By J. P. E. Harper-Scott
The 1st full-length analytical examine of Edward Elgar's track, this ebook argues that Elgar was once a modernist composer, and that his song constitutes a pessimistic twentieth-century evaluation of the character of man or woman. targeting Elgar's song instead of his lifestyles, Harper-Scott blends the hermeneutic and existential philosophy of Martin Heidegger with music-analytical equipment derived from Heinrich Schenker and James Hepokoski. during enticing with debates focused on duotonality in musical constructions, sonata deformations, which means in track, the character of tragedy, and the hunt narrative, the e-book rejects poststructuralist and literary-theoretical interpretations of song, notably translates Schenkerian concept, and tentatively outlines a brand new area - a Heideggerian 'clearing' - within which tune of all classes could be understood to function, be skilled and be understood. The booklet encompasses a specific word list which gives the reader with transparent definitions of vital and tough phrases.
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Extra info for Edward Elgar: Modernist (Music in the Twentieth Century)
Pp. 340–1. 32 Edward Elgar, Modernist script such that it is ‘authentic’ to him- or herself, even if not strictly ‘authentic’ to the intention of the ‘composer’. The ‘composer’ may provide a script for being, say, a chartered accountant; the ‘performer’ may choose to interpret that script in a surprising and ‘authentic’ (-to-self) way, perhaps by becoming a chartered accountant who manages the ﬁnances of rock bands. That is the main Heideggerian meaning of ‘authenticity’ in rough outline. Richer nuances will be drawn out in the discussion of the Augenblick in the next section and in Chapter 6.
Elgar’s diatonicism, often remarked upon, is still not fully understood. In none of his stylistic phases is it ever merely fogeyish musical atavism or an extension of his ‘popular’ style, although both play their part. In fact in certain cases it is a pungent twentieth-century mode of musical cynicism. Elgar’s language is diatonic in an essentially chromatic post-Wagnerian ‘language game’, as Wittgenstein might have called it; and although there may be quantitatively more of the diatonic, ‘Nimrod’-style writing in Elgar’s oeuvre than the complex chromaticism of the First Symphony’s exposition, nevertheless this more involved style is the basic one: one might 41 42 43 Dahlhaus, ‘Aesthetics’, in John Deathridge and Carl Dahlhaus, The New Grove Wagner (London: Macmillan, 1984), p.
Elgar’s last modernist work, FalstaV, was premiered in 1913, the same year as Gurrelieder, and its reception was as cool as Schoenberg’s was warm. In retrospect we can identify an ominous augury: the public was abandoning the echt-Edwardian composer. It was a crucial period in musical history, and its signiﬁcance for the generation of early modernists born around 1860 (which includes Elgar) is nicely encapsulated by James Hepokoski: the premiere in Dresden of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier on 26 January 1911 and the death of Gustav Mahler on 18 May 1911 .