Category Archives: Classical Music

The care of the self as care of the “other self”

What is the meaning of Aristotle’s notion of the friend as an “other self”? An etho-centric (as opposed to ego-centric) understanding of the notion, one centered on character, posits that the highest friendship is based on the friend’s valuable traits … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Friends, General

The alienated philosopher: Adorno on Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis

By making failure the redemption of success, Adorno damned all classical music. Only Missa Solemnis resisted his prophetic fury. Adorno resented Beethoven’s Missa (1819-23), op. 123, because he could not fit it into his grand narrative of “late style,” of … Continue reading

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Franz Liszt’s services to artistic sacralization

Franz Liszt (1811-86) is a pivotal cultural figure in that the entire formation of classical music as a public institution can be traced just through his career, an inescapably central nexus in the sacralization of high art. Everything that has … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, General Culture, Piano | Tagged

The emergence of Listening as a practice in the early 19th century

I have always been very interested in the disciplinary regimes of artistic production (such as the arts) and the hermeneutical control of their explication (such as the readings of arts). I have published an entire book on literary interpretation as … Continue reading

Posted in Bildung, Classical Music, General Culture, Listening | Tagged ,

The concerto as ‘Bildungsroman’

Rachmaninov’s 3rd Piano Concerto (1909) can be interpreted by both soloist and listener as a supreme Bildungsroman. I become fully aware of this approach when I watch the possessed Daniil turning the concerto into a bravura self-formation. He is enacting … Continue reading

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Composers on the operatic stage

Two recent musical premieres drew my attention to a very special operatic figure, the composer. The first premiere was the release on CD of Dellaira’s tragic The Death of Webern, which explores the mysterious circumstances of Webern’s demise in 1945, … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, The Double

The imperial destiny of the Trojans

The goddess of my life, Artemis Leontis, and I made sure last month to catch one of only five performances of Berlioz’s epic Les Troyens (1856-58) in a fittingly grandiose new production at the Lyric Opera. I have been exploring … Continue reading

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