Stravinsky's "Great Passacaglia"
Recurring Elements in the Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments
Completed in 1924, the Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments is one of the works in which Stravinsky developed his neoclassic style. In response to the composer’s description of it as a ‘great passacaglia’, Traut analyses all three movements to identify repetitions of elements that ‘impact the piece at the deepest levels’. He also discusses the compositional sketches, Stravinsky’s performances as a soloist and the critics’ strong but mixed reactions.
Songs without Words
Keyboard Arrangements of Vocal Music in England, 1560–1760
Before the era of recording, keyboard arrangements were the primary means by which new music was disseminated. Mangsen uses this large and varied corpus to examine how the most popular tunes became the equivalent of today’s jazz standards, appearing in versions ranging from the simple to the highly virtuosic. She also highlights the importance of female keyboard players, at whom such arrangements were particularly aimed, in popularizing the opera genre.
Explorations in Schenkerian Analysis
In these essays 15 scholars investigate Heinrich Schenker’s techniques to analyse music ranging from Bach to Debussy, demonstrating the use of such an approach for the study of repertoire to which it is infrequently applied. The volume also features an interview with Edward Laufer, who was an influential advocate of Schenker’s method.
Individuals, Institutions, Communities, 1730–1830
This collection of essays addresses questions about consumers of music in the long 18th century: who bought music, how did they know what was available and who shaped the public’s musical tastes? The contributors investigate publishers’ commercial and promotional strategies, the popularity of Hungarian dances on the Viennese market and the roles played by critics, celebrities and amateur performers in the growth of musical consumerism.
Myth, Music, and Propaganda
During the 1870s the nationalist Artistic Society (Umělecká beseda) propagated the mythology of Smetana as both national symbol and instigator of a specifically Czech music. Kelly St Pierre examines the context, history and legacy of this campaign, discussing the motivations of Society members and considering how political and ideological discourses influenced scholarship on the composer into the Communist era.
New York Composers' Forum Concerts
Melissa J de Graaf tells the story of the Composers’ Forum, a free weekly concert series at which American composers such as Aaron Copland, Amy Beach and Henry Cowell introduced their work to a newly developing audience for modern music. She also analyses the transcripts of the question-and-answer sessions sponsored by the Forum: reflecting its inclusive, populist ideology, these conversations offer remarkable insights into New Yorkers’ diverse reactions to the music and their attitudes to modernism, politics and American identity.