Events | Calls - Part 12

posted by WFischer on 2007/05/07 20:26

[ events | calls ]


Benjamin M. Korstvedt
Reading Music Criticism Beyond The "Fin-de-Siècle-Vienna" Paradigm

(IFK Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften, Wien)

14. Mai 2007, 18 Uhr c. t.

For several decades, the so-called "fin-de-siècle Vienna" paradigm has been a usual starting point for studies of late nineteenth-century Viennese culture. In its simplest terms, this paradigm, which was famously formulated by Carl Schorske, sees the leading tendency in Viennese cultural life around 1900 in the "eclipse and failure" of the culture of Liberalism and the corresponding rise of various forms of illiberal modernism. Influential efforts to apply this paradigm to music appeared in the early 1990s, arguing that the crisis and collapse of Viennese liberalism was already reflected in the musical conflicts of the 1880s and 1890s. This approach does have some important things to say about the musical landscape of Vienna in the late nineteenth century, yet it can oversimplify the political aspects of musical life.

This presentation shows how rethinking the relationship between the verbal texts and cultural pretexts of music criticism and the music it discusses can extend our understanding of the 'cultural work' done by music criticism. It focuses on the ways in which critics including Eduard Hanslick, Hugo Wolf, and Gustav Dömpke evoked various of orders of value – the cultural psychology of religion, the sensuousness of musical experience, the competing aesthetic claims of reason and affect, pleasure and horror – to establish the conceptual space in which the meaning of concert music was to be figured.

Benjamin Korstvedt, Associate Professor of Music, is Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, and IFK_Senior Fellow.
Publications (among others): Anton Bruckner in the Third Reich and After: an Essay on Ideology and Bruckner Reception, in: The Musical Quarterly, 80, 1996, p. 132–160; 'Return to the Pure Sources': The Ideology and Text-Critical Legacy of the First Bruckner Gesamtausgabe, in: Bruckner Studies, Cambridge University Press 1997, p. 91–109; Anton Bruckner: Symphony no. 8, Cambridge Music Handbooks, Cambridge University Press 2000; Anton Bruckner: IV Symphonie Es-Dur, Fassung von 1888, Anton Bruckner Sämtliche Werke, Vienna 2004; Between Formlessness and Formality: Aspects of Bruckner’s Approach to Symphonic Form, in: The Cambridge Companion to Bruckner, Cambridge University Press 2004, p. 170–189; Listening for Utopia: On Ernst Bloch’s musical metaphors, Cambridge University Press (in preparation).

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