Category Archives: Classical Music

“Anarchism and Hellenism in Richard Wagner’s Revolutionary Cultural Politics (1848-52)”

Richard Wagner is one of the seminal thinkers discussed in my book, The Tragic Idea (2006), which surveys the philosophy of the tragic from Schelling (1795) to Heidegger (1935).  Here is the original, longer version of that entry, which focuses … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Collaboration, Culture, Hellenism, Revolution, The "Greeks" | Tagged

Is serialism a classicism?

Why would classical art bring to mind twelve-tone composition? Writing to friends after a six-day, two-concert visit to London in May 1933, Anton Webern exclaimed: “I also saw the Parthenon Frieze! I stood there for an hour and a half. … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Hellenism

Modes of reading

The more familiar a piece of music, the more I am fascinated by the interpretive claims made on it by the musicologist, the performer, the listener, the recording engineer, the advertiser, the anthologist and many others involved in its circulation. … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Literature

Friends making Music together (2)

Dr. Pantelis Polychronidis is a consummate collaborative pianist: He does not accompany fellow musicians but actively works with them to create new music, unique compositions that have not been heard before. This is especially evident in his meticulous work with … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Collaboration

Α melancholic ethic

In all kinds of work associated with Robert Schumann a ruminating protagonist draws on melancholy as an ascesis of affect to practice a post-classical critique of repetition and identity. We see this role everywhere, from the Byronic unrepentant hero in … Continue reading

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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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