Freedom and the Arts: Essays on Music and Literature

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9780674047525: Freedom and the Arts: Essays on Music and Literature

Is there a moment in history when a work receives its ideal interpretation? Or is negotiation always required to preserve the past and accommodate the present? The freedom of interpretation, Charles Rosen suggests in these sparkling explorations of music and literature, exists in a delicate balance with fidelity to the identity of the original work.

Rosen cautions us to avoid doctrinaire extremes when approaching art of the past. To understand Shakespeare only as an Elizabethan or Jacobean theatergoer would understand him, or to modernize his plays with no sense of what they bring from his age, deforms the work, making it less ambiguous and inherently less interesting. For a work to remain alive, it must change character over time while preserving a valid witness to its earliest state. When twentieth-century scholars transformed Mozart's bland, idealized nineteenth-century image into that of a modern revolutionary expressionist, they paradoxically restored the reputation he had among his eighteenth-century contemporaries. Mozart became once again a complex innovator, challenging to perform and to understand.

Drawing on a variety of critical methods, Rosen maintains that listening or reading with intensity-for pleasure-is the one activity indispensable for full appreciation. It allows us to experience multiple possibilities in literature and music, and to avoid recognizing only the revolutionary elements of artistic production. By reviving the sense that works of art have intrinsic merits that bring pleasure, we justify their continuing existence.

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About the Author:

Charles Rosen was a pianist and Professor Emeritus of Music and Social Thought at the University of Chicago.

Review:

You can get lost in the world of Charles Rosen. He's quite possibly the richest cultural critic writing today in the vastness of what he offers...As a formidable pianist and a professor emeritus of music at the University of Chicago, his principal jumping off point is, of course, music. But once he jumps, he lands into psychology, literature, science, philosophy, art---everything that's in the primordial humanities brew...He deals in mountains of knowledge, and he covers more ground with that knowledge than anyone writing today. The title of this collection does not lie: the power he imparts on you the reader will set you free. (Jimmy So Daily Beast 2012-05-08)

Even those of us who admire Charles Rosen as the most remarkable critic writing today must be startled by the polymathy in his new collection, Freedom and the Arts...Just to see the spectrum provided by [his essays'] titles is to marvel: "Structural Dissonance and the Classical Sonata," "Theodore Adorno: Criticism as Cultural Nostalgia," "Lost Chords and the Golden Age of Pianism," "La Fontaine: The Ethical Power of Style," "Hofmannsthal and Radical Modernism." To read them is to marvel further: Rosen's communicative power is as prodigious as his versatility. Each essay includes so much more than its specific topic. Large-mindedness matters more here than scholarship; cleverness is simply incidental...No other living critic has produced a corpus that so fully exemplifies the virtues and achievements of civilization. It's easy to believe that we will need to keep revisiting Freedom and the Arts. As I turn in these pages from bygone traditions of dislocation (also known as asynchronization or limping) in piano playing to the connections between cruelty and eroticism in the Marquis de Sade, and from the sound patterns in La Fontaine's poetry to the skill of Niccolò Jommelli's setting of recitative secco in his opera Olimpiade, I can't help laughing in amazement. Who else in the world could make all these things lucid, sensuous, and important? ...We return to Rosen not to remind ourselves of his greatness but to come to a better understanding of Mozart's and Mallarmé's, to enrich our appetites for classicism, Romanticism, and modernism, and to deepen our love of music, literature, and civilization. Despite the casual disdain he often expresses for fools, his primary task is always to write about the art in which he takes pleasure. (Alastair Macaulay New York Review of Books 2012-05-24)

[Rosen] is a writer who can write...One is reminded that Rosen is more than a musicologist. Not only is he a pianist, having recorded works from Bach to Boulez, but he also surveys with enthusiastic erudition a number of literary topics...The reader may rest assured of recommendation. If you know Rosen's work, you will doubtless require no urging; if not, then this is a good place to start. (Mark Berry Times Higher Education 2012-05-31)

[An] astute new collection of essays. (Eric Herschthal Jewish Week 2012-05-22)

Freedom and the Arts serves to enrich our appreciation, understanding, and passions of music, literature, and art...Freedom and the Arts embodies a corpus of creativity and achievement. Rosen leads readers through these pieces and eras and poignantly demonstrates the delicate features and everlasting joys we share when discussing and consuming art. (Elisabeth Woronzoff PopMatters 2012-07-11)

Its scope, which touches on literature as well as music, is not only broad but invariably arresting. (Conrad Wilson Glasgow Herald 2012-07-21)

An evident polymath, [Rosen] writes with equal grace and intelligence about the music of Mozart, the poetry of Mallarmé, and Adorno's aesthetic framework. The overlap of critical observation and playfulness is evident throughout...Rosen has plenty to offer disciplined readers and students of the arts. (Publishers Weekly 2012-07-27)

Which critic could offer a witty defense of the Marquis de Sade's sadomasochistic writings, muse on why gays love Maria Callas and give a subtle analysis of 'Structural Dissonance and the Classical Sonata,' complete with generous musical examples? Only one: Charles Rosen. All these topics and many more appear in this brilliant, amusing and often moving volume of essays. The word polymath is overused, but Rosen is one writer who surely deserves the epithet. The whole of Western culture seems to lie stored behind his domed forehead, allied to a penetrating intelligence that makes critical adversaries quail... The thread running through [the essays] is the liberating power of great art and literature... [One] can simply enjoy this wonderful book, both for its glittering surface and its hidden depths. (Ivan Hewett Daily Telegraph 2012-08-11)

For Rosen, greater knowledge always brings greater pleasure... When discussing pieces of music in Freedom and the Arts, he frequently illustrates his arguments by reproducing passages from their scores. He quotes poetry in French and German, but he does provide translations (often his own). In short, he expects his readership to be as cultivated as he is. It is a great compliment, as well as a shrewd pedagogical device. One finishes any book by Charles Rosen intellectually re-energized, eager to become a deeper reader, a more attentive museumgoer, a better listener. (Michael Dirda Washington Post 2012-08-15)

Charles Rosen has always written from a height in the Earth's atmosphere at which the gas exchange is not the same as it is for most regular folk. That's the edification, fun, exasperation--and chill--of reading him. The latest collection of his writings, Freedom and the Arts: Essays on Music and Literature, offers more communications from his particular beyond, yet collectively these pieces are not just bracing but pleasurable, revealing a personal, even affable side of Rosen...The scholarship and sheer range of knowledge in these essays are predictably dazzling. (Tim Pfaff Bay Area Reporter 2012-08-30)

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Charles Rosen
Editorial: HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 0674047524 ISBN 13: 9780674047525
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Descripción HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2012. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Is there a moment in history when a work receives its ideal interpretation? Or is negotiation always required to preserve the past and accommodate the present? The freedom of interpretation, Charles Rosen suggests in these sparkling explorations of music and literature, exists in a delicate balance with fidelity to the identity of the original work. Rosen cautions us to avoid doctrinaire extremes when approaching art of the past. To understand Shakespeare only as an Elizabethan or Jacobean theatergoer would understand him, or to modernize his plays with no sense of what they bring from his age, deforms the work, making it less ambiguous and inherently less interesting. For a work to remain alive, it must change character over time while preserving a valid witness to its earliest state. When twentieth-century scholars transformed Mozart s bland, idealized nineteenth-century image into that of a modern revolutionary expressionist, they paradoxically restored the reputation he had among his eighteenth-century contemporaries. Mozart became once again a complex innovator, challenging to perform and to understand. Drawing on a variety of critical methods, Rosen maintains that listening or reading with intensity - for pleasure - is the one activity indispensable for full appreciation. It allows us to experience multiple possibilities in literature and music, and to avoid recognizing only the revolutionary elements of artistic production. By reviving the sense that works of art have intrinsic merits that bring pleasure, we justify their continuing existence. Nº de ref. de la librería AAU9780674047525

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Rosen, Charles
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Descripción Harvard University Press, 2012. Estado de conservación: New. 2012. Hardcover. Is there a moment in history when a work receives its ideal interpretation? Or is perpetual negotiation required to preserve the past and accommodate the present? The freedom of interpretation, Charles Rosen suggests in these sparkling explorations, exists in a delicate balance with fidelity to the identity of the original work. Num Pages: 448 pages, 51 music examples. BIC Classification: AV; DS. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 242 x 166 x 34. Weight in Grams: 802. . . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9780674047525

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Charles Rosen
Editorial: HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 0674047524 ISBN 13: 9780674047525
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Descripción HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2012. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Is there a moment in history when a work receives its ideal interpretation? Or is negotiation always required to preserve the past and accommodate the present? The freedom of interpretation, Charles Rosen suggests in these sparkling explorations of music and literature, exists in a delicate balance with fidelity to the identity of the original work. Rosen cautions us to avoid doctrinaire extremes when approaching art of the past. To understand Shakespeare only as an Elizabethan or Jacobean theatergoer would understand him, or to modernize his plays with no sense of what they bring from his age, deforms the work, making it less ambiguous and inherently less interesting. For a work to remain alive, it must change character over time while preserving a valid witness to its earliest state. When twentieth-century scholars transformed Mozart s bland, idealized nineteenth-century image into that of a modern revolutionary expressionist, they paradoxically restored the reputation he had among his eighteenth-century contemporaries. Mozart became once again a complex innovator, challenging to perform and to understand. Drawing on a variety of critical methods, Rosen maintains that listening or reading with intensity - for pleasure - is the one activity indispensable for full appreciation. It allows us to experience multiple possibilities in literature and music, and to avoid recognizing only the revolutionary elements of artistic production. By reviving the sense that works of art have intrinsic merits that bring pleasure, we justify their continuing existence. Nº de ref. de la librería AAU9780674047525

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Charles Rosen
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Descripción Harvard University Press. Estado de conservación: New. 2012. Hardcover. Is there a moment in history when a work receives its ideal interpretation? Or is perpetual negotiation required to preserve the past and accommodate the present? The freedom of interpretation, Charles Rosen suggests in these sparkling explorations, exists in a delicate balance with fidelity to the identity of the original work. Num Pages: 448 pages, 51 music examples. BIC Classification: AV; DS. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 242 x 166 x 34. Weight in Grams: 802. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Nº de ref. de la librería V9780674047525

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