Chapter

Passion/mirrors (A Passion For the Violent Ineffable: Modernist Music and the Angel/in the Hall of Mirrors)

Andrew Dell'Antonio

in Beyond Structural Listening?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780520237575
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937024 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520237575.003.0006
Passion/mirrors (A Passion For the Violent Ineffable: Modernist Music and the Angel/in the Hall of Mirrors)

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This chapter is about subjective hearing of a particular body of music. It also discusses the subjectivity of writing this chapter and the various personal and social contexts that led to its creation. The difficult musical products of modernism represent experiments in organization, transformation, and sound which lead to an unavoidable impression of violence, chaos, and attempts to stretch human perception. The chapter identifies the various metaphors of destruction, collapse, and transcendence in such modernist musical works of composers like Barraqué, Boulez, and Maxwell Davies, which forces the listener to imagine a world beyond the known. Here the chapter provides an analogy of Blomdahl's opera Aniara, based on Harry Martinson's poem cycle whose freezingly cold and distant sound suggests the emotionless intentionless passage of pchapters through empty space.

Keywords: subjective hearing; modernism; human perception; Aniara; modernist musical works

Chapter.  9129 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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