The essays included in this collection are based on a series of lectures delivered at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. All the lectures, each from its own unique perspective, deal with extra-musical aspects of the world of music. The first lecture seeks to understand the nature of the entry of folk music into art music in light of the spread of the principle of nationalism. The second lecture deals with the ideology of Richard Wagner as a kind of paradigmatic reflection of the development of German history in the 19th century. The third lecture deals with variations and leitmotif as musical forms that represent the principles of the absolute and programmatic music in the works of Brahms and Wagner. The fourth lecture examines the nature of the modern, and the fifth lecture presents various aspects of musical criticism.
Because the lectures were originally written for an educated but not necessarily professional audience, all the lectures include sections that are of an introductory nature, without interrupting the flow of the arguments raised. It is to be hoped that both the expert and the amateur will find them useful.
Out of print