Journal Article

Music and ‘Weltanschauung: Franz Brendel and the Claims of Universal History

Golan Gur

in Music and Letters

Volume 93, issue 3, pages 350-373
Published in print August 2012 | ISSN: 0027-4224
Published online August 2012 | e-ISSN: 1477-4631 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ml/gcs043
Music and ‘Weltanschauung’: Franz Brendel and the Claims of Universal History

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The genre of ‘universal history’ was a symptomatic product of the rise of historical consciousness in the nineteenth century. This essay examines one particular case of this historiographical model: Franz Brendel’s Geschichte der Musik, first published in 1852. The essay shows how Brendel used Hegelian historicist notions in order to formulate a historical-philosophical narrative, which in turn could sustain trends within his contemporary musical culture. Brendel offered an original interpretation of musical Hegelianism that led him to a distinctive view of the ‘music of the future’, one that differs from Hegel’s aesthetic account of music on the one hand, and from Wagner’s concept of Gesamtkunstwerk on the other. The essay is centred on Brendel’s proposal that Wagnerian opera and Liszt’s symphonic poems signify the beginning of a new epoch in music history in which artistic creation is joined by a ‘world-view’.

Journal Article.  14529 words. 

Subjects: Music

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