Bach’s Cycle, Mozart’s Arrow
An Essay on the Origins of Musical Modernity
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: University of California Press
Download PDF (74.9 KB)
Title Page, Copyright
Download PDF (117.2 KB)
Download PDF (34.9 KB)
Download PDF (28.2 KB)
Download PDF (148.9 KB)
The change that is the subject of this book is well captured when you placetwo paintings side by side—Nicolas Poussin’s Il ballo della vita humana (ADance to the Music of Time) of ca. 1639–1640 and Giandomenico Tiepolo’sIl Mondo Novo (The New World) of 1791 (Figures 1 and 2). The earlier ofthe two abounds in circular images: bodies move along circular orbits to the...
preludeL’Orfeo, or the Anxiety of the Moderns
Download PDF (481.7 KB)
...complète, l’idéal enfin, je donnerais, toute ma fortune, mais j’iraiste chercher dans tes limbes, beauté céleste! Comme Orphée, jeoped in the late sixteenth century by those who dreamed of bringing ancientmusic back to life, only rarely come together in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, where,for the most part, the monody stays chastely diatonic. All the more preg-...
part iBach’s Cycle
1 The Arrested Procession
Download PDF (5.5 MB)
Those who heard Bach lead performances of his St. Matthew Passion dur-ing Good Friday Vespers at St. Thomas’s in Leipzig in 1727 (and later, in1729, 1736, and perhaps around 1742) probably had a printed libretto avail-able to them.1 To be sure, this would have included neither the text of thegospel (Matthew 26–27) nor the words of the independent Lutheran chorales...
2 A Crystal Flying Like a Bullet
Download PDF (389.4 KB)
A reader of Bach’s two sets of preludes and fugues The Well-Tempered Key-board (WTC) will be struck by the emphatic gestures with which the com-poser often announces the approaching end of a fugue. In most of thesefugues something happens a few measures before the end that alerts thelistener to expect closure. Take the very first, the C-Major, fugue of the first...
3 There Is No Time Like God’s Time
Download PDF (152.0 KB)
Why this powerful gesture that abolishes time in the opening chorus be-We know that in his representation of the story Bach did not limit him-self, as he might have, to setting the text of the Gospel but combined thattext with two other textual strands—traditional chorales and Picander’s freepoetry. The Gospel text, which mixes diegetic and mimetic modes, the voice...
interludeJean-Jacques contra Augustinum
Download PDF (159.6 KB)
In a private notebook of 1967 Nicola Chiaromonte wrote: “Any profound con-sideration of our time should begin by recognizing a fact: until yesterday—and this yesterday may be dated from the French Revolution or from theRussian one, from the first world war or from the second, it makes no greatdifference to the aims of the consideration—until yesterday, then, we still...
part iiMozart’s Arrow
4 Mozart at Play
Download PDF (314.2 KB)
The concept of form involves the interrelated concepts of the whole and itsparts. Only an object that is a whole and articulated into distinct parts canbe said to possess form. Form is an intelligible relationship between partsand a whole, where all the parts, rather than being merely a heap of unre-lated elements, contribute to the establishment of the object as a whole. It...
5 The Hidden Center
Download PDF (2.5 MB)
The three comedies Mozart wrote with Lorenzo Da Ponte are the largest-scale deployments of Mozart’s basic ideal of bipartite symmetrical balance.Each opera is divided into two halves, the first ending with a finale that bringsdramatic tension and confusion to its highest pitch, the second half’s finalebringing resolution to all the accumulated tension.The close correspondence...
6 Between Incoherenceand Inauthenticity
Download PDF (1022.4 KB)
Listeners will find themselves linking the effect of irresolution, nightmarishentrapment, unease, and deception in the Don Giovanni Sextet, which iscaused by the conspicuous absence of the dominant (conspicuous, becausethe dominant is implied by the tonal structure, as well as the basic proper-ties of the musical language used), with the equally conspicuous absence of...
7 Die Zauberflöte, or the Self-Assertion of the Moderns
Download PDF (67.3 KB)
The Magic Flute was Mozart’s only major Viennese opera not sponsored bythe court or prepared for the Burgtheater.1 The Theater auf der Wieden, inexistence since 1787 and directed by Emanuel Schikaneder since 1789, wasa modern capitalist venture that had a rich private backer rather than thestate behind it. One of several suburban venues that had sprung up in the...
postludeBetween Utopia and Melancholy
Download PDF (4.9 MB)
...had been long lost, “Innocence in Tones”; it is music about music.In the song of beggars and children on the street, in the monotonemelodies of wandering Italians, in a dance at a village inn or in thenights of the carnival—there he discovered his “melodies”: hecollects them like a bee, snatching here and there a sound, a short...
Download PDF (34.8 KB)
Several sections of the book have appeared previously, and I would like tothank the original publishers for permission to reproduce them here:Sections 1–3 of the Introduction, Chapter 2, and Section 6 of the Interludeuse material from my “Time’s Arrow and the Advent of Musical Moder-nity,” in Karol Berger and Anthony Newcomb, eds., Music and the Aesthetics...
Download PDF (161.2 KB)
Download PDF (81.4 KB)
Download PDF (159.4 KB)
Page Count: 444
Publication Year: 2007