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Twentieth Century Music Paperback – June 5, 1969


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 249 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1st edition (June 5, 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070622132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070622135
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,760,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Stukenschmidt's German analytical mind wraps itself around queries both musical and logical proffered by Charles Ives and Leonard Bernstein as they postulate the answer for the "Unanswered Question" - whither tonality (Ives in his composition by the same name, Bernstein in his 1973 Harvard Lectures). This carefully stitched narrative and discourse defining the genius of 20th century music deftly reveals why tonality came off the rails after Mahler, Richard Strauss and Wagner. It answers the question of why the Impressionism of Debussy and Ravel ran counter to Wagnerism, and provokes the realization that what Schoenberg and the Second Viennese School did in their attempt to turn tonality on its head actually provides us with the lasting art form of Expressionism. Stukenschmidt brings the 12-tone row alive in his descriptions of the contextual meaning behind Berg's operas "Wozzeck" and "Lulu," and puts the development of "modern" music in its rightful place. I found this work indispensable in comprehending music development after "Tristan und Isolde," when Wagner's harmonics simply vanished into the ether (to be reconstituted by London/Decca in their superb remastering of Solti's "Ring" cycle). How lucky we are to behold this sonic universe. That is Stukenschmidt's underlying leitmotiv throughout this music analysis. It couldn't be clearer.
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