Truth and Music: The Complete Writings from Music and Musicians, 1957-85by Hans Keller, Mark Doran
Hans Keller - born in Vienna in 1919 and a Jewish refugee from Nazism - became the most influential writer on music in Britain after George Bernard Shaw. His writings were always concerned with a search for the truth - 'the truth about music, and the truth in music', as he put it - and tackled the deepest musical questions head-on: why a piece of music had the effect it did; why a musician performed as he or she did; why the development of composition proceeded as it did. These issues and more were explored in a forty-year flood of writings, lectures and broadcasts. Between 1957 and his death in 1985, Keller contributed almost sixty articles to the magazine Music and Musicians, and this book presents them all, edited and annotated by Mark Doran, from early pieces on composers he valued - Britten, Elgar, Schoenberg, Stravinsky - to 'The Keller Column', focussed on the vital questions of music education, and containing the last article he lived to write. At the heart of the book is the 31-part series 'Truth and Music', which contains the fullest and most detailed exposition Keller ever provided of his unique, music-centred aesthetics. Hans Keller's capacity to stimulate, provoke, enlighten and inspire has never been more clearly demonstrated than in this engaging collection. Approachable in tone yet uncompromising in content, this book will cement his reputation as one of the essential musical thinkers in the English language.