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New Worlds of Dvorak: Searching in America for the Composer's Inner Life Hardcover – January, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Perhaps most curious about New World of Dvoř?k is that it barely seems to discuss the Master at all, but rather seems to spend most of its time discussing the critics, music researchers, philanthropists, and journalists who were so caught up in what they say as the promise of Dvoř?k. In many ways Beckerman does not describe who the composer really was, or what he really wrote, but what he represented to the Americans who brought him to America and followed his every move as though he was single-handedly spelling out the destiny of American music.
Rather than being a true biography of the composer, I would consider this book more of a very narrow historical and thematic sketch of American musical culture at the time of the Master's visit. Although Beckerman makes some very compelling musical arguments that attempt to find the true inspiration of Dvoř?k's supposedly "American" pieces, his analysis goes so far as to claim there the in fact exists no American nationalist music whatsoever, and this conclusion is just too hard to swallow. It is likewise odd that Beckerman insists that Dvoř?k suffered from debilitating mental anguish and persistent psychological problems. It almost seems that it offends Beckerman's sensibilities that a composer of Dvoř?k's historical significance was essentially "clean."
The author has done a lot of work trying to understand Dvorak, and his compositions. His explanations of the New World Symphony are extremely convincing, he has found which sections of the poem go with which passages of music.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Much of what is given above is also reflected in this second volume by Beckerman. Both go together in developing an appreciation of Dvorak's life.Published on May 5, 2014 by EdJoanne Hollatz