Chapter

Orchestral Programs in Boston, 1841–55, in European Perspective

William Weber

in American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780226769769
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226769776 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226769776.003.0016
Orchestral Programs in Boston, 1841–55, in European Perspective

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The Academy of Music, the Musical Fund Society, and the Philharmonic Society conducted orchestral programs in Boston between 1841 and 1855. Whether in Europe or in America, concert programming followed principles quite different from those that are taken for granted today. The Salem and Birmingham programs revealed how canonic repertory was less important in America than in Britain. The notion of programming as a “work of art” excluded those who wanted to be entertained and divided musical culture into separate regions in programming and aesthetics. The countervailing strength of religion and musical idealism complicated the establishment of a long-term set of orchestral concerts in Boston. It is noted that Boston's music public was not ready for “pure” classical music without vocal pieces.

Keywords: orchestral programs; Academy of Music; Musical Fund Society; Philharmonic Society; Boston; concert programming; religion; musical idealism; orchestral concerts

Chapter.  8217 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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