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Titel: Maestros Of The Pen: A History of Classical ...
Einband: Soft cover
Boston :. Northeastern, 1998. Paperback. 416pp.Condition : fine. Among reviewers of the arts, classical music critics are perhaps the least esteemed by those they write about. Yet these often-despised beings are also, for better or worse, key players in the world of classical music. This first history of its kind, in which Mark N. Grant deftly traces the development of music criticism in the United States from the early nineteenth century to the present, is both a comprehensive portrait gallery of our significant music critics and a study of the evolving role of classical music in American cultural life.text. Condition : as new. ISBN 9781555534707 [KEYWORDS: music. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 22544
Inhaltsangabe: Among the reviewers of the arts, classical music critics are perhaps the least esteemed by those they write about. Yet these often despised beings are also, for better or worse, key players in the world of classical music. This history, in which Mark N. Grant traces the development of music criticism in the United States from the early 19th century to the present, is both a comprehensive portrait gallery of our significant music critics and a study of the evolving role of classical music in American cultural life. Grant's informative overview compares the critics' prose styles, evaluates them as taste makers who helped codify the canon, and shows critics in action as movers and shakers who persuaded community leaders to build concert halls, got conductors hired and fired, explained classical music to the masses on the radio, championed difficult new music, and rescued unjustly neglected repertoire.
Rezension: When Wagner pronounced that "the immoral profession of music criticism must be abolished," he was voicing an opinion over which he hardly had a monopoly, least of all among fellow composers. Yet for all the ambivalence that has attended this profession--the seesawing can't-live-with-them, can't-live-without-them attitude--its influence on the larger culture has been vast, and its shrinkage in significance during our time therefore all the more dramatic. Mark Grant's absorbing study presents a fascinating perspective on what is really at stake in the practice of writing about music by mapping out the various roles played by music critics in the United States, from the early days of the Republic until the present.
Grant tells the story (engaging on more levels than one might initially expect) of music criticism's evolution from shallow dilettantism into an enterprise that, as practiced by such titans as James Gibbons Huneker and H.L. Mencken, itself became an art. He considers the influence of critics as evangelists for music and as tastemakers, incidentally leaving the reader impressed with how little of the current canon debate is in fact new. The privileged position of music is apparent from the critical attention writers such as Poe, Emerson, and Whitman (one of the country's first great opera advocates) devoted to it, as from such judgments that music is a medicine "to cure the infectious business fever" in America. Grant also considers the now nearly vanished breed of the composer who doubled as critic, represented by Virgil Thomson par excellence. He ends with speculations about the current perilous state of music criticism--obviously parallel to that of the classical music tradition itself--and some of the new possibilities posed by the Internet.
While Grant's scope is clearly not encyclopedic, he traces the most important lines of critical thought during the last two centuries, only occasionally betraying his own neoconservative bent (in his appraisal of John Rockwell's pluralism, for example). This book is therefore indispensable to anyone interested in the practice and significance of critical writing about all of the arts. Moreover, it makes for a highly pleasurable read, thanks not only to Grant's wry sense of humor but above all to the choice squibs he generously quotes and to the thoroughly human vignettes he sketches of the pantheon of American music critics. --Thomas May
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