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Opera and the Morbidity of Music

Opera and the Morbidity of Music

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Add This - Opera and the Morbidity of Music

Written by Joseph KermanAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Joseph Kerman

  • Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
  •  
  • Publisher: New York Review Books
  • On Sale: April 8, 2008
  • Price: $27.95
  • ISBN: 978-1-59017-265-0 (1-59017-265-5)
about this book

The death of classical music, the distinguished critic and musicologist Joseph Kerman declares, is “a tired, vacuous concept that will not die.” In this wide-ranging collection of essays and reviews, Kerman examines the ongoing vitality of the classical music tradition, from the days of Guillaume Dufay, John Taverner, and William Byrd to contemporary operas by Philip Glass and John Adams.

Here are enlightening investigations of the lives and works of the greatest composers: Bach and his Well-Tempered Clavier, Mozart’s and Beethoven’s piano concertos, Schubert’s songs, Wagner’s and Verdi’s operas. Kerman discusses The Magic Flute as well as productions of the Monteverdi operas in Brooklyn and the Ring in San Francisco and Bayreuth. He also includes remembrances of Maria Callas and Carlos Kleiber that make clear why they were such extraordinary musicians.

Kerman argues that predictions—let alone assumptions—of the death of classical music are not a new development but part of a cultural transformation that has long been with us. Always alert to the significance of historical changes, from the invention of music notation to the advent of recording, he proposes that the place to look for renewal of the classical music tradition in America today is in opera—in a flood of new works, the rediscovery of long-forgotten ones, and innovative productions by companies large and small.

Kerman’s essays will ultimately invite students to listen afresh and to engage with his insights into how music works.