Essays on Music: Theodor W. Adorno ; Selected, with Introduction, Commentary, and Notes by Richard Leppert ; New Translations by Susan H. Gillespie

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University of California Press, 2002 - Literary Collections - 743 pages
6 Reviews
"A book of landmark importance. It is unprecedented in its design: a brilliantly selected group of essays on music coupled with lucid, deeply incisive, and in every way masterly analysis of Adorno's thinking about music. No one who studies Adorno and music will be able to dispense with it; and if they can afford only one book on Adorno and music, this will be the one. For in miniature, it contains everything one needs: a collection of exceptionally important writings on all the principal aspects of music and musical life with which Adorno dea"An invaluable contribution to Adorno scholarship, with well chosen essays on composers, works, the culture industry, popular music, kitsch, and technology. Leppert's introduction and commentaries are consistently useful; his attention to secondary literature remarkable; his interpretation responsible. The new translations by Susan Gillespie (and others) are outstanding not only for their care and readability, but also for their sensitivity to Adorno's forms and styles."--Lydia Goehr, author of "The Quest for Voice: Music, Politics and the Limits of Philosophy

"With its careful, full edition of Adorno's important musical texts and its exhaustive yet eminently readable commentaries, Richard Leppert's magisterial book represents a brilliant solution to the age-old dilemma of bringing together primary text and interpretation in one volume."--James Deaville, Director, School of the Arts, McMasterUniversity

"The developing variations of Adorno's life-long involvement with musical themes are fully audible in this remarkable collection. What might be called his 'literature on notes' brilliantly complements the 'notes to literature' he devoted to the written word. Richard Leppert's superb commentaries constitute a book-length contribution in their own right, which will enlighten and challenge even the most learned of Adorno scholars."--Martin Jay, author of "The Dialectical Imagination: A History of The Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research

"There is afoot in Anglo-American musicology today the first wholesale reconsideration of Adorno's thought since the pioneering work of Rose Rosengard Subotnik around 1980. "Essays on Music will play a central role in this effort. It will do so because Richard Leppert has culled Adorno's writings so as to make clear to musicologists the place of music in the broad critique of modernity that was Adorno's overarching project; and it will do so because Leppert has explained these writings, in commentaries that amount to a book-length study, so as to reveal to non-musicologists the essentially musical foundation of this project. No one interested in Adorno from any perspective--or, for that matter, in modernity and music all told--can afford to ignore "Essays on Music."--Gary Tomlinson, author of "Metaphysical Song: An Essay on Opera

"This book is both a major achievement by its author-editor and a remarkable act of scholarly generosity for the rest of us. Until now, English translations of Adorno's major essays on music have been scattered and often unreliable. Until now, there has been no comprehensive scholarly treatment ofAdorno's musical thinking. This volume remedies both problems at a single stroke. It will be read equally--and eagerly--for Adorno's texts and for Richard Leppert's commentary on them, both of which will continue to be essential resources as musical scholarship seeks increasingly to come to grips with the social contexts and effects of music. No one knows Adorno better than Leppert, and no one is better equipped to clarify the complex interweaving of sociology, philosophy, and musical aesthetics that is central to Adorno's work. From now on, everyone who reads Adorno on music, whether a beginner or an expert, is in Richard Leppert's debt for devoting his exceptional gifts of learning and lucidity to this project."--Lawrence Kramer, author of "Musical Meaning: Toward a Critical History


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Review: Essays on Music

User Review  - Robert - Goodreads

great Read full review

Review: Essays on Music

User Review  - Bernli01 - Goodreads

Love it. Re-reading again if only for the sheer of joy of seeing what a sympathetic and patient reading of Adorno by Leppert can do for one's sense of possibility. Read full review


Commentary by Richard Leppert
The Radio Symphony 1941
The Curves of the Needle 19271965
Listening 1938
Commentary by Richard Leppert
What National Socialism Has Done to the Arts 1945
On the Social Situation of Music 1932
Kitsch4 c 1932
Commentary by Richard Leppert
Late Style in Beethoven 1937
Wagners Relevance for Today 1963
Mahler Today4 193o
Marginalia on Mahler4 1936
The Opera Wozzecfc4 1929
Toward an Understanding of Schoenberg4 19551967

On Popular Music With the assistance of George Simpson
194i 437
Farewell to Jazz4 1933
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About the author (2002)

Richard Leppert is Samuel Russell Distinguished Professor of Humanities and Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota. His previous books include Art and the Committed Eye: The Cultural Functions of Imagery (1996) and The Sight of Sound: Music, Representation, and the History of the Body (California, 1993).

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