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In the last third of the 19th century Brahms and Bruckner were regarded as antipodes. Is this perception really true to the historical reality or had their contemporaries overestimated the «dimension of their distance», as argued later? Both wrote autonomously conceived music, both held on to traditional forms, and both rejected program music. To find an answer to this question, part I tries to elucidate Brahms’ relation to Bruckner in its... more...

While unappreciated and controversial during most of his life, Anton Bruckner is today regarded as the greatest symphonist between Beethoven and Gustav Mahler - in terms of originality, boldness and monumentality of his music. The image of Bruckner the man, however, is still extreme instance of the tenacious power of prejudice. No less a figure than Gustav Mahler coined the aperçu about Bruckner being «a simpleton - half genius, half imbecile». The... more...

This monograph is an authoritative study of the œuvre of one of the most important composers of our time. For the first time, Ligeti’s key works are presented in the context of their drafts and sketches. His personal and artistic development is set forth and illuminated, and his principal compositions are analyzed and reinterpreted, based on detailed studies of the scores and drafts, as well as on personal conversations with the composer. In... more...

20th-century music is characterized by a bewildering multitude of trends and movements. Often several movements co-exist in contradiction to each other, in a reflection of the century’s intellectual currents and social and political changes, and the reactions they prompted. In this book, renowned musicologist and author Constantin Floros provides a survey of the different styles and tendencies in new music, presenting the most important composers... more...

The subject of this book is the semantics of symphonic music from Beethoven to Mahler. Of fundamental importance is the realization that this music is imbued with non-musical, literary, philosophical and religious ideas. It is also clear that not only Beethoven, Schubert and Bruckner were crucial role models for Mahler, but also the musical dramatist Wagner and the programmatic symphony composers Berlioz and Liszt. At the same time a semantic musical... more...


With this study the author «opened up a previously locked door of Beethoven research» (Martin Geck). The book presents conclusive answers to questions that had occupied critics for more than a century. It makes clear what exactly Beethoven and his contemporaries meant by the term «heroic». It proves that the «heroic-allegorical ballet» The Creatures of Prometheus is a key work for an understanding of the Eroica, and shows that Beethoven... more...

With the terms «visionary» and «despot», the author seeks to circumscribe the multilayered personality of Gustav Mahler. Opening up a terra incognita, he draws a comprehensive map of the various aspects of Mahler’s inner biography: his unshakable belief in the «sacredness of musical art» and strongly developed sense of mission, his double life as conductor and composer, his inexorability and refusal to compromise vis-à-vis himself and others,... more...

«Music is no mere play of sound, no mere tonal texture, but has a significant psychic, spiritual/intellectual and social dimension. In other words: a musical art work is not merely an autonomous artifact but also document humain.» With this thesis - and with a view to the question as to the meaning of music as such - the author opens his broadly designed plea for a «humane music.» Based on interdisciplinary researches, and making use of partly... more...