- Gebundene Ausgabe: 606 Seiten
- Verlag: WW Norton & Co (24. Mai 2005)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0393057178
- ISBN-13: 978-0393057171
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,5 x 4,3 x 24,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 445.172 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Classical Music In America: A History Of Its Rise And Fall (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 24. Mai 2005
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In this chronicle of the tensions and contradictions of a musical high culture, Joseph Horowitz argues that classical music in the United States is peculiarly performance-driven. He traces a musical trajectory peaking at the close of the nineteenth century and receding after the First World War. He defines the decades of ascendancy as the quest for an American compositional voice, painting vivid vignettes of America's most celebrated performers and groundbreaking institutions. He explores a century of decline characterised by illustrious orchestras, conductors and virtuosos, and he exposes a crisis of leadership and suggests new musical directions in the post-modern age. Horowitz fashions a sweeping narrative-packed with personality and incident, textured by literature, sociology and intellectual history-that freshly illuminates the American experience.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
A former New York Times music critic, Joseph Horowitz is the award-winning author of ten books exploring the history of American music, including Classical Music in America and Artists in Exile. He lives in New York City.
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It is the attempt to establish a distinctive and indigenous school of musical composition that most interests Horowitz, and here his discussion is at its most valuable. He gives due weight to names that are now fashionable once again, such as Amy Beach, but also speaks up for some that are still neglected, notably George Whitfield Chadwick in Boston. The distinctive musical cultures that arose in the two cities are painted with a sure hand, resulting in many fascinating revelations: Edward MacDowell's chilly relations with many of Boston's pre-eminent composers, for example, came as a surprise to me. Alas, according to the author, though America has produced many major composers in the twentieth century, a truly distinctive and thriving culture of original composition has never succeeded in establishing itself. Horowitz blames this failure on the cultivation of what amounts to performer worship and the endless recycling of a canon of old masterpieces that took hold after World War I. His conclusions may be arguable, but his observations are unfailingly lucid and engaging. This is a book that will sit by Richard Crawford's recent book on American music, and books on American opera and singing by John Dizikes and Peter G. Davis, on my shelf of frequently consulted sources.
He wrote in the "Apologia" to this 2005 book, "I undertook this book for three reasons: The first is that there existed no history of classical music in the United States... this fundamental aspect of American classical music---the orchestras and opera companies, their artists and operators---has been remarkablhy little studied: the second reason for my book... My third reason... American classical music has been identified as a privileged high culture, spurning the popular arts. By the end of the twentieth century... this identity grew confused, as did classical music generally... This is not a textbook and makes no attempt to be comprehensive. Rather, I have found it more meaningful to focus on representative people, institutions, and events... I make no pretext of 'objectivity,' as my narrative is laden with analysis and criticism." (Pg. xiv-xvi)
He notes, "In sum, while [19th century] New York embraced a Romantic cultural nationalism rooted in the soil, Boston clung to elite cultural forms purged of folk art." (Pg. 69) He asserts, "The story of opera in the United States is, in part, the story of failed efforts: to inculcate a tradition of opera in English, to create a viable repertoire of native works, to foster an American school. And yet... opera in America remains a distinctive achievement." (Pg. 121) He records, "As in Germany, France, Italy, and Britain, the influence of Wagner peaked in the late nineteenth century. Wagner not only dominated America's musical high culture for a generation; his world of music and ideas... inflected general intellectual culture as no musician's had before." (Pg. 141)
He says about Charles Ives, "Ives ... embodies it all: proximity to Europe, plus a lingering American innocence. He culls the Transcendentalists; alone among composers, he attains the ranginess of Whitman and Melville... In the world of turn-of-the-century American music, he stands apart... heroically tilling terrain more virgin than any to be found abroad. If his style of expression... is unfinished, so was America... That is why, in his music, we recognize him not only as American but also as an emblematic American, speaking for all because speaking of origins. It is why he seems at once maverick and familiar." (Pg. 240-241)
He observes, "America itself produced a new world of popular culture so vibrant and pervasive it displaced high culture as a national marker. Jazz defined American music more than symphonies or operas ever did or would. Orchestras were relegated to the status of ... an exercise in retrenchment." (Pg. 270) Later, he argues, "The audience for classical music had become a democratized mass. The conductor was more a team player, whether by choice or necessity. The musicians were attaining relative authority... commerce and art jostled for attention... it favored the machinations of a business elite, a new class of music businessmen." (Pg. 414)
He summarizes, "If America's composers were a sidewhow to classical music's culture of performance, classical music... was itself a sideshow to American music at large. With the advent of radio and recordings, the postwar decades produced popular music as we know it, and... the central achievement of American music... jazz... To many, the jazz age ... blew aside all such high endeavors." (Pg. 460) He adds, "American classical music describes a single trajectory, rising to a height at the close of the nineteenth century and receding after World War I... By century's end, intellectuals had deserted classical music..." (Pg. 516)
Although at times I wished the book followed a more linear, "chronological" style, this is an excellent exceptionally-informative book on a little-written about subject.