Musical Meaning and Human Values
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Fordham University Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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Examples and Figures
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As Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde discovered, there is a great deal to be said about the little word and. To speak of musical meaning and human values might be to ask how these things, in any of their numerous varieties, reinforce or oppose one another—or, rather, reinforce and oppose one another: ...
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Modernism comes in many guises. In the early twenty-first century, we are most likely to associate the word with the recent postmodernist turn, with cultural upheavals a hundred years ago, or with the radical questioning of Enlightenment values entailed in the emergence of Romanticism....
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Try as he would, E. T. A. Hoffmann never lived exactly the life he wished. In a well-known ‘‘Highly Random Thought’’ from Kreisleriana, one finds a motif that Hoffmann often varied in his literature and letters: ‘‘What artist has ever troubled himself with the political events of the day? He...
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Central Europe, the late eighteenth century: the slow movements of cyclical instrumental works embarked on a metamorphosis. Instead of expressing sustained states of feeling drawn mainly from the varieties of serenity and pathos, some slow movements began to explore the possibilities of...
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Lawrence Kramer’s brave new book, Why Classical Music Still Matters, climaxes with an account of the saving grace of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. The music, he says, imagines ‘‘an unbroken continuity of tradition.’’ Is this really imagining? Well, not exactly. ‘‘Imagining it, that...
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The relationship of Brahms to musical meaning and human values has perhaps never been imagined more vividly than in Hermann Hesse’s 1927 novel Steppenwolf. In a fantasy theater the narrator Harry Haller encounters Mozart, who waves his arms to disclose a misty desert landscape in...
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In 1907 Puccini made the first of two visits to New York; he had come to supervise the first performances of Manon Lescaut and Madama Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera. He was also in search of a subject for his next project. Accordingly, while in the city, and despite his very limited English,...
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Having chosen to write about three of my favorite musical works—all of them lacking canonic authority, but all, I believe, rich in meaning and human value—I find myself up against the problematic mismatch between personal taste and History. Taking another look, recently, at the prologue...
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It has been claimed that the dreadful wolf’s-glen scene from Weber’s Der Freischütz of 1821 marked a decisive departure in the presentation of villainy on the opera stage, introducing a new musical vocabulary for representing evil: tremolos, trills, bassless diminished chords, chromaticism,...
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Index of Works
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Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2009