"Now His Time Really Seems to Have Come": Ideas about Mahler's Music in Late Imperial and First Republic Vienna

Description:

In Vienna from about 1918 until the 1930s, contemporaries perceived a high point in the music-historical significance of Mahler's works, with regard to both the history of compositional style and the social history of music. The ideas and meanings that became attached to Mahler's works in this milieu are tied inextricably to the city's political and cultural life. Although the performances of Mahler's works under the auspices of Vienna's Social Democrats are sometimes construed today as mere acts of political appropriation, David Josef Bach's writings suggest that the innovative and controversial aspects of Mahler's works held social value in line with the ideal of Arbeiterbildung. Richard Specht, Arnold Schoenberg, and Theodor Adorno embraced oft-criticized features in Mahler's music, regarding the composer as a prophetic artist whose compositional style was the epitome of faithful adherence to one's inner artistic vision, regardless of its popularity. While all three critics addressed the relationship between detail and whole in Mahler's music, Adorno construed it as an act of subversion. Mahler's popularity also affected Viennese composers during this time in obvious and subtle ways. The formal structure and thematic construction of Berg's Chamber Concerto suggest a compositional approach close to what his student Adorno described a few years later regarding Mahler's music.

Creator(s): Kinnett, Forest Randolph
Creation Date: December 2009
Partner(s):
UNT Libraries
Collection(s):
UNT Theses and Dissertations
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Publisher Info:
Publisher Name: University of North Texas
Place of Publication: Denton, Texas
Date(s):
  • Creation: December 2009
Description:

In Vienna from about 1918 until the 1930s, contemporaries perceived a high point in the music-historical significance of Mahler's works, with regard to both the history of compositional style and the social history of music. The ideas and meanings that became attached to Mahler's works in this milieu are tied inextricably to the city's political and cultural life. Although the performances of Mahler's works under the auspices of Vienna's Social Democrats are sometimes construed today as mere acts of political appropriation, David Josef Bach's writings suggest that the innovative and controversial aspects of Mahler's works held social value in line with the ideal of Arbeiterbildung. Richard Specht, Arnold Schoenberg, and Theodor Adorno embraced oft-criticized features in Mahler's music, regarding the composer as a prophetic artist whose compositional style was the epitome of faithful adherence to one's inner artistic vision, regardless of its popularity. While all three critics addressed the relationship between detail and whole in Mahler's music, Adorno construed it as an act of subversion. Mahler's popularity also affected Viennese composers during this time in obvious and subtle ways. The formal structure and thematic construction of Berg's Chamber Concerto suggest a compositional approach close to what his student Adorno described a few years later regarding Mahler's music.

Degree:
Level: Doctoral
Discipline: Musicology
Department: College of Music
Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): Mahler | Imperial Vienna | David Josef Bach | perception history
Contributor(s):
Partner:
UNT Libraries
Collection:
UNT Theses and Dissertations
Identifier:
  • OCLC: 607535074 |
  • UNTCAT: b3827531 |
  • CALL-NO: ML410.M23 K55 2009
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc12141
Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Format: Text
Rights:
Access: Public
License: Copyright
Holder: Kinnett, Forest Randolph
Statement: Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.