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Showing posts from February, 2011

Winter Chapter Meeting, February 19, 2011 (Wellesley)

AMS-NE Winter Chapter Meeting Saturday, February 19, 2011 Wellesley College Erinn Knyt, "Ferruccio Busoni and the Absolute in Music: Nature, Form, and Idée" “Absolute music! What the lawgivers mean by this is perhaps remotest of all from the absolute in music.” With these enigmatic words, Ferruccio Busoni opened his second aphoristic essay in The Sketch of a New Aesthetic of Music. Although he could be called an advocate of absolute music because of his frequent description of music as “absolute” and his discussion of music as consisting of pure tones found in the vibrating universe, Busoni nevertheless developed idiosyncratic theories about the term, its usage, and its ideal manifestation in Tonkunst that remain largely unexamined in scholarly literature. True, Carl Dahlhaus noted Busoni’s use of the concept to refer to music unconstrained by traditional forms, but this is merely one aspect of Busoni’s views, which also allowed for and included the visual and explicit