Staking Out the Territory and Other Writings on Music

Overview

Ever since his early days, Hugh Wood has pursued a triple career as composer, teacher and writer: he has added to the repertory of orchestral, chamber and vocal music, he has lectured at the Universities of Glasgow, Liverpool and Cambridge, and he has been involved in an endless round of articles, reviews and broadcasts. What these activities have in common is a keen interest in the highways and byways of European culture, a fastidious style, and a determination to scotch pretence wherever it appears. But behind ...

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Overview

Ever since his early days, Hugh Wood has pursued a triple career as composer, teacher and writer: he has added to the repertory of orchestral, chamber and vocal music, he has lectured at the Universities of Glasgow, Liverpool and Cambridge, and he has been involved in an endless round of articles, reviews and broadcasts. What these activities have in common is a keen interest in the highways and byways of European culture, a fastidious style, and a determination to scotch pretence wherever it appears. But behind all this lies another concern, an insatiable quest for knowledge of the territory composers stake out for themselves. This selection of writings is in three parts and shows three aspects to the quest. The first addresses his own experience; the second maps out the historical and cultural context for a number of orchestral and chamber works in a set of concert essays; and the third draws together several composer-vignettes from his recent reviews for the Times Literary Supplement. The book marks his seventy-fifth birthday and includes eight works by the British artist, William Scott.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780955608711
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/15/2007
  • Series: Poetics of Music , #3
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Preface ix

Author's Preface xiii

Editor's Preface xiii

Part 1

Staking Out the Territory

1 Viewpoint (1954) 3

2 'The Composer Speaks' (1970) 5

3 Staking out the Territory (1973) 8

4 Teachers and Pupils (1980) 14

Finding Your Own Voice

1 Thoughts on a Modern Quartet George Rochberg's String Quartet No. 3 17

2 May I Quote You? 21

Thinking about Composers

1 Beethoven 24

2 Frank Bridge and 'The Land Without Music' 34

3 A Personal Reflection Edward Elgar 40

4 A Photograph of Brahms 44

Memories and Tributes

1 Stravinsky 65

2 Dallapiccola 67

3 Schoenberg 25 Years On 69

4 Hans Keller 1919-85 72

5 Derrick Puffett 1946-96 77

Rough Circles

Illustrations William Scott see separate list

Part 2

Concert Hall Essays (1973-78)

1 Life, Mortality, Music and Time (Birtwistle's Triumph of Time) 85

2 Falling into the Public Domain (Wagner's Prelude to Die Meistersinger, Wesendonk Lieder and Siegfried Idyll) 87

3 The Honest Listener (Stockhausen's Gruppen) 91

4 A Philosophical Opera (Schoenberg's Moses und Aron) 93

5 An Imaginary Andalusia (Iberia from Debussy's Images) 96

6 Holding a Perfect Balance (Beethoven's Emperor Concerto) 98

7 The Roots of Art in Life (Brahms's First Symphony) 100

8 Rendering the Peasant Soul (Stravinsky's Les noces) 103

9 Forces from Outside the West (Holst's The Planets) 106

10 After a Lost War, Comedies (Schoenberg's Serenade) 109

11 Entering the Last Style (Debussy's Jeux) 112

12 Running Faster than the Scientist (Schoenberg's Die Jakobsleiter) 116

13 A Furthest Point of Exploration (Schoenberg's Die gluckliche Hand) 119

Chamber Music Essays (1991-93)

1 Bariolage a la Berg(Berg's String Quartet, Op. 3) 123

2 A Very Beautiful Cat (Ravel's String Quartet in F) 127

3 An Inordinate Amount of Work (Brahms's Piano Quintet in F minor) 130

4 The Early Days of the Waltz (Johann Strauss I and Joseph Lanner) 136

5 A Last Great Monument (Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht) 141

6 255 Combinations (Mendelssohn's Octet) 144

7 The World of the Scarlet Tanager (Dvorak's String Quartet in F, Op. 96) 148

List of Other Programme Essays 151

Part 3

Reviews for the Times Literary Supplement (1999-2006, except 1 (1977))

1 Arnold Schoenberg 155

2 Leos Janacek 163

3 Gustav Mahler 167

4 William Walton 174

5 Hector Berlioz 179

6 Edgard Varese 184

7 Gustav Mahler to Alma 189

8 Michael Tippett 193

9 Igor Stravinsky 198

Appendix 203

Index 205

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