Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall Chapter Meeting, October 2, 2010 (Amherst College)

AMS-NE Fall Chapter Meeting
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Amherst College

Yu Jueng Dahn, "'Virgin Soil' for Bach's Music: The American Reception of Robert Franz"

 In 1867 John Sullivan Dwight asserted in Dwight’s Journal of Music that Robert Franz and J. S. Bach “have grown to be almost inseparable.” Criticized in Germany for his editorial emendations to Bach’s vocal works, which were considered historically inaccurate, Franz curiously found many supporters in the United States as early as 1855. This eventually led to benefit concerts in Boston in 1867 and 1872, to assist Franz financially because of his deafness. Dwight praised Franz’s editions of Bach’s vocal works as being “almost Bach-like in its spirit” and so true to the composer’s style that they could be considered “Bach’s having done it himself.”

This paper traces Franz’s positive American reception as an editor and composer, examines his opinion of the United States as “virgin soil” for promoting quality music, and posits why his favorable American reception preceded his German one. Franz’s biggest sympathizer in promoting Bach’s music and life-long friend was Otto Dresel, a German-American composer and pianist. Unpublished correspondence between the two musicians spans forty-five years (1845–1890) and sheds new light on Franz’s previously unknown American publications and issues the Bach proponents faced in promoting the works of German masters in the United States.
Beginning in the early twentieth century, the recognition of Franz as a Bach promoter noticeably disappeared from the American musical scene. Investigating the posthumous reception of Franz during this period, in context of the political conflict between United States and Germany, provides a possible explanation for the composer’s deteriorating reputation.

Yoel Greenberg, "Back to the Elements: Towards a Genetic Code of Sonata Form"

The flexibility of sonata form and its vague historic limits are frequently cited as central problems facing scholars attempting to reach a deeper understanding of its meaning, its history and its theory. These problems are also “the exciting, challenging, part of sonata theory,” in the words of William Drabkin. It would not be an exaggeration to describe the entire history of sonata form research, from Marx and Czerny to Hepokoski and Darcy, as an attempt to come to terms with these problems, whether by proposing detailed taxonomies, more nuanced definitions, more generalized principles or alternative sets of rules.

This research approaches the problem from a different, reductionist perspective, drawing from ideas in contemporary evolutionary theory and complexity theory. In analogy to the shift to “Selfish Gene” theory in biological evolution, the traditionally holistic view of sonata form (with parts interdependent and conditioned by the whole) is substituted here by a view of sonata form as initially little more than the sum of independent formal elements (sonata “genes”). Relying on statistics drawn from a large sample of binary form works dating 1670-1760, Sonata Form is shown to have come into existence by the coincidence of increasingly commonly used sonata elements. In the first stage of the proposed model, these elements are independent of each other, only later converging into emergent structures and only much later into the form as an entirety. The underlying model is shown to generate as inherent qualities those very aspects of sonata form that have been previously viewed as most problematic, particularly the form’s genealogy and its flexibility. Generalizing this to a model for the evolution of form in the creative arts in general, is a significant step in fulfilling Evan Bonds’ call for “a general theory of form that can account for conventional patterns and at the same time do justice to the immense diversity that exists within the framework of these patterns.”
 

Karen Desmond, "Jacobus's Witness to the Text of the Ars nova"

 According to traditional histories of European music, there was a fundamental shift in medieval music at the turn of the fourteenth century.   A particular style of polyphonic music, known as the ars antiqua, flourished until c1300, when a new style of music, the ars nova, was born. Almost twenty-five years ago, however, Sarah Fuller debunked one of the foundational concepts underlying this history:  she proposed that the figurehead most associated with the ars nova, and its putative creator, the composer Philippe de Vitry, had never actually written a theoretical text known as the Ars nova. Her thesis has since been widely accepted. Fuller separated the five treatises published in CSM 8 from their flimsy attributions to Vitry, and showed that none demonstrated an especial claim as the written exemplar for Vitry’s Ars nova. However, can we use the negative evidence assembled by Fuller to conclude that an exemplar never existed?  The one witness who has been given short shrift in this analysis is Jacobus, author of Speculum musicae.  Scholarship to date has held that Jacobus’s criticisms were focused specifically on Johannes de Muris and more generically on a group of anonymous “Moderns.” It is claimed that there are at most two direct quotes from the Ars nova of CSM 8. In this paper, I shall show how the central section of Speculum musicae Book 7 is an attack on the theories of one specific author (who is not Muris). Supplemented by an analysis of contemporaneous sources, I attempt a reconstruction of Jacobus’s exemplar, and show that it was, in all likelihood, a written document.

Karen Jones, "Virtuoso Asceticism and the Problem of Theatricality in Late 19th Century. Performance"

This paper explores how the opposing concepts of theatricality and authenticity shaped conceptions of virtuoso performance in the later nineteenth century. By examining how one influential group of performers, the Brahms-Schumann circle, negotiated the ambiguities surrounding theatricality, authenticity, and the demands of public performance, it addresses fundamental questions concerning the performing self and the nature of its engagement with musical works.

I pursue these issues through two complementary lines of inquiry. First, I examine the self-representations of these performers, who through their performance style and various forms of “publicity” created an impression of absolute, nontheatrical sincerity. This was necessary to satisfy an aesthetic of virtuoso performance that demanded of the performer an intense, authentic emotional investment in musical works – an investment the audience would intuitively believe in without seeing it theatrically expressed. At the same time, I explore how behind assertions of total “authenticity” we can often detect suspicions of an insidious theatricality. Such concerns were not limited to musical performance, but were rather a more generalized cultural preoccupation that was explored particularly well in Max Weber’s analysis of the virtuoso ascetic. Weber brought out some of the ambiguities in apparently nontheatrical performance, providing the basis for a critical approach that examines elements of spectacle in even the most “authentic” modes of virtuosity.

Tiffany Kuo, "Race, Music, and Breach of Loyalty: the Censoring of Luciano Berio's Traces"

Traces, an unknown chamber opera by Luciano Berio, takes its name and source of inspiration from the political rhetoric surrounding the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: “to eliminate... every trace of discrimination.”  Berio’s interpretation of these “traces” was censored by the Chief of the Music Division at the Library of Congress, Harold Spivacke, five months before the scheduled premiere. This paper investigates the role of Spivacke in the shaping of a national music making scene during a sensitive period which Mary L. Dudziak termed “cold war civil rights.” Drawing on the United States Information Agency report on Spivacke from 1960, Spivacke’s speech “Music in International Relations” and his correspondence with Berio,  I argue that Spivacke’s censoring of Traces was grounded on his “loyalty to the United States,” and his belief that Traces would have demonstrated a breach of loyalty in 1964 as the intended drama exposed racism, a targeted fault and weakness of American democracy by communist states.

Johanna Frances Yunker, "Music and Feminism in the GDR: The Case of Ruth Zechlin's La Vita"

In the 1970s and 1980s, the German Democratic Republic saw the emergence of a prominent feminist movement in literature and painting. This included some of the most renowned artists in the GDR, such as writers Christa Wolf and Irmtraud Morgner, whose works focused almost exclusively on women. It is commonly thought that this trend did not extend to music: very few female composers emerged in those years and the most eminent of these, Ruth Zechlin (1926-2007), rejected the importance of gender in her work. By focusing on Zechlin’s ballet La Vita, however, I will show that the movement did have an impact on music.

Premiered in 1985 in Berlin at the Komische Oper, La Vita: Constellations for Ballet was intended by Zechlin as an abstract ballet, with musical elements isolated to represent different emotions and then recombined in various ìconstellations.î However, to aid the choreographer, dramaturg Bernrd Kˆllinger added a plot centered on the lives of three women, which made the ballet similar to the works of GDR feminist artists. The kinship between the ballet and these feminist works was also emphasized in the reviews, specifically in one that compared the ballet to Morgner’s famous novel Leben und Abenteuer der Trobadora Beatriz. Even though Zechlin would later express disappointment with the plot, she originally praised it publicly, thus conforming to the model of the GDR feminist artist focusing on women.
The case of La Vita illustrates the significance of feminism for East German culture, as well as the relationship between music and other arts in the GDR. As such, it invites for interdisciplinary investigation into the question of gender in the music of Zechlin and other GDR composers.
 

William Cheng, "Flights from Fancy: Mise-en-Abyme as Spectacular Allegory in Korngold's Die tote Stadt"   

Shortly after Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Die tote Stadt premiered to great acclaim in Hamburg and Cologne on 4 December 1920, the critic Adolf Weissman praised this three-act opera for its "problemlessness" ["Problemlosigkeit"], while Rudolf Hoffmann similarly admired that it did not "abuse the stage to philosophize or propagate mysteries." Since then, critics and scholars alike have continued to downplay the opera’s political and philosophical valence. Korngold was commonly regarded as a sheltered child who was altogether uninterested in the post-war Opernkrise and other musico-political matters. His reputation as an eternal Wunderkind – a musical prodigy frozen in a cocoon of not only social but also stylistic pre-maturation – led many contemporary writers to portray Die tote Stadt as an over-ripe manifestation of the dread nineteenth century. Musicologists have likewise delighted in describing Korngold’s compositions and musical aesthetic as "succulent," "meretricious," "oozing endless aromatic goo," "a wet musico-dramatic dream," and "more bombastic and ‘Wagnerian’ at times than it needs to be." Such remarks underscore Korngold’s output as allegedly anachronistic and little more than a decadent feast for the senses.

In this paper, I present an interpretation of Die tote Stadt that problematizes the perceived apoliticality and problemlessness of both the opera and its composer. I argue that the tremendous initial reception of Die tote Stadt in Germany and Austria owed at least in part to the resonances between the opera’s mise-en-abyme narrative of trauma and the post-war conditions of the early 1920s. In celebrating its nested diegetic realms as communal rituals of mourning and coping, Korngold’s operatic narrative reflexively allegorizes the revitalizing power of music – and of live spectacle more generally – in the wake of cultural fallout. Excerpts from my interviews with Inga Levant – director of the 2001 Strasbourg production of Die tote Stadt – are used to supplement my broader examination of the ways in which Korngold’s reputation as an apolitical child prodigy has impacted critical, dramaturgical, and hermeneutical orientations toward this opera since its earliest post-war performances.
 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring Chapter Meeting, April 17, 2010 (UNH)

AMS-NE Spring Chapter Meeting
Saturday, April 17, 2010
University of New Hampshire

Feng-Shu Lee, "Contextualizing the “Götter Ende”: The Conclusion of the Ring in Relation to the Creation of the Cycle (1848-1852)"
In the first four years of the Ring’s 26-year evolution, Wagner expanded the work from one single music drama to a tetralogy. During this process, he also revised its conclusion, gradually turning the happy ending in Siegfrieds Tod into a denouement, in which the gods’ downfall takes place. A new look at Wagner’s prose and verse drafts shows that the cyclic expansion and the creation of a new ending are closely interrelated and occupy a significant role in the gestation of the tetralogy. I will focus on three examples to illustrate this interrelation: the Norns’ scene, the Waltraute scene, and Siegfried’s meeting with the Rhine maidens. In the original version of these scenes, the idea of the "Götter Ende" was missing: the dramaturgical function of the scenes in that context was to anticipate and to support the happy ending. My examination of Wagner’s drafts demonstrates that his revision of these scenes gave them a new dramatic purpose and thereby solidified a new semantic context, in which the "Götter Ende"was justified. Indeed, shortly after he revised these scenes, Wagner drafted the "Feuerbach ending," confirming the gods’ downfall.

Seen in this light, the revision of these scenes functioned as an indicator, signaling Wagner’s reconsideration of the ending in conjunction with the work’s enlarged scope. Wagner’s reconsideration of a part of the Ring thus functioned within his reconsideration of the entire cycle. This approach provides a firmer basis for a discussion of the evolution of the work’s ending, a notoriously controversial issue in Wagner scholarship. It also demonstrates that Wagner’s cyclic expansion of the Ring did not simply enrich the narrative with more information, a common misconception. Rather, the expansion gave Wagner the opportunity to experiment with different ideas, ideas that were fundamental as he revised the intellectual context of his work.


Mary J. Greer, "The Identity of the Previous Owner of J.S. Bach’s Calov Bible and Commentary Revealed: Implications for Bach Scholarship"
 Christoph Trautmann’s discovery in 1968 of Johann Sebastian Bach’s personal copy of the Calov Bible and Commentary in the Concordia Seminary Library in St. Louis occasioned considerable excitement in the Bach community. In 1985, the tercentennial of Bach’s birth, Howard H. Cox and Robin A. Leaver issued two separate facsimile editions featuring pages with annotations. A handful of articles (Renate Steiger, 1987, and Mary Dalton Greer, 2008) and a dissertation (Thomas Donald Rossin, 1992) have appeared subsequently. However, given the unique nature of this source, it is all the more striking that so few studies of Bach’s Bible have been published over the past four decades. The principal stumbling block is the fact that, in each of the three volumes, Bach wrote his monogram and the year “1733”, in other words, five to ten years after he had composed the great majority of his church cantatas, the Magnificat, as well as the Passions according to John and Matthew. It was difficult to make a case for the annotations in the Bible having any bearing on the genesis of these works if we assumed that he did not take possession of the set until 1733 or a year or two earlier.

By determining which passages in the Bible were almost certainly highlighted by someone other than Bach and linking them to unique biographical details in the life of someone in Bach’s orbit, I have identified who owned the Bible immediately before him. I also cite a host of evidence—completely unrelated to the Bible, including coded references to this individual embedded in several pieces by Bach—that proves that he stood in a far closer relationship to Bach than scholars have previously suspected. Moreover, by identifying correspondences between specific passages that are highlighted and works Bach is known to have composed before 1730, I argue that this individual either transmitted the content of certain passages to Bach well before 1733 or loaned one or more of the volumes to him before giving them to him outright in 1733 or a year or two earlier. The identification of the previous owner of Bach’s Bible and the revelation of the scope of their relationship has far-reaching implications for Bach studies.

Dorothy Lamb Crawford, "Adventures in Research for A Windfall of Musicians: Hitler's Émigrés and Exiles in Southern California"
 In the 1990s the last members of this richly endowed migration in Los Angeles died. In 1997 the Arnold Schoenberg Institute, founded in the 1970s on the campus of the University of Southern California, packed its archives to move to Vienna. Monday Evening Concerts -- whose predecessor, Evenings on the Roof, began as chamber music series because of the presence of the European émigrés -- changed radically. These concerts had been Los Angeles' only consistently supportive performance series for the émigrés music. In 1995, because I had authored two books on twentieth-century music, Expressionism in Twentieth-Century Music (with John C. Crawford) and Evenings On and Off the Roof: Pioneering Concerts in Southern California, 1939-1971, I was asked by an editor to undertake a cultural history of the European émigrés' musical presence in the Los Angeles area. I dug deeply to find primary sources.

The Los Angeles Central Library, threatened at the time by fire, had a set of music scrapbooks containing newspaper announcements and music critics' reviews describing Los Angeles' concert life in the 1930s and '40s. The musicians themselves left letters, memos, essays, even novels, based on their dramatic flights to the "cultural desert" they called Southern California, which subsequently became a "musical Mecca" because of them. Abundant collections of oral histories were scattered widely among California's universities, depending on the interests of their faculties and/or libraries. Copied tapes of interviews with the émigrés were generously donated to me. In a garage threatened by mudslides, I discovered a dissertation on the founding and development of the first state- and city-supported opera workshop in America, established by a German conductor torn from his teaching in the Berlin Conservatory, imprisoned in the SS's fortress prison, yet miraculously enabled to flee to Los Angeles. Because of my seven years' experience as an interview host in music for Los Angeles' classical music radio stations, I was able to personally interview members of the Europeans' student legacy, many of whom became America's musical leaders. In all I accumulated and transcribed almost 50 interviews. In all, the 11 years spent working on this book was a uniquely enriching adventure.


SPECIAL SESSION: Music and the Holocaust
 Anne Shreffler (Harvard University), Chair

Diane Paige, "Vitěslava Kaprálová and the Muses"

 To examine Vitěslava Kaprálová via the notion of musical muses invites two major strands of inquiry. The first is to examine her role as muse to Czech composer and mentor Bohuslav Martinů and what purpose her image served in his creative oeuvre. While scholars of literature and art have written extensively on role of the imaginary muse, musical literature is rather sparse, and has failed to examine the preponderance of musical muses in the lives of Czech composers like Leoš Janáček, Zdeněk Fibich, Antonín Dvořák, and Bohuslav Martinů in any depth. Exploring the nature of muses reveals the nature of musical creativity and the way in which it has been engendered in the Western world. What is often at work is more than a pretty face inspiring a musical melody, but rather a means by which a composer is given license examine the nature of the feminine as a mode of musical exploration and expression. The second strand of inquiry is to look at Kaprálová as a composer rather than as amuse, as active creative agent rather than as passive, often distant helpmate. Since muses are generally female and their artists male, it begs the question of how a female composer imagines and evokes musical creativity, an ability historically encoded as male.

Erik Entwistle, "Václav Kaprál and the Holocaust"

Composers imprisoned in the Terezín Concentration Camp have become symbolic of the immeasurable loss of life and the silencing of creative voices as a result of the Nazi atrocities committed during the Second World War. One composer who is often overlooked in this context is Václav Kaprál. Like Pavel Haas, Kaprál was a pupil of Leoš Janáček. As his dates demonstrate (1889-1947) Kaprál survived the war; not being Jewish, he was spared the fate of his compatriots Haas, Klein, Krása, Schulhoff, and Ullmann. But Kaprál could hardly be counted among the lucky, for the war essentially destroyed him. This paper will introduce the life of this Czech composer and examine in particular the music he composed during the 1940s and the circumstances behind its creation. In 1940 Kaprál suffered the loss of his 25-year-old daughter VÌtĕzslava Kaprálová, who died of tuberculosis in Paris just as the Nazis were preparing to occupy that city. Kaprál’s piano work Předtucha (Presentiment), dating from this time, will be examined and performed. In 1942 Kaprál composed a cycle of 5 duets, entitled Milodĕjné kvítí or (Flowers of Love) in memory of Kaprálová. This strongly folk-influenced work was recently given its American premiere at my faculty artist recital at the Longy School, and I will discuss the piece as well as play examples from the live recording.

Later that same year Kaprál was incarcerated at an internment camp at Svatobořice as punishment for his outspoken left-wing views and his brother’s enlistment the Czech army in exile. Although he survived and managed to compose several works, the 2 ½-year ordeal compromised his health. Kaprál’s last work, the Balada for cello and piano, completed in August 1946 eight months before his death, will be considered in conclusion. It is a remarkable leave-taking for a composer who, like so many others, endured extraordinary hardship as a result of the war.
 Peter Laki, "Le petit macabre: The Personification of Death in Ullmann’s Kaiser von Atlantis and Ligeti’s Le grand macabre"


 In Ullmann’s Kaiser von Atlantis, Death gets tired of his job and decides to go off duty. In Ligeti’s Le grand macabre, Nekrotzar is a charlatan who becomes too drunk to carry out his work. Ligeti started work on his opera in 1974, the year before the Kaiser’s posthumous premiere; therefore no case for a direct influence can be made. The parallels between the two works are, rather, on a different level. These two portrayals of Death stand out among the many other known examples in their satirical intent. Ullmann’s opera shows death as a natural part of life—a statement that was never more true than in Theresienstadt. Ligeti, whose father and brother had died in the concentration camps, mocked Death with the sarcasm of one who had also looked the Grim Reaper in the face. Despite the obvious differences in style and all external factors, there is an astonishing number of similarities between the two operas that I will attempt to explain by tracing the intellectual histories of the two librettos and invoking the theory of the absurd.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Winter Chapter Meeting, February 6, 2010 (Brandeis)

AMS-NE Winter Chapter Meeting
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Brandeis University

Presenters and Abstracts
(Archived)

Jeremy Leong, "The Influence of Kant in Chinese Music Education under the Pre-Communist Regime"
Is there a connection between German music scholarship and Chinese music education? On first glance, it may seem rather implausible. Yet, if one takes a closer look at the contribution of Cai Yuanpei, such an association may not sound so inconceivable after all. Despite his relative obscurity to the Anglophone world, Cai Yuanpei was among the most prominent figures during the Republican era (1911-49) in China.  In addition to being an outstanding educator, he also held key governmental and administrative positions as Minister of Education, Chancellor of Beijing University, and founding member of the music department at Beijing University and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. His achievements were not confined to the boundary of China, as his influence was also felt overseas where he was conferred honorary doctoral degrees from universities in France and the U.S. in recognition of his works. Yet, if one needs to pinpoint the most significant contribution he had made for China, it would be his advocacy of aesthetic education, a German-influenced educational paradigm that had a profound impact on Chinese music education during the Republican era. Heavily infused by Immanuel Kant’s aesthetic thoughts, his model of aesthetic education set out to transform how the process of learning was conducted. In light of the corrupted political environment he found himself trapped in, he believed that an earnest cultivation of aesthetic perception could help transform the citizens and imbue in them ethics and lofty ideals, with the eventual goal of influencing and reshaping the political structure of the Republic over time. So who exactly was Cai Yuanpei? What precisely did this “German” educational model entail? And how did it affect music education in the Republican era? This paper seeks to address these questions in detail.

Matthew Mugmon, "Making Mahler French: Bernstein’s Case for the Composer in 1960"
Gustav Mahler’s music may well be a widely accepted part of American concert life today. But 50 years ago, when Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic celebrated the 100th anniversary of Mahler’s birth with a series of concerts and lectures, Mahler’s place in the American canon was passionately debated and not so secure. Days after the beginning of the 1960 Mahler festival, critic and musicologist Paul Henry Lang outlined a typical evaluation of Mahler’s significance: “A tortured romantic who stems from the Neo-German school... Mahler’s sincerity and integrity impressed the neo-Viennese School at the opening of our century, but to most of us the agonizing conflict of this sorely tried man no longer speaks with eloquence.”

Here, I argue that in his 1960 lectures, Bernstein repackaged Mahler for his audiences by downplaying Mahler’s place in the Austro-German tradition. I demonstrate that Bernstein borrowed and adapted language from Aaron Copland’s 1941 book Our New Music as part of a larger plan to forge unlikely ties between Mahler’s music and a French-based neoclassical aesthetic. This aesthetic defined, for Bernstein, the most vital kind of 20th-century composition because rather than abandoning tonality, its composers were said to have made tonality “fresh” through objectivity, simplicity, leanness, and humor. Strikingly, Bernstein highlighted precisely those qualities in Mahler’s music. Bernstein did so, I suggest, to make Mahler’s music seem relevant to audiences in a way that meshed with Bernstein’s own view of modernism as a response to Austro-German practice.

Mark DeVoto, "Memory and Tonality in Debussy's Prélude à l'Après-midi d'un faune"
Claude Debussy's Prélude à l'Après-midi d'un faune, composed in 1894 when he was 32 years old, is rightly regarded not only as a significant forward leap in his rapidly-maturing compositional technique but also as a pivotal work in the history of expanded tonal harmony. His intent, as stated in a letter to Henri Gauthier-Villars, was to create in music a "general impression" of a dream, paralleling the Faun's effort to recover a memory as suggested in Stéphane Mallarmé's famously complex poem of 1876.

Everyone knows, and many have analyzed, the unaccompanied flute melody that begins Debussy's Prelude, which undergoes an anticlassical thematic development in about two-thirds of the work through successive disintegrations and reintegrations about the pitch-class C sharp. That pitch-class represents the oneiric kernel of the Faun's memory that is so difficult to recapture in sound. The supporting harmony for the thematic development has received less analytical attention, but it forms a necessary and coherent substructure that depends on chords with one common tone (or, more often, paired common tones) and chromatic adjacencies that are often classical and at other times sui generis. All of these are tightly organized into an overall structure of bifocal tonality — loosely describable as C-sharp minor and E major — that is entirely original for its time.

David Schulenburg, "Forged in the Workshop of J. S. Bach: The Divergent Careers and Music of Friedemann and Emanuel Bach"
The two oldest sons of Johann Sebastian Bach led strikingly different lives, yet their compositions tend to be viewed as belonging to the same so-called empfindsamer style. But despite general similarities, their works, like their careers, reveal differences so striking that one wonders whether they received the same training and parental guidance before striking out on their own.

Eric Entwistle, "Martinů and the Saint Wenceslas Chorale"
The gradual adoption of modernist trends in the music of Bohuslav Martinů coincides in a remarkable way with his use of musical elements that could be specifically identified or defined as “Czech”. In particular, Martinů’s use of the Saint Wenceslas chorale melody (“Svatý Václave”), considered to be one of the earliest monuments of Czech music, remains a prominent component of his musical language.

This paper examines the significance of Martinů’s use of Svatý Václave in musical works throughout his career and how it assumes different symbolic meanings in the varied contexts in which it appears. In Martinů’s case, the adoption of a consciously nationalistic aesthetic coincided with his determination to have his music heard on the world stage. Indeed, during his residence in Paris between the two world wars he became an active member of the musical avant-garde with experimental works that incorporated the latest compositional trends. During this time identifiable nationalist elements in a work by Martinů might, for example, become ironically dissected into collage-like textures, juxtaposed with contrasting elements for a deliberately incongruent effect, or even be absent entirely. An exception remains, however, for those works written specifically for the Czech audience back home, in which Martinů’s nationalistic idiom predominates and is enhanced, but not threatened, by modernist methods.

During World War II Martinů, as an exile residing in the United States, consciously returns to a more identifiably nationalistic idiom in his music, with corresponding political overtones. The music becomes stylistically more conservative and thus more readily communicative; these wartime works contain some of the most emotionally charged examples of the use of Svatý Václave. This paves the way for the balanced style of Martinů’s post-war works, in which the national component coexists comfortably with more modern musical characteristics.


Sarah Caissie Provost, "The Early Performed Jazz Retrospective"
Early jazz performers were aware of the development of a stylistic progression, as evidenced by jazz retrospectives offered within the first several decades of the 20th century. These performers were often commercially successful white artists who used concertized jazz retrospectives to fulfill alternative motives. These motives can be summarized in two categories: correction of perceived racial slights and exhibition of talent.

In his 1924 Aeolian Hall concert, Paul Whiteman intended to show a progression from jazz’s perceived vulgar origins through Whiteman’s own proposed future for jazz, which culminated in the premiere of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” His progression, in accordance with his personal views, downplayed the African-American contribution to the style as well as championed his own controversial brand of music.

Benny Goodman presented a five-song collection entitled “Twenty Years of Jazz,” also intended to show jazz’s development, at his 1938 Carnegie Hall concert. While Goodman’s presentation did not suggest a future direction for jazz, it also did not properly indicate jazz’s African-American roots, despite Goodman’s inclusion of the Ellington song “Blue Reverie.”


While the Whiteman performance is recognized as a racially belittling event, the Goodman concert is considered a symbol of racial progress. However, the similarities between the two programs have not been explored. Furthermore, the concertized jazz retrospective is largely ignored in existing literature. This paper considers both jazz retrospectives, exploring the ulterior intentions for the musical selections as well as larger racial and musical issues inherent in performing a retrospective at an early time in a style’s development.


Eunmi Shim, "Charlie Parker’s Influence on Lennie Tristano"
This paper discusses the musical characteristics of Charlie Parker’s 1951 recording of “All of Me,” focusing on how Parker’s use of advanced improvisational concepts influenced the jazz pianist Lennie Tristano (1919-1978). Tristano extended these concepts, especially rhythmic and harmonic displacement, chromaticism, and linear construction of the melody, in his later recordings, which in turn exerted a significant influence on other jazz musicians. Although Tristano forged an original voice during a period when bebop was the predominant style in jazz, he was deeply influenced by Parker, whom he respected as the progenitor of bebop and one of the greatest figures in jazz history.

The recording is known to have been made with Tristano on the piano and the drummer Kenny Clarke playing on a phone book or a stack of newspaper. It is of special importance for the following reasons. First, it is the only complete recording of Parker’s performance of the tune. Second, it is one of the few recordings with Parker and Tristano together. Third, it is in the unusual key of A-flat major instead of the original C major; the former is the key in which Tristano routinely played “All of Me.” On this recording Tristano only plays a supportive role but provides an interesting harmonic background in a style different from bebop pianists’, while Parker plays an exquisite solo displaying advanced harmonic language and rhythmic complexity.

The analytical approach employed in this paper differs from the traditional ones that focus on Parker’s use of motives (Thomas Owens, “Charlie Parker: Techniques of Improvisation,” 1974) or thematic materials (Henry Martin, Charlie Parker and Thematic Improvisation, 1996). A detailed analysis of Parker’s solo on “All of Me” compared with Tristano’s later recordings based on the same harmonic progression shows that Parker’s influence on Tristano was at the conceptual level rather than at the level of duplicating melodic vocabulary. Tristano himself indicated this when he criticized contemporary jazz musicians for imitating Parker’s music: “If I were Bird, I’d have all the best boppers in the country thrown into jail!”