Exploring Twentieth-Century Music: Tradition and Innovation

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 27, 2003 - Music - 238 pages
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In this wide-ranging book, Arnold Whittall considers a group of important composers of the twentieth century, including Debussy, Webern, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Bartk, Jancek, Britten, Carter, Birtwistle, Andriessen and Adams. He moves skilfully between the cultural and the technical, the general and the particular, to explore the various contexts and critical perspectives which illuminate certain works by these composers. Considering the extent to which place and nationality contribute to the definition of musical character, he investigates the relevance of such images as mirroring and symmetry, the function of genre and the way types of identity may be suggested by such labels as classical, modernist, secular, sacred radical, traditional. These categories are considered as flexible and interactive and they generate a wide-ranging series of narratives delineating some of the most fundamental forces which affected composers and their works within the complex and challenging world of the twentieth century.
 

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Contents

The work in the world
xi
Progressiveness and place
1
City life
4
Place personality and Sibelius
6
Environmental sensibilities
10
Reflections reactions
13
Weberns tribute to perfection
19
Weberns Op 27iii
23
Tippett and Shostakovich
115
Judging Schnittke
119
Affirmation irony
122
Rites of transformation
125
Mozart Wagner Henze
128
Wagner Britten Henze
136
The German labyrinth
140
Modernism lyricism
143

Canonic resonances
28
Rites of renewal and remembrance
32
Janacek in context
38
Bartok and tradition
45
Bartok in 1939
47
Transcending the secular
53
Dithyramb
60
Here and now there and then
63
Overlapping opposites Schoenberg observed
71
Models
73
Meanings
78
Music religion politics
82
The subject of Britten
87
Masking Dionysus
94
The constraints of genre
101
Engagement or alienation?
106
Kagel
111
Perspectives on Carter
148
Angles on Birtwistle
155
Experiment and orthodoxy
165
The Dionysian clockwork
167
Ways means materials
174
Mechanical and spiritual
177
Modernism in retreat?
184
Theory science semiotics
186
Resonance in space
189
Echoes of voice
195
Songs of ambivalence and experience
197
A final focus
202
Notes
206
Bibliography
221
Index
231
Copyright

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The Music of Mauricio Kagel
Björn Heile
No preview available - 2006

About the author (2003)

Arnold Whittall is Professor Emeritus of Music Theory and Analysis at King's College London and he has written widely on twentieth-century music. His recent publications include The Music of Britten and Tippett (1990) and Musical Composition in the Twentieth Century (1999).

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