To Boulez and Beyond

Overview

Joan Peyser offers a history of twentieth century music through the lives and works of its greatest composers in To Boulez and Beyond. Peyser provides historical context and suggests psychological insight for these masters, including Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern of the Second Viennese School; their immediate ancestors Wagner and Mahler; Rimsky-Korsakov and his pupil Stravinsky; and Hindemith, Bartók, Cowell, and Varèse. Discussing proponents of serialism and twelve-tone technique, as well as those who worked ...

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To Boulez and Beyond

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Overview

Joan Peyser offers a history of twentieth century music through the lives and works of its greatest composers in To Boulez and Beyond. Peyser provides historical context and suggests psychological insight for these masters, including Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern of the Second Viennese School; their immediate ancestors Wagner and Mahler; Rimsky-Korsakov and his pupil Stravinsky; and Hindemith, Bartók, Cowell, and Varèse. Discussing proponents of serialism and twelve-tone technique, as well as those who worked against these styles, the book also considers Berio, Stockhausen, Shostakovich, Babbitt, Copland, Wuorinen, and Cage, among others, describing how and why music moved throughout the 20th century. The largest section of the book is devoted to the life and works of Pierre Boulez. A new preface and a bibliography help to round out this revised and updated edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Milton Babbitt
No one has conveyed as vividly and knowlingly the sense and scents of that 'skeined, stained, veined variety' of twentieth century musics and musical milieus as does Joan Peyser. She transports one into the musics, around the musics and beyond the musics. At a time when so few appear to care about the state and fate of serious contemporary composition, she does, and she is passionately concerned to lead others also to care, to listen, to distinguish, and even - perhaps - to find a home somewhere on that extended range of musical possibilities and realizations.
Robert Craft
[Joan Peyser's] smoothly flowing prose encapsulates the history of the whole era of modern music. Among many valuable insights, Ms. Peyser remarks that Boulez's performances of Mahler perhaps more than of any other composer, identify his own qualities, rigor, precision, intellect, by omitting the Weltschmerz. (She says that Boulez still regards Mahler as a stepping-stone to Berg, which is consistent with his view when I first met him forty years ago.)
Rosalyn Tureck
To Boulez and Beyond is unique in that it comprises an introduction and overview and an intimate portrait of the men and their musical thought that have shaped the fundamental aesthetic characteristics of our extraordinary twentieth century... Joan Peyser presents an overall history of twentieth-century musical thought and composition that is a must for everyone interested in music, whether professional, academic, student or layman.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810858770
  • Publisher: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/9/2007
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 388
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan Peyser wrote regularly for the Arts & Leisure section of the Sunday New York Times from the late 1960s to the early 1980s and is the author of several books, including The Orchestra: Origins and Transformations; Bernstein: A Biography; The Memory of All That: The Life of George Gershwin; and Twentieth Century Music: The Sense Behind the Sound.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Foreword Part 2 Preface to the New Edition Part 3 Acknowledgments Chapter 4 Chapters 1–44 Part 5 Afterword Part 6 Bibliography Part 7 Index Part 8 About the Author

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