Edward Elgar: Modernist (Music in the Twentieth Century) by J. P. E. Harper-Scott

By J. P. E. Harper-Scott

The 1st full-length analytical examine of Edward Elgar's tune, this ebook argues that Elgar was once a modernist composer, and that his track constitutes a pessimistic twentieth-century review of the character of individual. concentrating on Elgar's track 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 targeted on duotonality in musical buildings, sonata deformations, which means in tune, the character of tragedy, and the hunt narrative, the publication rejects poststructuralist and literary-theoretical interpretations of tune, substantially translates Schenkerian conception, and tentatively outlines a brand new house - a Heideggerian 'clearing' - during which tune of all sessions may be understood to function, be skilled and be understood. The booklet incorporates a exact thesaurus which gives the reader with transparent definitions of significant and hard phrases.

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Edward Elgar: Modernist (Music in the Twentieth Century)

The 1st full-length analytical examine of Edward Elgar's tune, this booklet argues that Elgar used to be a modernist composer, and that his song constitutes a pessimistic twentieth-century evaluate of the character of man or woman. concentrating on Elgar's tune 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.

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Extra info for Edward Elgar: Modernist (Music in the Twentieth Century)

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In other works, like the symphonies, Elgar is not always true to the superficial imperial ‘meaning’ of such passages, and for critical listeners willing to dirty themselves in the admittedly grotesque surface sentiments of some (extremely little) of Elgar’s music it will not be diYcult to discern a more subversive voice speaking from behind the imperial moustaches. And these were, in fact (speaking metaphorically), probably grown only under the influence of his wife. There is no space here to properly develop an argument to account for Elgar’s imperialism, but in a nutshell my view (which is explored more fully elsewhere, and has much in common with Bernard Porter’s) can be expressed in the following way.

44 Yet an Englishman often means more than he says, and Elgar’s diatonicism presupposes more chromaticism than it resonates. It is as Carl Dahlhaus notes with respect to Die Meistersinger: when chromaticism is ‘expunged from the consciousness . . 46 But he also reserves a ‘pure’, monotonal diatonicism of the sort Beethoven might have written in 1820 for crucial moments, and it becomes more meaningful as a result of its special emphasis. Even in Elgar’s largely accessible language such moments stand out, and they are among the most significant in his music.

It springs from oversensitivity to Elgar’s personal situation and understatement of the extraordinary 38 39 40 Robert Anderson, Elgar (London: Dent, 1993), p. 102. Hepokoski, Sibelius: Symphony No. 5, p. 15. Diana McVeagh makes a similar point in Edward Elgar: His Life and Music (London: Dent, 1955), p. 213. Styles and ideas 21 musical changes taking place between the First Symphony and FalstaV which, contra Mitchell, I say Elgar was not impervious to. We may still need to remind ourselves that Elgar was a ‘modern’ composer in 1913.

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