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The universally acclaimed and award-winning Oxford History of Western Music is the eminent musicologist Richard Taruskin's provocative, erudite telling of the story of Western music from its earliest days to the present. Each book in this superlative five-volume set illuminates-through a representative sampling of masterworks-the themes, styles, and currents that give shap The universally acclaimed and award-winning Oxford History of Western Music is the eminent musicologist Richard Taruskin's provocative, erudite telling of the story of Western music from its earliest days to the present. Each book in this superlative five-volume set illuminates-through a representative sampling of masterworks-the themes, styles, and currents that give shape and direction to a significant period in the history of Western music. Music in the Early Twentieth Century, the fourth volume in Richard Taruskin's history, looks at the first half of the twentieth century, from the beginnings of Modernism in the last decade of the nineteenth century right up to the end of World War II. Taruskin discusses modernism in Germany and France as reflected in the work of Mahler, Strauss, Satie, and Debussy, the modern ballets of Stravinsky, the use of twelve-tone technique in the years following World War I, the music of Charles Ives, the influence of peasant songs on Bela Bartok, Stravinsky's neo-classical phase and the real beginnings of 20th-century music, the vision of America as seen in the works of such composers as W.C. Handy, George Gershwin, and Virgil Thomson, and the impact of totalitarianism on the works of a range of musicians from Toscanini to Shostakovich


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The universally acclaimed and award-winning Oxford History of Western Music is the eminent musicologist Richard Taruskin's provocative, erudite telling of the story of Western music from its earliest days to the present. Each book in this superlative five-volume set illuminates-through a representative sampling of masterworks-the themes, styles, and currents that give shap The universally acclaimed and award-winning Oxford History of Western Music is the eminent musicologist Richard Taruskin's provocative, erudite telling of the story of Western music from its earliest days to the present. Each book in this superlative five-volume set illuminates-through a representative sampling of masterworks-the themes, styles, and currents that give shape and direction to a significant period in the history of Western music. Music in the Early Twentieth Century, the fourth volume in Richard Taruskin's history, looks at the first half of the twentieth century, from the beginnings of Modernism in the last decade of the nineteenth century right up to the end of World War II. Taruskin discusses modernism in Germany and France as reflected in the work of Mahler, Strauss, Satie, and Debussy, the modern ballets of Stravinsky, the use of twelve-tone technique in the years following World War I, the music of Charles Ives, the influence of peasant songs on Bela Bartok, Stravinsky's neo-classical phase and the real beginnings of 20th-century music, the vision of America as seen in the works of such composers as W.C. Handy, George Gershwin, and Virgil Thomson, and the impact of totalitarianism on the works of a range of musicians from Toscanini to Shostakovich

30 review for Music in the Early Twentieth Century

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Taruskin's saga continues with the 20th century, with all the same pluses and minuses of his earlier volumes. By the 20th century, his ongoing excuse that women are not included as much because we don't know about them. But that simply isn't true in the 20th century. But women are still in short supply, as are most composers of color. The lack of integration between so-called classical and popular forms - a crucial aspect of 20th century musical production - is also a symptom here. I also take e Taruskin's saga continues with the 20th century, with all the same pluses and minuses of his earlier volumes. By the 20th century, his ongoing excuse that women are not included as much because we don't know about them. But that simply isn't true in the 20th century. But women are still in short supply, as are most composers of color. The lack of integration between so-called classical and popular forms - a crucial aspect of 20th century musical production - is also a symptom here. I also take exception to his coining the term "maximal" - apparently as a counterbalance to the "minimal" music he will discuss in Vol. 5. I think the neologism allows him to lump together a variety of things that frankly ought better to be teased apart. When Taruskin is on his game, he can be insightful and even amusing at times. I just wish there weren't as many annoying gaps.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dan Graser

    Given the ambition of Taruskin's series (of which this is the fourth of five volumes), this 800+ page volume is the most ambitious of them all and likely the most important. Covering the first half of the 20th century, there are numerous challenging concepts introduced about the intersection of music with the emerging field of psychology as well as the idea of the composer as a public intellectual, begun in the more modern sense in the previous volume (regrettably in dilettante fashion) by Richa Given the ambition of Taruskin's series (of which this is the fourth of five volumes), this 800+ page volume is the most ambitious of them all and likely the most important. Covering the first half of the 20th century, there are numerous challenging concepts introduced about the intersection of music with the emerging field of psychology as well as the idea of the composer as a public intellectual, begun in the more modern sense in the previous volume (regrettably in dilettante fashion) by Richard Wagner. The rising of musical nationalism, the development of rivalries especially that between Stravinsky and Schoenberg, the role of "peasant music vs. modern music" in the lives of Bartók, Kodaly, and Janáček, and the reaction of composers to the rise of totalitarian regimes in Italy, Germany, and the USSR are all issues that Taruskin tackles with great erudition and wit. As I've said about all other volumes in this series, this is not a book for those with no special musical training (as some volumes other Oxford History series are), however if you're a serious student of music there quite simply is nothing like this huge achievement.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bunny

  4. 5 out of 5

    Subhajit Das

  5. 5 out of 5

    Manolo

  6. 5 out of 5

    Manolis

  7. 4 out of 5

    Peter

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hugo Romero

  9. 5 out of 5

    Klayton

  10. 4 out of 5

    Trevinsky

  11. 5 out of 5

    Otilia Constantiniu

  12. 5 out of 5

    Han

  13. 4 out of 5

    Manuel J.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Caleb

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Ruth

  16. 5 out of 5

    Drabauer

  17. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kirk McElhearn

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jared Brubaker

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Dugas

  21. 5 out of 5

    R Leia Devadason

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rob Proost

  23. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Ward

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nuno M

  26. 5 out of 5

    David

  27. 5 out of 5

    André Innselset

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brett Banducci

  29. 4 out of 5

    Adam

  30. 5 out of 5

    Inês Moreira

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