Between Old Worlds and New: Occasional Writings on Music

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Wilfrid Mellers ranks among the most eminent of contemporary British writers and lecturers on music. The range of his interest is exceptionally wide, encompassing music from the renaissance to the present day, from Monteverdi to Minimalism, not excluding jazz and many different forms of popular music, as well as music from non-western cultures. That breadth of vision is nowhere more apparent than in his occasional writings. In these necessarily concentrated and closely focused pieces we find the essence of his ...
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London 1997 Hardcover First edition Fine in near fine jacket First Edition. c.1997. Hardcover. Cloth. 8vo. 326pp. Fine in Near Fine dustjacket. Only the mildest wear to ... dustjacket. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Wilfrid Mellers ranks among the most eminent of contemporary British writers and lecturers on music. The range of his interest is exceptionally wide, encompassing music from the renaissance to the present day, from Monteverdi to Minimalism, not excluding jazz and many different forms of popular music, as well as music from non-western cultures. That breadth of vision is nowhere more apparent than in his occasional writings. In these necessarily concentrated and closely focused pieces we find the essence of his thinking about music, its nature and its meaning. Written in the first instance for the general reader, they also offer insights that should be of importance to music students in schools, colleges, and universities. Wilfrid Mellers has won international acclaim, over many years, with books such as Man and His Music, Music in a New Found Land, Bach and the Dance of God, Caliban Reborn, and Vaughan Williams and the Vision of Albion. Not surprisingly, since he is also a notably original composer, he is interested primarily in what music is for, and how composers' intentions are realised and made manifest.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780838637982
  • Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1998
  • Pages: 328

Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgements
Introduction 3
Pt. 1 Musical Means and Meaning
What is Music for? 15
Singing and Dancing in the Unknown 26
Higher Satisfaction in Sydenham 31
In the Mood 35
Composers' Thoughts 40
Making Spiritual Contact 45
Making the Spirits Speak 51
Masters, Originals, and Also-rans 57
The Blues in History 62
Pt. 2 Anniversaries
Dioclesian Restor'd (Purcell) 71
Little Time to Spare (Mozart) 78
Invading Nerves, Blood and Bones (Grieg) 85
Rebel Without Applause (Warlock) 92
Blue Remembered Hills (Housman) 99
Virgil Thomson A Hundred Years On 104
Lou Harrison at 80: a Birthday Tribute 110
Pt. 3 Music Theatre: An Imitation of Human Actions
Out of Arcadia (Monteverdi) 125
A Pretend Paradise (Mozart) 129
Fidelio and Leonora (Beethoven) 131
Perplexed Ensembles (Rossini) 140
An Arbitrary Malignancy (Puccini) 143
That Mixed Up Kid (Thomas) 145
One Damn Thing After Another (Chabrier) 148
New Life in a New World? (Krenek) 152
Innocence Drowned (Britten) 154
Wrong but Wromantick (Britten) 157
Restored by Innocence (Britten) 161
Yonge Freshe Folkes, He and She (Walton) 163
Music for Everyman (Birtwistle) 167
Monotonously Minimal (Glass) 171
Pt. 4 Instinct and Sensitivity: Composers New and Old
A Single-minded Pursuit (Haydn) 179
The Composer as Wounded Bird (Schumann) 184
Chopin's Melancholy Spell 190
The Great and the Small (Berlioz and Satie) 194
Fortitude Without Faith (Brahms) 199
Reclusive Revolutionary (Alkan) 203
The Wagner Phenomenon 207
What's to Come (Nielsen) 218
Ho, Ho, Ho (Constant Lambert) 223
Pt. 5 Americana
Lyrics of Deprivation 230
The Riches of the Early Rags (Scott Joplin) 234
Chopin of the Creoles (Gottschalk) 238
Rome to Copland Sound (Sessions/Barber/Copland) 245
All the Things They Were (Kern/Arlen/Gershwin) 253
A Voice in the Wilderness (Paul Bowles) 259
Up the Marshy Creek (John Barth) 266
On the Old Exoticism Trip (Colin McPhee) 269
An Authentic American Composer (Harry Partch) 273
Old Values, New Deals 278
Cosmic Gershwin (John Adams) 283
Epilogue: New Worlds for Old (Ruth Crawford-Seeger) 289
A Select List of Works by Wilfrid Mellers 297
Notes 305
Index 311
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