Understanding Bernstein

Barry Seldes

in Leonard Bernstein

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780520257641
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943070 | DOI:
Understanding Bernstein

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This chapter tries to understand why Bernstein was unable to compose a masterwork. It identifies the reasons behind his frustrations, and presents an outline of an idea for a socially critical opera during the days of the New Deal. Next, the chapter discusses the fate of the progressive imagination after 1948, as well as the revival of the social text during the late 1960s. Identity politics and the crisis during the twentieth-century are also discussed.

Keywords: masterwork; New Deal; progressive imagination; social text; identity politics

Chapter.  8640 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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