Synopses & Reviews
Arriving in the United States at age twenty-seven, Hungarian-born Paul Henry Lang (1901-1991) went on to exert a powerful influence on musical life and scholarship in his adopted country for more than six decades. As professor of musicology at Columbia University, editor of the Musical Quarterly, a founder of the American Musicological Society, and chief music critic of the New York Herald Tribune, Lang became one of America's foremost musical scholars and commentators. This anthology of his previously uncollected writings includes essays written throughout his career on a full array of musical subjects, as well as unpublished chapters of the book on performance practice that he was writing at the time of his death.
Lang was concerned above all with safeguarding the purity of musical knowledge as reflected in both scholarship and performance. Whether addressing his fellow musicologists or the general public, he expressed a broadly humanistic conception of musicology in his erudite and entertaining writings on such diverse subjects as Bach and Handel, the historical veracity of the film Amadeus, Marxist theory and music, and the controversial issue of "authenticity" in performance.
"Lang applies to issues of music and musicology in the second half of the twentieth century a sweeping outlook and genius for remarkably durable generalizations that characterize his earlier Music in Western Civilization. His eloquent plea for compromise in performing early music may upset some enthusiasts of 'authenticity' but is backed by solid good sense and a firm command of the historical context". -- Claude V. Palisca, Henry L. and Lucy G. Moses Professor Emeritus of Music, Yale University
Table of Contents
On musicology -- New thoughts on old music -- Music in twentieth-century civilization -- On performance practice.