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Quasi Una Fantasia: Essays on Modern Music (The Verso Classics Series)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0860913600, Hardcover)"Quasi Una Fantasia" contains Adorno's own selection from his essays and journalism over more than three decades. In its analytical profundity it can be compared to his "Philosophy of Modern Music" or his monograms on Berg, Mahler and Wagner. Its themes and references range from Mozart to Boulez, the minuet to the jitterbug. At the book's core are studies of the founders of modern music: Mahler, Schoenberg and Berg, as well as sympathetic rediscoveries of Zemlinsky and Schreker. Especially significant is Adorno's "dialectical portrait" of Stravinsky, in which he refines the damning indictment he gave in "Philosophy of Modern Music". In "Vers une musique informelle" he plots a course for a music of the future" which could take up the challenge of an unrevised, unrestricted freedom". More unexpecedly, there are moving accounts of earlier works, such as Bizet's "Carmen" and Weber's "Der Freischutz", along with "Natural History of the Theatre", which explores the rituals and hierarchies of the auditorium, from dress circle to foyer. Musical kitsch, be it Gounod's "Ave Maria" or the "Penny Serenade", is the target of several of the shorter pieces. Yet even while Adorno demolishes "commodity music" he is sustained by the conviction that music is supremely human because it retains the capacity to speak of inhumanity and to resist it.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:32:37 -0500)
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