Bach's Cycle, Mozart's Arrow: An Essay on the Origins of Musical Modernity / Edition 1

Bach's Cycle, Mozart's Arrow: An Essay on the Origins of Musical Modernity / Edition 1

by Karol Berger
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520257979

ISBN-13: 9780520257979

Pub. Date: 09/10/2008

Publisher: University of California Press

In this erudite and elegantly composed argument, Karol Berger uses the works of Monteverdi, Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven to support two groundbreaking claims: first, that it was only in the later eighteenth century that music began to take the flow of time from the past to the future seriously; second, that this change in the structure of musical time was an

Overview

In this erudite and elegantly composed argument, Karol Berger uses the works of Monteverdi, Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven to support two groundbreaking claims: first, that it was only in the later eighteenth century that music began to take the flow of time from the past to the future seriously; second, that this change in the structure of musical time was an aspect of a larger transformation in the way educated Europeans began to imagine and think about time with the onset of modernity, a part of a shift from the premodern Christian outlook to the modern post-Christian worldview. Until this historical moment, as Berger illustrates in his analysis of Bach's St. Matthew Passion, music was simply "in time." Its successive events unfolded one after another, but the distinction between past and future, earlier and later, was not central to the way the music was experienced and understood. But after the shift, as he finds in looking at Mozart's Don Giovanni, the experience of linear time is transformed into music's essential subject matter; the cycle of time unbends and becomes an arrow. Berger complements these musical case studies with a rich survey of the philosophical, theological, and literary trends influencing artists during this period.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520257979
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
09/10/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.25(d)

Table of Contents

Contents
List of Illustrations....................xi
Introduction....................1
PRELUDE L'Orfeo, or the Anxiety of the Moderns....................19
PART I BACH'S CYCLE 1 The Arrested Procession....................45
APPENDIX: St. Matthew Passion, opening chorus, full score....................61
2 A Crystal Flying Like a Bullet....................89
3 There Is No Time Like God's Time....................102
INTERLUDE Jean-Jacques contra Augustinum: A Little Treatise on Moral-Political Theology....................131
Augustine....................131
The Birth of Autonomy....................142
Rousseau....................148
The Christian and Modern Outlooks Compared....................158
The Emancipation of Time....................165
From Cosmos to History....................172
PART II MOZART'S ARROW 4 Mozart at Play....................179
5 The Hidden Center....................199
6 Between Incoherence and Inauthenticity: Don Giovanni and Faust....................241
7 Die Zauberflöte, or the Self-Assertion of the Moderns....................280
POSTLUDE Between Utopia and Melancholy: Beethoven and the Aesthetic State....................293
Acknowledgments....................353
Notes....................357
Works Cited....................393
Index....................409

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