpi offers new insight into the orchestras’ place in the larger political constellation.
Trümpi looks first at the decades preceding National Socialist rule, when the competing orchestras, whose rivalry mirrored a larger rivalry between Berlin and Vienna, were called on to represent “superior” Austro-German music and were integrated into the administrative and social structures of their respective cities—becoming vulnerable to political manipulation in the process. He then turns to the Nazi period, when the orchestras came to play a major role in cultural policies. As he shows, the philharmonics, in their own unique ways, strengthened National Socialist dominance through their showcasing of Germanic culture in the mass media, performances for troops and the general public, and fictional representations in literature and film. Accompanying these propaganda efforts was an increasing politicization of the orchestras, which ranged from the dismissal of Jewish members to the programming of ideologically appropriate repertory—all in the name of racial and cultural purity.
Richly documented and refreshingly nuanced, The Political Orchestra is a bold exploration of the ties between music and politics under fascism.
“Playing in an orchestra in an intelligent way is the best school for democracy.”—Daniel Barenboim
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has been led by a storied group of conductors. And from 1994 to 2015, through the best work of Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, and Riccardo Muti, Andrew Patner was right there. As a classical music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and WFMT radio, Patner was able to trace the arc of the CSO’s changing repertories, all while cultivating a deep rapport with its four principal conductors.
This book assembles Patner’s reviews of the concerts given by the CSO during this time, as well as transcripts of his remarkable radio interviews with these colossal figures. These pages hold tidbits for the curious, such as Patner’s “driving survey” that playfully ranks the Maestri he knew on a scale of “total comfort” to “fright level five,” and the observation that Muti appears to be a southpaw on the baseball field. Moving easily between registers, they also open revealing windows onto the sometimes difficult pasts that brought these conductors to music in the first place, including Boulez’s and Haitink’s heartbreaking experiences of Nazi occupation in their native countries as children. Throughout, these reviews and interviews are threaded together with insights about the power of music and the techniques behind it—from the conductors’ varied approaches to research, preparing scores, and interacting with other musicians, to how the sound and personality of the orchestra evolved over time, to the ways that we can all learn to listen better and hear more in the music we love. Featuring a foreword by fellow critic Alex Ross on the ethos and humor that informed Patner’s writing, as well as an introduction and extensive historical commentary by musicologist Douglas W. Shadle, this book offers a rich portrait of the musical life of Chicago through the eyes and ears of one of its most beloved critics.
Available in English for the first time, Prosdocimo's Tractatus plane musice (1412) and Tractatus musice speculative (1425) are exemplary texts for understanding the high sophistication of music theory in the early fifteenth century. Known for considering music as a science based on demonstrable mathematical principles, Prosdocimo praises Marchetto for his theory of plainchant but criticizes his influential Lucidarium for its heterodox mathematics. In dismissing Marchetto as a “mere performer,” Prosdocimo takes up matters as broad as the nature and definition of music and as precise as counterpoint, tuning, and ecclesiastical modes. The treatises also reveal much about Prosdocimo’s understanding of plainchant; his work with Euclid's Elementa; and his familiarity with the music theory of Boethius, Macrobius, and Johannes de Muris. A foremost authority on Italian music theory of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, Jan Herlinger consults manuscripts from Bologna, Cremona, and Lucca in preparing these valuable first critical editions.
Wye Jamison Allanbrook’s widely influential Rhythmic Gesture in Mozart challenges the view that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s music was a “pure play” of key and theme, more abstract than that of his predecessors. Allanbrook’s innovative work shows that Mozart used a vocabulary of symbolic gestures and musical rhythms to reveal the nature of his characters and their interrelations. The dance rhythms and meters that pervade his operas conveyed very specific meanings to the audiences of the day.
As we approach the fiftieth anniversary of Richard Stauss’s death, scholarly interest in the composer continues to grow. Despite what was once a tendency by musicologists to overlook or deny Strauss’s importance, these essays firmly place the German composer in the musical mainstream and situate him among the most influential composers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Originally published in 1992, this volume examines Strauss’s life and work from a number of approaches and during various periods of his long career, opening up unique corridors of insight into a crucial time in German history. Contributors discuss Strauss as a young composer steeped in a conservative instrumental tradition, as a brash young modernist tone poet of the 1890s, as an important composer of twentieth-century German opera, and as a cultural icon manipulated by the national socialists during the 1930s and early 1940s. Individual essays use Strauss’s creative work as a framework for larger musicological questions such as the tension between narrative and structure in program music, the problem of extended tonality at the turn of the century, stylistic choice versus stylistic obligation, and conflicting perspectives of progressive versus conservative music. This collection will interest Strauss scholars, musicologists, and those interested in the artistic and cultural life of Germany from 1880 through the Second World War.
Contributors. Kofi Agawu, Günter Brosche, Bryan Gilliam, Stephen Hefling, James A. Hepokoski, Timothy L. Jackson, Michael Kennedy, Lewis Lockwood, Barbara A. Peterson, Pamela Potter, Reinhold Schlötterer, R. Larry Todd
Best known for the challenging four-opera cycle The Ring of the Nibelung, Richard Wagner (1813–83) was a conductor, librettist, theater director, and essayist, in addition to being the composer of some of the most enduring operatic works in history, such as The Flying Dutchman, Tannhäuser, and Tristan and Isolde. Though his influence on the development of European music is indisputable, Wagner was also quite outspoken on the politics and culture of his time. His ideas traveled beyond musical circles into philosophy, literature, theater staging, and the visual arts. To befit such a dynamic figure, acclaimed biographer Martin Geck offers here a Wagner biography unlike any other, one that strikes a unique balance between the technical musical aspects of Wagner’s compositions and his overarching understanding of aesthetics.
Wagner has always inspired passionate admirers as well as numerous detractors, with the result that he has achieved a mythical stature nearly equal to that of the Valkyries and Viking heroes he popularized. There are few, if any, scholars today who know more about Wagner and his legacy than Geck, who builds upon his extensive research and considerable knowledge as one of the editors of the Complete Works to offer a distinctive appraisal of the composer and the operas. Using a wide range of sources, from contemporary scholars to the composer’s own words, Geck explores key ideas in Wagner’s life and works, while always keeping the music in the foreground. Geck discusses not only all the major operas, but also several unfinished operas and even the composer’s early attempts at quasi-Shakespearean drama.
Richard Wagner: A Life in Music is a landmark study of one of music’s most important figures, offering something new to opera enthusiasts, Wagnerians, and anti-Wagnerians alike.
Robert Schumann (1810–56) is one of the most important and representative composers of the Romantic era. Born in Zwickau, Germany, Schumann began piano instruction at age seven and immediately developed a passion for music. When a permanent injury to his hand prevented him from pursuing a career as a touring concert pianist, he turned his energies and talents to composing, writing hundreds of works for piano and voice, as well as four symphonies and an opera. Here acclaimed biographer Martin Geck tells the fascinating story of this multifaceted genius, set in the context of the political and social revolutions of his time.
The image of Schumann the man and the artist that emerges in Geck’s book is complex. Geck shows Schumann to be not only a major composer and music critic—he cofounded and wrote articles for the controversial Neue Zeitschrift für Musik—but also a political activist, the father of eight children, and an addict of mind-altering drugs. Through hard work and determination bordering on the obsessive, Schumann was able to control his demons and channel the tensions that seethed within him into music that mixes the popular and esoteric, resulting in compositions that require the creative engagement of reader and listener.
The more we know about a composer, the more we hear his personality in his music, even if it is above all on the strength of his work that we love and admire him. Martin Geck’s book on Schumann is not just another rehashing of Schumann’s life and works, but an intelligent, personal interpretation of the composer as a musical, literary, and cultural personality.
If everybody were to play first violin, we could not have an orchestra. Therefore respect each musician in his own place.
There is no end to learning.
Originally published in1850, Advice to Young Musicians: Musical Rules for Home and in Life offered composer Robert Schumann’s (1810–56) combination of practical advice and poetic words of wisdom for young people beginning their musical education. Presented in aphorisms and short paragraphs, the book’s insights remain as valuable today as when it was written. Recognizing the continued resonance of Schumann’s words, world-renowned cellist Steven Isserlis, himself a writer of children’s books and many articles for young musicians, set out to rescue the work from history. Here, in this beautiful gift edition, he revisits Schumann’s work and contributes his own contemporary counsel for musicians and music lovers.
For this edition, Isserlis retranslated Schumann’s text and arranged it into four thematic sections: “On being a musician,” “Playing,” “Practicing,” and “Composing.” Each page is decoratively designed, and accompanying Schumann’s original quotation are Isserlis’s thoughtful and often humorous glosses. The book concludes with Isserlis’s own reflections on his life as a musician and performer: “My Own Bits of Advice (For What They’re Worth).” The result is a unique and thought-provoking book that will be treasured by aspiring musicians of any age.
Often called the musical equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Trent codices have dramatically broadened our understanding of Renaissance music. Much has been written about this collection of fifteenth-century music manuscripts, most of which were discovered in the Cathedral at Trent, but none of the seven codices--generally called Trent 87 through Trent 93--has ever been published in its entirety. Thus Rebecca Gerber’s edition of Trent88, which took more than a decade to prepare, will be the first to appear. As such, this volume is a landmark in the publication of early music.
Trent88 comprises an extensive anthology of 145 compositions tailored to the ceremonial and daily religious services of the period. The international scope of the collection is both impressive and significant: early English, French, German, and Spanish mass cycles appear alongside simple hymns and Magnificats. Music by renowned composers—including Guillaume Du Fay, Johannes Ockeghem, Johannes Cornago, and John Bedingham—is joined here by an even larger repertory of anonymous compositions with great aesthetic and historical value. Edited to accommodate both scholars and performers, and augmented with Gerber’s expert introduction, this volume will significantly deepen existing knowledge of a crucial period in the history of music.
At one time a star in her own right as a singer, Anna Magdalena (1701–60) would go on to become, through her marriage to the older Johann Sebastian Bach, history’s most famous musical wife and mother. The two musical notebooks belonging to her continue to live on, beloved by millions of pianists young and old. Yet the pedagogical utility of this music—long associated with the sound of children practicing and mothers listening—has encouraged a rosy and one-sided view of Anna Magdalena as a model of German feminine domesticity. Sex, Death, and Minuets offers the first in-depth study of these notebooks and their owner, reanimating Anna Magdalena as a multifaceted historical subject—at once pious and bawdy, spirited and tragic. In these pages, we follow Magdalena from young and flamboyant performer to bereft and impoverished widow—and visit along the way the coffee house, the raucous wedding feast, and the family home. David Yearsley explores the notebooks’ more idiosyncratic entries—like its charming ditties on illicit love and searching ruminations on mortality—against the backdrop of the social practices and concerns that women shared in eighteenth-century Lutheran Germany, from status in marriage and widowhood, to fulfilling professional and domestic roles, money, fashion, intimacy and sex, and the ever-present sickness and death of children and spouses. What emerges is a humane portrait of a musician who embraced the sensuality of song and the uplift of the keyboard, a sometimes ribald wife and oft-bereaved mother who used her cherished musical notebooks for piety and play, humor and devotion—for living and for dying.
The conductor—tuxedoed, imposingly poised above an orchestra, baton waving dramatically—is a familiar figure even for those who never set foot in an orchestral hall. As a veritable icon for classical music, the conductor has also been subjected to some ungenerous caricatures, presented variously as unhinged gesticulator, indulged megalomaniac, or even outright impostor. Consider, for example: Bugs Bunny as Leopold Stokowski, dramatically smashing his baton and then breaking into erratic poses with a forbidding intensity in his eyes, or Mickey Mouse in Fantasia, unwittingly conjuring dangerous magic with carefree gestures he doesn’t understand. As these clichés betray, there is an aura of mystery around what a conductor actually does, often coupled with disbelief that he or she really makes a difference to the performance we hear.
The Silent Musician deepens our understanding of what conductors do and why they matter. Neither an instruction manual for conductors, nor a history of conducting, the book instead explores the role of the conductor in noiselessly shaping the music that we hear. Writing in a clever, insightful, and often evocative style, world-renowned conductor Mark Wigglesworth deftly explores the philosophical underpinnings of conducting—from the conductor’s relationship with musicians and the music, to the public and personal responsibilities conductors face—and examines the subtler components of their silent art, which include precision, charisma, diplomacy, and passion. Ultimately, Wigglesworth shows how conductors—by simultaneously keeping time and allowing time to expand—manage to shape ensemble music into an immersive, transformative experience, without ever making a sound.
In New York and London during World War I, the performance of lieder—German art songs—was roundly prohibited, representing as they did the music and language of the enemy. But as German musicians returned to the transatlantic circuit in the 1920s, so too did the songs of Franz Schubert, Hugo Wolf, and Richard Strauss. Lieder were encountered in a variety of venues and media—at luxury hotels and on ocean liners, in vaudeville productions and at Carnegie Hall, and on gramophone recordings, radio broadcasts, and films.
Laura Tunbridge explores the renewed vitality of this refugee musical form between the world wars, offering a fresh perspective on a period that was pervaded by anxieties of displacement. Through richly varied case studies, Singing in the Age of Anxiety traces how lieder were circulated, presented, and consumed in metropolitan contexts, shedding new light on how music facilitated unlikely crossings of nationalist and internationalist ideologies during the interwar period.
While Karnatic music, a form of Indian music based on the melodic principle of raga and time cycles called tala, is known today as South India’s classical music, its status as “classical” is an early-twentieth-century construct, one that emerged in the crucible of colonial modernity, nationalist ideology, and South Indian regional politics. As Amanda J. Weidman demonstrates, in order for Karnatic music to be considered classical music, it needed to be modeled on Western classical music, with its system of notation, composers, compositions, conservatories, and concerts. At the same time, it needed to remain distinctively Indian. Weidman argues that these contradictory imperatives led to the emergence of a particular “politics of voice,” in which the voice came to stand for authenticity and Indianness.
Combining ethnographic observation derived from her experience as a student and performer of South Indian music with close readings of archival materials, Weidman traces the emergence of this politics of voice through compelling analyses of the relationship between vocal sound and instrumental imitation, conventions of performance and staging, the status of women as performers, debates about language and music, and the relationship between oral tradition and technologies of printing and sound reproduction. Through her sustained exploration of the way “voice” is elaborated as a trope of modern subjectivity, national identity, and cultural authenticity, Weidman provides a model for thinking about the voice in anthropological and historical terms. In so doing, she shows that modernity is characterized as much by particular ideas about orality, aurality, and the voice as it is by regimes of visuality.
Sounds of the Modern Nation explores the development of modernist and avant-garde art music styles and aesthetics in Mexico in relation to the social and cultural changes that affected the country after the 1910-1920 revolution. Alejandro Madrid argues that these modernist works provide insight into the construction of individual and collective identities based on new ideas about modernity and nationality. Instead of depicting a dichotomy between modernity and nationalism, Madrid reflects on the multiple intersections between these two ideas and the dialogic ways through which these notions acquired meaning.
Madrid challenges the view that Latin American modernist music and other art were mere imitations of European trends, advancing instead the argument that Latin American artists resignified European ideas according to their specific historical and cultural circumstances. His work shows how microtonal and futurist music, modernist and avant-garde aesthetics, as well as indigenist and indianist ideas, entered a process of negotiation that ultimately shaped the ideological framework of twentieth-century Mexico.
In Soundtracks of Asian America, Grace Wang explores how Asian Americans use music to construct narratives of self, race, class, and belonging in national and transnational spaces. She highlights how they navigate racialization in different genres by considering the experiences of Asians and Asian Americans in Western classical music, U.S. popular music, and Mandopop (Mandarin-language popular music). Her study encompasses the perceptions and motivations of middle-class Chinese and Korean immigrant parents intensely involved in their children's classical music training, and of Asian and Asian American classical musicians whose prominence in their chosen profession is celebrated by some and undermined by others. Wang interviews young Asian American singer-songwriters who use YouTube to contest the limitations of a racialized U.S. media landscape, and she investigates the transnational modes of belonging forged by Asian American pop stars pursuing recording contracts and fame in East Asia. Foregrounding musical spaces where Asian Americans are particularly visible, Wang examines how race matters and operates in the practices and institutions of music making.
Artists today are at a crossroads. With funding for the arts and humanities endowments perpetually under attack, and school districts all over the United States scrapping their art curricula altogether, the place of the arts in our civic future is uncertain to say the least. At the same time, faced with the problems of the modern world—from water shortages and grave health concerns to global climate change and the now constant threat of terrorism—one might question the urgency of this waning support for the arts. In the politically fraught world we live in, is the “felt” experience even something worth fighting for?
In this soul-searching collection of vignettes, Patrick Summers gives us an adamant, impassioned affirmative. Art, he argues, nurtures freedom of thought, and is more necessary now than ever before.
As artistic director of the Houston Grand Opera, Summers is well positioned to take stock of the limitations of the professional arts world—a world where the conversation revolves almost entirely around financial questions and whose reputation tends toward elitism—and to remind us of art’s fundamental relationship to joy and meaning. Offering a vehement defense of long-form arts in a world with a short attention span, Summers argues that art is spiritual, and that music in particular has the ability to ask spiritual questions, to inspire cathartic pathos, and to express spiritual truths. Summers guides us through his personal encounters with art and music in disparate places, from Houston’s Rothko Chapel to a music classroom in rural China, and reflects on musical works he has conducted all over the world. Assessing the growing canon of new operas performed in American opera houses today, he calls for musical artists to be innovative and brave as opera continues to reinvent itself.
This book is a moving credo elucidating Summers’s belief that the arts, especially music, help us to understand our own humanity as intellectual, aesthetic, and ultimately spiritual.
The String Quartets of Beethoven
Edited by William Kinderman University of Illinois Press, 2020 Library of Congress MT145.B425S75 2006 | Dewey Decimal 785.7194092
”We do not understand music—it understands us.” This aphorism by Theodor W. Adorno expresses the quandary and the fascination many listeners have felt in approaching Beethoven's late quartets. No group of compositions occupies a more central position in chamber music, yet the meaning of these works continues to stimulate debate. William Kinderman's The String Quartets of Beethoven stands as the most detailed and comprehensive exploration of the subject. It collects new work by leading international scholars who draw on a variety of historical sources and analytical approaches to offer fresh insights into the aesthetics of the quartets, probing expressive and structural features that have hitherto received little attention. This volume also includes an appendix with updated information on the chronology and sources of the quartets and a detailed bibliography.
The Two-Soul’d Animal illuminates an early modern debate that recognized the troubling extent to which Christian thought had defined the human in terms of two incompatible models of soul. As the sixteenth century progressed, Christian and humanist thinkers began to realize that these two souls fundamentally contradicted each other. On the one hand, Christian theology had a great debt to Aristotle’s tripartite model of the soul based on three organic faculties: intellection, sensation, and nutrition. On the other, the Christian soul was defined by its immortal, immaterial, and transcendental substance. The sixteenth-century acknowledgement of the two souls provoked a great deal of anxiety, leading Christian thinkers to ask: How can we, as God’s perfect design, have two redundant and yet contradictory souls? And how could the core of the religious subject possibly be defined by a psychological paradox? As a result, the “soul” was an intrinsically unstable term being renegotiated in Renaissance culture.
The English writers studied in The Two-Soul’d Animal place two prevailing interpretations of the soul’s faculties—one rhetorical on the plane of aesthetics, the other theological on the plane of ethics—into contact as a way to construct a new mode of Christian agency.
Haydn’s music has been performed continuously for more than two hundred years. But what do we play, and what do we listen to, when it comes to Haydn? Can we still appreciate the rich rhetorical nuances of this music, which from its earliest days was meant to be played by professionals and amateurs alike?
With The Virtual Haydn, Tom Beghin—himself a professional keyboard player—delves deeply into eighteenth-century history and musicology to help us hear a properly complex Haydn. Unusually for a scholarly work, the book is presented in the first person, as Beghin takes us on what is clearly a very personal journey into the past. When a discussion of a group of Viennese sonatas, for example, leads him into an analysis of the contemporary interest in physiognomy, Beghin applies what he learns about the role of facial expressions during his own performance of the music. Elsewhere, he analyzes gesture and gender, changes in keyboard technology, and the role of amateurs in eighteenth-century musical culture.
The resulting book is itself a fascinating, bravura performance, one that partakes of eighteenth-century idiosyncrasy while drawing on a panoply of twenty-first-century knowledge.
This year marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the most enduringly popular and celebrated composers to have ever lived. His substantial oeuvre contains works that are considered to be among the most exquisite pieces of symphonic, chamber, and choral music ever written. His operas too cast a long shadow over those staged in their wake. And since his untimely death in 1791, he remains an enigmatic figure—the subject of fascination for aficionados and novices alike.
Piero Melograni here offers a wholly readable account of Mozart’s remarkable life and times. This masterful biography proceeds from the young Mozart’s earliest years as a Wunderkind—the child prodigy who traveled with his family to perform concerts throughout Europe—to his formative years in Vienna, where he fully absorbed the artistic and intellectual spirit of the Enlightenment, to his deathbed, his unfinished Requiem, and the mystery that still surrounds his burial. Melograni’s deft use of Mozart’s letters throughout confers authority and vitality to his recounting, and his expertise brings Mozart’s eighteenth-century milieu evocatively to life. Written with a gifted historian’s flair for narrative and unencumbered by specialized analyses of Mozart’s music, Melograni’s is the most vivid and enjoyable biography available.
At a time when music lovers around the world are paying honor to Mozart and his legacy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be welcomed by his enthusiasts—or anyone wishing to peer into the mind of one of the greatest composers ever known.
This volume looks at the creative work of the great avant-gardist John Cage from an exciting interdisciplinary perspective, exploring his activities as a composer, performer, thinker, and artist.
The essays in this collection grew out of a pivotal gathering during which a spectrum of participants including composers, music scholars, and visual artists, literary critics, poets, and filmmakers convened to examine Cage's extraordinary artistic legacy. Beginning with David Bernstein's introductory essay on the reception of Cage's music, the volume addresses topics ranging from Cage's reluctance to discuss his homosexuality, to his work as a performer and musician, and his forward-looking, provocative experimentation with electronic and other media. Several of the essays draw upon previously unseen sketches and other source materials. Also included are transcripts of lively panel discussions among some of Cage's former colleagues. Taken together, this collection is a much-needed contribution to the study of one of the most significant American artists of the twentieth century.