Synopses & Reviews
This historical anthology shows the evolution of music journalism and its place in Western culture over the past three centuries and illustrates the richness, variety, and vitality of music criticism as both an intellectual enterprise and a literary genre. Because little music criticism in foreign languages is accessible to English-speaking readers, Harry Haskell has made a special point of exemplifying regional traditions of critical writing from throughout the Western world. Included in The Attentive Listener are articles not only from England, Western Europe, and the United States, but also from Russia, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Latin America, and Canada. Each of the one hundred articles here relates to one or more topics of central importance in music history, such as the nature of musical taste and criticism, operatic reform, cultural nationalism, the value of tradition, and the impact of modern technologies on composers, performers, and audiences.
The Attentive Listener differs from previous anthologies of musical writings in its emphasis on journalistic criticism, its broadly international scope, and the thematic organization of the articles, most of which have not been translated or anthologized before. The writers represented include not only professional critics and scholars but also composers such as Debussy, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Janacek, and Virgil Thomson, and literary figures such as Heine, Boito, and Shaw.
"A delightful collection of 100 items of musical commentary dating across the centuries. . . . Eminently readable and thoroughly informative."--Library Journal
"A beautifully collected and annotated anthology of occasional writings about music--reviews, not lectures; speculations, not theories. . . . Writing criticism of any kind is a peculiar thing to do; writing criticism of music, which is not only a non-verbal art, but one that won't stand still, is nearly impossible. . . . I was astonished and grateful that Haskell had been able to track down so many sparkling reviews, and so many casual references. . . . The readers of The Attentive Listener
will find themselves not only touched and amused, but strangely awakened and re-charged by it. I recommend it to anybody who likes music and wants to like it yet again."--Reed Woodhouse, The Boston Book Review
"With this collection Haskell intends to illustrate the vitality and variety of journalistic music criticism, as well as to give some impression of the way music criticism has evolved in the last three centuries. In my opinion he has succeeded handsomely. The essays are entertaining and engaging, presenting a strong and comprehensible point of view; not a few of them are jewels of the art."--Scott Burnham, Princeton University
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements Preface Pt. I. The Eighteenth Century
Pt. II. The Nineteenth Century
- 1. Joseph Addison, "On Italian Opera"
- 2. Johann Mattheson, Preface to Critica musica
- 3. Anonymous, 'Defence of Operas'
- 4. Johann Adolph Scheibe, "A Plea for German Opera"
- 5. Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg, "The Attentive Listener"
- 6. Marc-Antoine Laugier(?), 'Zoroastre'
- 7. Friedrich Melchior Grimm, "Obituary of Jean-Philippe Rameau"
- 8. Johann Adam Hiller, 'Report on the Comic Opera Lisuart und Dariolette'
- 9. Michel-Paul-Guy de Chabanon, 'Letter on the Musical Properties of the French Language'
- 10. Francois Arnaud(?), 'The Evening Wasted at the Opera'
- 11. Nicolas Etienne Framery(?), 'On the Best Means of Naturalizing a Taste for Good Music in France'
- 12. Georg Joseph Vogler, 'On the State of Music in France'
- 13. Johann Friedrich Reichardt, 'On Musical Performance'
- 14. Anonymous, 'From a Letter from Hamburg "to the Magazin der Musik"'
- 15. Charles Burney, Review of Observations on the Present State of Music, in London, by William Jackson of Exeter
- 16. Anonymous, 'On Fashion in Music: Second Letter'
- 17. Friedrich Rochlitz, 'Difference of Opinion about Works of Music'
Pt. III. The Twentieth Century
- 18. Leigh Hunt, "'Pantomime with Its Tongue Cut'"
- 19. E. T. A. Hoffmann, 'Casual Reflections on the Appearance of This Journal'
- 20. Anonymous, 'To the Editor "of the Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review"'
- 21. William Ayrton, "Beethoven's Ninth Symphony"
- 22. Adolf Bernhard Marx, 'Lost Loves, or German Composers in Paris'
- 23. Ludwig Rellstab, 'Moser's Symphony Soiree'
- 24. Francois-Joseph Fetis, 'On the Future of Music'
- 25. Robert Schumann, 'To Chiara'
- 26. Vladimir Fyodorovich Odoyevsky, 'Letter to a Music Lover about an Opera by Glinka: Ivan Susanin' and 'A New Russian Opera: Ivan Susanin'
- 27. Castil-Blaze, 'On Musical Imitation'
- 28. Henry F. Chorley, 'Contemporary Musical Composers: Giuseppe Verdi'
- 29. Heinrich Heine, 'Musical Season of 1844'
- 30. John Sullivan Dwight, 'Mr. Fry and His Critics'
- 31. Abramo Basevi, 'Italy and Music'
- 32. James W. Davison, 'A Leonine Virtuoso'
- 33. Hector Berlioz, 'Beethoven in the Ring of Saturn: Mediums'
- 34. Jozef Sikorski, 'Music and Citizenship'
- 35. William Henry Fry, 'Academy of Music'
- 36. Arrigo Boito, 'Musical Chronicle'
- 37. Bedrich Smetana, 'Public Musical Life in Prague: Opera'
- 38. Aleksandr Nikolayevich Serov, 'Ruslan and the Ruslanists'
- 39. Filippo Filippi, 'Wagner: Musical Voyage in the Land of the Future'
- 40. Antonio Pena y Goni, 'Zubiaurre and His First Opera'
- 41. Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky, 'Musical Chronicle: Don Giovanni and Zora at the Italian Opera'
- 42. Cesar Cui, 'The New Russian School: Boris Godunov, Opera by Mussorgsky'
- 43. Eduard Hanslick, 'Wagner Cult'
- 44. Vladimir Vasilyevich Stasov, 'Twenty-five Years of Russian Art: Our Music'
- 45. Hugo Wolf, 'Haydn's Creation'
- 46. Leos Janacek, "Carmen and the Bridegrooms"
- 47. Camille Bellaigue, 'Boredom in Music'
- 48. Willy (Henry Gauthier-Villars), "'A Mishmash of Eroticism and Prayer'"
- 49. Paul Dukas, 'The Debussy Quartet'
- 50. George Bernard Shaw, "Wagner as Dramatic Poet"
- 51. William Foster Apthrop, 'Canons'
Further Reading Index
- 52. John F. Runciman, 'English Music in the Nineteenth Century'
- 53. Claude Debussy, 'Conversation with Monsieur Croche'
- 54. Silvio Benco, 'The Post-Wagnerians'
- 55. Felipe Pedrell, 'Snobs'
- 56. Edward H. Krehbiel, 'The Salome of Wilde and Strauss'
- 57. Phillip Hale, 'Debussy's Pelleas Stirs up Critics'
- 58. Julius Korngold, "Mahler's Ninth Symphony"
- 59. William J. Henderson, 'The Function of Musical Criticism'
- 60. Zoltan Kodaly, 'On the Occasion of the Premiere of Bluebeard's Castle'
- 61. Adolfo Salazar, 'Goyescas and "Local Colour"'
- 62. James Gibbons Huneker, 'The Music of Yesterday?'
- 63. Max Brod, 'On Vitezslav Novak's Storm'
- 64. Emile Vuillermoz, 'Arnold Schonberg, Pierrot lunaire'
- 65. Adolf Weissmann, 'Race and Modernity'
- 66. Boris de Schloezer, 'A Proletarian Music'
- 67. Boris Asafyev, 'Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto'
- 68. Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt, 'The Mechanization of Music'
- 69. Brunoi Barilli, 'Stravinsky'
- 70. Willem Pijper, 'Neo-classicism'
- 71. Adolphe Boschot, Pan-Germanism and Der Rosenkavalier'
- 72. Ernest Newman, 'A "Physiology" of Criticism'
- 73. Leo-Pol Morin, 'In Search of Genius'
- 74. Elmer Diktonius, 'Sibelius'
- 75. Alois Haba, 'What would Leos Janacek Do if He Were still among Us?'
- 76. Theodor Adorno, 'Background Music'
- 77. Ivan Sollertinsky, 'Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District'
- 78. Wihelm Peterson-Berger, 'On Musical Form'
- 79. Olin Downes, 'On Misreading Meanings into Sibelius'
- 80. Zofia Lissa, 'Karol Szymanowski'
- 81. Robert Aloys Mooser, 'Works by German Nazi Composers'
- 82. Gianandrea Gavazzeni, 'Cinematic Images and Musical Images'
- 83. Alfred Einstein, 'Universality and Music Today'
- 84. Paul Rosenfeld, 'Ives's Concord Sonata'
- 85. Reynaldo Hahn, 'To Please'
- 86. Heinrich Strobel, 'Farewell to Schonberg'
- 87. Willi Schuh, 'Stravinsky and Tradition'
- 88. Willem Andriessen, 'Two Kinds of Music of the Future'
- 89. Neville Cardus, 'The Pioneer's Dusty Path'
- 90. Guido Pannain, 'To Know Music'
- 91. Virgil Thomson, 'Music's Tradition of Constant Change'
- 92. Stefan Kisielewski, 'The Seventh Autumn'
- 93. Ivan Vojtech, 'To Change Only Opinions?'
- 94. Martin Cooper, 'Composers and the Influence of Politics'
- 95. Joachim Kaiser, 'Music and Recordings'
- 96. Massimo Mila, 'Benjamin Britten Is Dead'
- 97. Jorge Velazco, 'Television Music'
- 98. Gerard Conde, 'Consonances for Tomorrow'
- 99. Alexander Ivashkin, 'The Paradox of Russian Non-Liberty'
- 100. Andrew Porter, 'A Feast for the Willing Ear'