Strong on Music: Reverberations, 1850-1856 / Edition 2

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In this second volume of Strong on Music, Vera Brodsky Lawrence carries into the 1850s her landmark account of the nineteenth-century New York music scene. Using music entries from George Templeton Strong's famous journals—most published here for the first time—as a point of departure, Lawrence provides a vivid portrait of a vibrant musical culture.

Each chapter presents one year in the musical life of New York City, with Lawrence's extensive commentary enriched both by excerpts from Strong's diaries and a lavish selection of little-known music criticism and comment from the period. The reviews, written by an often truculent, sometimes venal tribe of music journalists, cover the entire world of music—from opera to barrel organ, salon to saloon.

In this New York, operas performed by renowned artists are parodied by blackface minstrels; performances of the Philharmonic Society are drowned by the raucous chatter of flirtatious adolescents, who turn concerts into a noisy singles' hangout; and irate critics trash the first performances of Verdi operas, calling the plots indecent and the scores noisy and unmelodic. In this volatile atmosphere, a native musical culture is born; its whose first faltering efforts are dubiously received, and the first American composers begin to emerge.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
One hundred pages longer than the first volume (LJ 9/15/87), this continued history of music in 19th-century New York covers seven fewer years. They were years when New York established itself as an international center for sophisticated culture and extravagant self-promotion, epitomized by the amazing story of P.T. Barnum and Jenny Lind. Following the format as before, Lawrence applies her own high style and enthusiasm and skill for digging out the whole story to relatively short entries on musical events from Strong's diaries. She supplies a separate chapter for each year that covers events not mentioned by Strong. Strong's diaries go to 1875, so one senses there is more of this welcome, important sociomusical history to come from Lawrence. For now, Volume 1 is available in an affordable paperback edition, so libraries that missed it earlier can add it now, along with its continuation.Bonnie Jo Dopp, Montgomery Cty. P.L., Rockville, Md.
In the second volume of Strong on Music, Lawrence carries into the 1850s her account of the 19th-century New York music scene, using as her point of departure the music entries in Strong's (1820-1875) famous journal--most published for the first time. Each chapter examines one year in the musical life of New York City, with Lawrence's extensive commentary complemented both by excerpts from Strong's diary and a broad selection of little-known music criticism from the period. Includes 160 contemporary illustrations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226470108
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1995
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 886
  • Product dimensions: 6.63 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. GTS: 1850
2. GTS: 1851
3. GTS: 1852
4. GTS: 1853
5. GTS: 1854
6. GTS: 1855
7. GTS: 1856

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