Synopses & Reviews
explores how political pressures affected musical life on both sides of the iron curtain during the early years of the cold war. In this groundbreaking study, Danielle Fosler-Lussier illuminates the pervasive political anxieties of the day through particular attention to artistic, music-theoretical, and propagandistic responses to the music of Hungaryand#8217;s most renowned twentieth-century composer, Band#233;la Bartand#243;k. She shows how a tense period of political transition plagued Bartand#243;kand#8217;s music and imperiled those who took a stand on its aesthetic value in the emerging socialist state. Her fascinating investigation of Bartand#243;kand#8217;s reception outside of Hungary demonstrates that Western composers, too, formulated their ideas about musical style under the influence of ever-escalating cold war tensions.
Music Divided surveys Bartand#243;kand#8217;s role in provoking negative reactions to and#147;accessibleand#8221; music from Pierre Boulez, Hermann Scherchen, and Theodor Adorno. It considers Bartand#243;kand#8217;s influence on the youthful compositions and thinking of Bruno Maderna and Karlheinz Stockhausen, and it outlines Bartand#243;kand#8217;s legacy in the music of the Hungarian composers Andrand#225;s Mihand#225;ly, Ferenc Szaband#243;, and Endre Szervand#225;nszky. These details reveal the impact of local and international politics on the selection of music for concert and radio programs, on composersand#8217; choices about musical style, on government radio propaganda about music, on the development of socialist realism, and on the use of modernism as an instrument of political action.
"Highly recommended. Yields rich, evocative insights into a period of modernist music making now receding from consciousness."
and#8220;A nuanced analysis . . . . Demonstrates with great clarity relationships between aesthetic questions and broader political and social issues.and#8221;
and#8220;This is one of the most important books about music you'll read this year. . . . No one has bridged the gap between music scholarship and mainstream media as virtuosically as Taruskin.and#8221;
and#8220;A collection of essays by the fearsomely intelligent Berkeley-based musicologist [offering] a passionately engaging perspective.and#8221;
and#8220;Erudite and passionate . . . there is much within this intellectually generous compendium that merits serious and sustained engagement.and#8221;
and#8220;A stimulating book that offers a wide range of topics and ideas.and#8221;
"Joy Calico, however, writes with an ease and fluidity that positively invite the reader to understand her ideas and observations. She takes one of Schoenbergand#8217;s most important American works and uses it as a political barometer during the crucial post-war years of 1948 to 1968. As concepts go, it is quite brilliant. Addressing Cold War cultural politics in Germany, Austria, Norway, Poland and Czechoslovakia using Schoenbergand#8217;s A Survivor from Warsaw clearly illuminates the political complexities of the time."
Joy H. Calico examines the cultural history of postwar Europe through the lens of the performance and reception of Arnold Schoenberg's A Survivor from Warsawand#151;a short but powerful work, she argues, capable of irritating every exposed nerve in postwar Europe. Schoenberg, a Jewish composer whose oeuvre had been one of the Nazisand#8217; prime exemplars of entartete (degenerate) music, immigrated to the United States and became an American citizen. Both admired and reviled as a pioneer of dodecaphony, he wrote this twelve-tone piece about the Holocaust in three languages for an American audience.and#160;This book investigates the meanings attached to the work as it circulated through Europe during the early Cold War in a kind of symbolic musical remigration, focusing on six case studies: West Germany, Austria, Norway, East Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. Each case is unique, informed by individual geopolitical concerns, but this analysis also reveals common themes in anxieties about musical modernism, Holocaust memory and culpability, the coexistence of Jews and former Nazis, anti-Semitism, dislocation, and the presence of occupying forces on both sides of the Cold War divide.
"An exemplary exploration in cultural history which shows with great nuance and sophistication how a single seven-minute musical work can open up so many key themes for understanding postwar Europe. This is a fascinating and important book that demonstrates how postwar Europe, including its Cold War division, needs to be understood not solely through politics but through the interpretation of cultural forms."
and#151;Dan Stone, author of Goodbye to All That? The Story of Europe since 1945 (forthcoming 2014)
"A unique addition to the burgeoning field of Cold War music studies. In Calico's hands, a meticulously researched history of the European reception of Schoenberg's brief cantata becomes a compelling tale of high-stakes cultural politics."
and#151;Walter Frisch, author of The Early Works of Arnold Schoenberg
"Using Schoenberg's charged Holocaust memorial as a guide, Calico traces an innovative, transnational path through postwar European cultural life, challenging, refining, and overturning well-worn assumptions along the way. This highly compelling book will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in history, music, politics, Jewish studies, and the Cold War."
and#151;Peter Schmelz, Associate Professor of Musicology, Washington University in St. Louis
"This is an extremely important, groundbreaking study. The research is impressive and explores a wide variety of resources that span several languages, disciplines, and secondary as well as archival sources. Stylistically uncomplicated and lucidly written, this book is a fascinating piece of reading."and#151;Land#225;szland#243; Somfai, author of Band#233;la Bartand#243;k: Composition, Concepts, and Autograph Sources, Editor-in Chief of the Band#233;la Bartand#243;k Complete Critical Edition
Jewish Identities mounts a formidable challenge to prevailing essentialist assumptions about "Jewish music," which maintain that ethnic groups, nations, or religious communities possess an essence that must manifest itself in art created by members of that group. Kland#225;ra Mand#243;ricz scrutinizes concepts of Jewish identity and reorders ideas about twentieth-century "Jewish music" in three case studies: first, Russian Jewish composers of the first two decades of the twentieth century; second, the Swiss American Ernest Bloch; and third, Arnold Schoenberg. Examining these composers in the context of emerging Jewish nationalism, widespread racial theories, and utopian tendencies in modernist art and twentieth-century politics, Mand#243;ricz describes a trajectory from paradigmatic nationalist techniques, through assumptions about the unintended presence of racial essences, to an abstract notion of Judaism.
"This book makes a decisive and controversial contribution to the history of musical modernism. Moricz radically but thoroughly scrutinizes concepts of Jewish identity, and in doing so re-orders our understanding of 'Jewish music' as an outgrowth of nationalist, racist and utopian ideologies. The scholarship is superior in every respect. Jewish Identities is destined to become a seminal work in the reception history of European musical modernism. An absolutely outstanding and intellectually brilliant work."and#151;Harry White, author of The Keeper's Recital: Music and Cultural History in Ireland, 1770-1970
The Danger of Music gathers some two decades of Richard Taruskin's writing on the arts and politics, ranging in approach from occasional pieces for major newspapers such as the New York Times to full-scale critical essays for leading intellectual journals. Hard-hitting, provocative, and incisive, these essays consider contemporary composition and performance, the role of critics and historians in the life of the arts, and the fraught terrain where ethics and aesthetics interact and at times conflict. Many of the works collected here have themselves excited wide debate, including the title essay, which considers the rights and obligations of artists in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In a series of lively postscripts written especially for this volume, Taruskin, America's "public" musicologist, addresses the debates he has stirred up by insisting that art is not a utopian escape and that artists inhabit the same world as the rest of society. Among the book's forty-two essays are two public addressesand#151;one about the prospects for classical music at the end of the second millennium C. E., the other a revisiting of the performance issues previously discussed in the author's Text and Act (1995)and#151;that appear in print for the first time.
"Taruskin's work is a major contribution to thinking about music in the broadest sense. The book is lucid, powerful, varied, self-aware, and courageous. It is the very best work being done today, not just in musicology, but in any discipline."and#151;Michael Beckerman, author of New Worlds of Dvorand#225;k
About the Author
Kland#225;ra Mand#243;ricz is the Valentine Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Amherst College. She is the editor of a forthcoming volume of the Band#233;la Bartand#243;k Complete Critical Edition and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of American Musicological Society.
Table of Contents
Preface: Against Utopia
1. Et in Arcadia Ego; or, I Didn't Know I Was Such a Pessimist until I Wrote This Thing (a talk)
From the New York Times, mostly
2. Only Time Will Cover the Taint
3. and#147;Nationalismand#8221;: Colonialism in Disguise?
4. Why Do They All Hate Horowitz?
5. Optimism amid the Rubble
6. A Survivor from the Teutonic Train Wreck
7. Does Nature Call the Tune?
8. Two Stabs at the Universe
9. In Search of the and#147;Goodand#8221; Hindemith Legacy
10. Six Times Six: A Bach Suite Selection
11. A Beethoven Season?
12. Dispelling the Contagious Wagnerian Mist
13. How Talented Composers Become Useless
14. Making a Stand against Sterility
15. A Sturdy Musical Bridge to the Twenty-first Century
16. Calling All Pundits: No More Predictions!
17. In The Rake's Progress, Love Conquers (Almost) All
18. Markevitch as Icarus
19. Let's Rescue Poor Schumann from His Rescuers
20. Early Music: Truly Old-Fashioned at Last?
21. Bartand#243;k and Stravinsky: Odd Couple Reunited?
22. Wagner's Antichrist Crashes a Pagan Party
23. A Surrealist Composer Comes to the Rescue of Modernism
24. Corraling a Herd of Musical Mavericks
25. Can We Give Poor Orff a Pass at Last?
26. The Danger of Music and the Case for Control
27. Ezra Pound: A Slim Sound Claim to Musical Immortality
28. Underneath the Dissonance Beat a Brahmsian Heart
29. Enter Boris Goudenow, Just 295 Years Late
For the New Republic, mostly
30. The First Modernist
31. The Dark Side of the Moon
32. Of Kings and Divas
33. The Golden Age of Kitsch
34. No Ear for Music: The Scary Purity of John Cage
35. Sacred Entertainments
36. The Poietic Fallacy
37. The Musical Mystique: Defending Classical Music against Its Devotees
From the scholarly press
38. Revising Revision
39. Back to Whom? Neoclassicism as Ideology
40. She Do the Ring in Different Voices
41. Stravinsky and Us
42. Setting Limits (a talk)