Reading Elgars The Music Makers: Reputation, Poetry and Expression - David Young; | Foyles Bookstore
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Reading Elgars The Music Makers: Reputation, Poetry and Expression
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Reading Elgars The Music Makers: Reputation, Poetry and Expression (Paperback)

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Elgars The Music Makers, for contralto solo, choir and large orchestra, has experienced a chequered reputation. Following its premiere at the Birmingham Festival in 1912 the work received significant adverse criticism which re-emerged over time. Criticism was levelled at the poem which Elgar chose for his setting, an ode by Arthur OShaughnessy, a poet whose reputation was later tarnished by T.S. Eliot in his What is Minor Poetry?, a literary critique long misinterpreted. We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams, Wandering by lone sea-breakers, And sitting by desolate streams; World-losers and world-forsakers, On whom the pale moon gleams: Yet we are the movers and shakers, Of the world for ever, it seems. Misunderstanding of Elgars innovatory compositional procedure was the other main reason for the negative responses. The poetic imagery in music has been used by many composers, Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss included. Elgars compositional method of integrating the poetic language with musical self-borrowings throughout the work not only transforms the words but offers to perceptive listeners enhanced emotion at the highest artistic level. All aspects of melody, rhythm, orchestration, leitmotiv, and tonality combine to produce one of Elgars greatest and least understood masterworks. Reading Elgars The Music Makers brings to the fore a prime example of how first musical performances can be misunderstood, how reception and understanding can change over time, and how the work is as relevant today as ever it was.

BiographyBiography: generalBiography: arts & entertainmentMusic & DanceDanceTheory of music & musicologyMusic & DanceMusic BooksMusic: styles & genresWestern 'classical' music Publisher: Sussex Academic Press Publication Date: 01/03/2023 ISBN-13: 9781789761191  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: Awaiting publication Pre-Order

David Young taught music history and theory at the Royal Northern College of Music, worked for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music as a consultant in South East Asia, and was Professor of Performance Studies at Kampala University and Vice-Chancellor of the East Africa University, Rwanda. He is editor of Haydn the Innovator: A New Approach to the String Quartets (2000) and his scholarly writings have appeared in the RMA Research Chronicle, Current Musicology, New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and the International Haydn Symposium.

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