ECU Libraries Catalog

Crisis music : the life-and-times of six twentieth-century composers / John Caps.

Author/creator Caps, John author.
Format Book and Print
Publication Info Brighton : Sussex Academic Press, 2022.
Descriptionix, 265 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Contents Introit. A proposition. Incorporating a century of crisis ; Music of a certain age, contents in context ; About this book -- 'Crisis music' and the six twentieth-century composers. Alexander Zemlinsky: waiting in the wings -- Alban Berg: the sensualist -- Arthur Honegger: the Protestant ethic -- Olivier Messiaen: the Catholic imperative -- Toru Takemitsu: a gardener, west of Eden -- Arvo Pärt: the keeper of the key -- Coda. The special case of crisis music.
Abstract Story-like chapters profile six twentieth-century "reactive" composers; not the most famous pillars of the period but lesser-known, perhaps more approachable, characters whose stories span that 1900-2000 period from decadent fin-de-sïcle Vienna (Alban Berg, Alexander Zemlinsky) to war-torn Paris (Olivier Messiaen, Arthur Honegger) to the Cold War tensions of East vs. West (Toru Takemitsu) and late-century Communism (Arvo Part). Their stories were all very different crises, and they produced very different kinds of music; each very "telling" of their composer's life and times. The book presents each brief biography almost like a detective story looking for motives, then spotlights one particular piece of music from each composer that emerged directly out of hard times--maybe a political crisis at the time of composition (Hitler marching into Paris or later Communist crack-downs); or some personal angst such as illness or scandal--and how that music contains and expresses crisis. In short, the subject for discussion is how context influences content. Such troubled and especially vivid composition, "crisis music" can often be most compelling and meaningful for its composer and for its time. Indeed, their music also seems to have a special resonance to share with our own crisis-prone times. And meanwhile, Western music history played-out its own story from late-romantic style to Serialism and Minimalism to the anything-goes Pluralism we hear today. The book sparks the discussion about how history, biography, and music intersects. At the behest of music teachers at secondary and tertiary levels, this book contains substantive Discussion Questions geared for classroom use.
Bibliography noteIncludes bibliographical references (pages 253-258) and index.
ISBN9781789761467 (Paperback)
ISBN1789761468 (Paperback)

Available Items

Library Location Call Number Status Item Actions
Music Music Stacks ML390 .C28 2022 ✔ Available Place Hold