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In Search of Wagner

Author: Theodor W. Adorno
Publisher: Verso
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Richard Wagner's works are among the most controversial in the history of European music because of their powerful aesthetic qualities and, in wider political terms, because of their eventual assimilation into the official culture of the Third Reich. This concise synoptic account by the most brilliant exponent of Frankfurt School Marxism subtly interweaves these artistic and ideological qualities. It provides deft musicological analyses of Wagner's scores and of his compositional techniques, orchestration and staging methods, quoting copiously from the music dramas themselves. At the same time it offers incisive reflections on Wagner's social character and the ideological impulses of his artistic activity.


In Search of Opera

Author: Carolyn Abbate
Publisher: Princeton University Press
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In her new book, Carolyn Abbate considers the nature of operatic performance and the acoustic images of performance present in operas from Monteverdi to Ravel. Paying tribute to music's realization by musicians and singers, she argues that operatic works are indelibly bound to the contingency of live singing, playing, and staging. She seeks a middle ground between operas as abstractions and performance as the phenomenon that brings opera into being. Weaving between opera's "facts of life" and a series of works including The Magic Flute, Parsifal, and Pelléas, Abbate explores a spectrum of attitudes towards musical performance, which range from euphoric visions of singers as creators to uncanny images of musicians as lifeless objects that have been resuscitated by scripts. In doing so, she touches upon several critical issues: the Wagner problem; coloratura, virtuosity, and their critics; the implications of disembodied voice in opera and film; mechanical music; the mortality of musical sound; and opera's predilection for scenes positing mysterious unheard music. An intersection between transcendence and intense physical grounding, she asserts, is a quintessential element of the genre, one source of the rapture that operas and their singers can engender in listeners. In Search of Opera mediates between an experience of opera that can be passionate and intuitive, and an intellectual engagement with opera as a complicated aesthetic phenomenon. Marrying philosophical speculation to historical detail, Abbate contemplates a central dilemma: the ineffability of music and the diverse means by which a fugitive art is best expressed in words. All serious devotees of opera will want to read this imaginative book by s music-critical virtuoso.


In Search of Wagner

Author: Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno
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Metaphysics and Music in Adorno and Heidegger

Author: Wesley Phillips
Publisher: Springer
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Metaphysics and Music in Adorno and Heidegger explains how two notoriously opposed German philosophers share a rethinking of the possibility of metaphysics via notions of music and waiting. This is connected to the historical materialist project of social change by way of the radical Italian composer Luigi Nono.


Opera on Screen

Author: Marcia J. Citron
Publisher: Yale University Press
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"The author draws on ideas from diverse fields, including media studies and gender studies, to examine issues ranging from the relationship between sound and image to the place of the viewer in relation to the spectacle. As she raises questions about divisions between high art and popular art and about the tensions between live and reproduced art forms, Citron reveals how screen treatments reinforce opera's vitality in a media-intensive age."--BOOK JACKET.


After Wagner

Author: Mark Berry
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
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Offers histories of music drama beginning with Wagner's Parsifal and then looking at works by Arnold Schoenberg, Richard Strauss, Luigi Dallapiccola, Luigi Nono and Hans Werner Henze.


Essays on Music

Author: Theodor Adorno
Publisher: Univ of California Press
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"A book of landmark importance. It is unprecedented in its design: a brilliantly selected group of essays on music coupled with lucid, deeply incisive, and in every way masterly analysis of Adorno's thinking about music. No one who studies Adorno and music will be able to dispense with it; and if they can afford only one book on Adorno and music, this will be the one. For in miniature, it contains everything one needs: a collection of exceptionally important writings on all the principal aspects of music and musical life with which Adorno dealt; totally reliable scholarship; and powerfully illuminating commentary that will help readers at all levels read and re-read the essays in question."—Rose Rosengard Subotnik, author of Deconstructive Variations: Music and Reason in Western Society "An invaluable contribution to Adorno scholarship, with well chosen essays on composers, works, the culture industry, popular music, kitsch, and technology. Leppert's introduction and commentaries are consistently useful; his attention to secondary literature remarkable; his interpretation responsible. The new translations by Susan Gillespie (and others) are outstanding not only for their care and readability, but also for their sensitivity to Adorno's forms and styles."—Lydia Goehr, author of The Quest for Voice: Music, Politics and the Limits of Philosophy "With its careful, full edition of Adorno's important musical texts and its exhaustive yet eminently readable commentaries, Richard Leppert's magisterial book represents a brilliant solution to the age-old dilemma of bringing together primary text and interpretation in one volume."—James Deaville, Director, School of the Arts, McMaster University "The developing variations of Adorno's life-long involvement with musical themes are fully audible in this remarkable collection. What might be called his 'literature on notes' brilliantly complements the 'notes to literature' he devoted to the written word. Richard Leppert's superb commentaries constitute a book-length contribution in their own right, which will enlighten and challenge even the most learned of Adorno scholars."—Martin Jay, author of The Dialectical Imagination: A History of The Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research "There is afoot in Anglo-American musicology today the first wholesale reconsideration of Adorno's thought since the pioneering work of Rose Rosengard Subotnik around 1980. Essays on Music will play a central role in this effort. It will do so because Richard Leppert has culled Adorno's writings so as to make clear to musicologists the place of music in the broad critique of modernity that was Adorno's overarching project; and it will do so because Leppert has explained these writings, in commentaries that amount to a book-length study, so as to reveal to non-musicologists the essentially musical foundation of this project. No one interested in Adorno from any perspective—or, for that matter, in modernity and music all told—can afford to ignore Essays on Music."—Gary Tomlinson, author of Metaphysical Song: An Essay on Opera "This book is both a major achievement by its author-editor and a remarkable act of scholarly generosity for the rest of us. Until now, English translations of Adorno's major essays on music have been scattered and often unreliable. Until now, there has been no comprehensive scholarly treatment of Adorno's musical thinking. This volume remedies both problems at a single stroke. It will be read equally—and eagerly—for Adorno's texts and for Richard Leppert's commentary on them, both of which will continue to be essential resources as musical scholarship seeks increasingly to come to grips with the social contexts and effects of music. No one knows Adorno better than Leppert, and no one is better equipped to clarify the complex interweaving of sociology, philosophy, and musical aesthetics that is central to Adorno's work. From now on, everyone who reads Adorno on music, whether a beginner or an expert, is in Richard Leppert's debt for devoting his exceptional gifts of learning and lucidity to this project."—Lawrence Kramer, author of Musical Meaning: Toward a Critical History


In Search of the Holy Grail and the Precious Blood

Author: Deike Begg
Publisher: iUniverse
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THE HOLY GRAIL IS ONE of the most powerful myths in Western Culture. At the centre of this myth is the story of the chalice containing the Holy Blood of Christ, shed when Longinus pierced his side at the crucifixion. The search for the Grail has inspired artists and mystics for hundreds of years. Many churches and cathedrals were built on sites that claimed their part in this sacred mystery. IMBUED WITH THE SPIRIT OF the ancient quest and aware of its power as an antidote to our modern spiritual malaise, Ean and Deike Begg travelled throughout Europe, researching sites of the Holy Grail, the Precious Blood and their associated myths. This book is an illustrated account of their search and a practical, informative guidebook for travellers and seekers. It is full of fascinating information, such as the name of the Spanish cathedral that holds the cup of the Last Supper, the story of how a fig tree carried the Precious Blood to France and the secrets of the Grail castles of Germany. 'I believe that Ean and Deike Begg have done something of great importance in exploring the myth of the Holy Grail that played such a vital part in the deeps of Jung's spirit, and in re-establishing how now it is still one of the most dynamic elements in the search of the lost and bewildered modern soul for wholeness.'-Sir Laurens van der Post 'Deike and Ean Begg have revitalized the idea of pilgrimage.'-Michael Baigent 'An exemplary and vividly written guide to the many strange and beautiful sites associated with the Grail quest throughout Europe.'-Count Nikolai Tolstoy


Can One Live After Auschwitz

Author: Theodor W. Adorno
Publisher: Stanford University Press
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This is a comprehensive collection of readings from the work of Theodor Adorno, one of the most influential German thinkers of the twentieth century. What took place in Auschwitz revokes what Adorno termed the "Western legacy of positivity,” the innermost substance of traditional philosophy. The prime task of philosophy then remains to reflect on its own failure, its own complicity in such events. Yet in linking the question of philosophy to historical occurrence, Adorno seems not to have abandoned his paradoxical, life-long hope that philosophy might not be entirely closed to the idea of redemption. He prepares for an altogether different praxis, one no longer conceived in traditionally Marxist terms but rather to be gleaned from "metaphysical experience.” In this collection, Adorno's literary executor has assembled the definitive introduction to his thinking. Its five sections anatomize the range of Adorno's concerns: "Toward a New Categorical Imperative,” "Damaged Life,” "Administered World, Reified Thought,” "Art, Memory of Suffering,” and "A Philosophy That Keeps Itself Alive.” A substantial number of Adorno’s writings included appear here in English for the first time. This collection comes with an eloquent introduction from Rolf Tiedemann, the literary executor of Adorno’s work.


Walter Benjamin

Author: Howard Eiland
Publisher: Harvard University Press
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Walter Benjamin was perhaps the twentieth century's most elusive intellectual. His writings defy categorization, and his improvised existence has proven irresistible to mythologizers. In a major new biography, Howard Eiland and Michael Jennings present a comprehensive portrait of the man and his times, as well as extensive commentary on his work.