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Over Tones James Huneker

Over Tones

James Huneker

Published March 1st 2007
ISBN : 9781406743340
Paperback
348 pages
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 About the Book 

O V E R TO. If B S A BOOK OF TEMPERAME. NT3 RICHARD STRAUSS, PARSIFAL, VERDI, BALZAC, FLAUBERT, NIETZSCHE, AND TURGENIEFF BY JAMES HUNEKER Do I contradict myself Very well, then, I contradict myselt WALT WHITMAN WITH PORTRAIT NEW YORK CHARLESMoreO V E R TO. If B S A BOOK OF TEMPERAME. NT3 RICHARD STRAUSS, PARSIFAL, VERDI, BALZAC, FLAUBERT, NIETZSCHE, AND TURGENIEFF BY JAMES HUNEKER Do I contradict myself Very well, then, I contradict myselt WALT WHITMAN WITH PORTRAIT NEW YORK CHARLES SCRIBNERS SONS 1928 SCHNTS Ixx tlae Unitecl Sta-t. es of TO RICHARD STRAUSS A MUSIC-MAKER OF INDIVIDUAL STYLE A SUPREME MASTER OF THE ORCHESTRA AN ANARCH OF ART THIS SHEAF OF STUDIES IS ADMIRINGLY INSCRIBED CONTENTS fAGB I. RICHARD STRAUSS i II. PARSIFAL A MYSTIC MELODRAMA 64 The Book 73 The Music, . 91 III, NIETZSCHE THE RHAPSODIST 109 IV, LITERARY MEN WHO LOVED Music 142 The Musical Taste of Turgenieff 142 Balzac as Music Critic 161 Alphonse Daudet, , ., 179 George Moore 188 Evelyn Innes 188 Sister Teresa 199 V, ANARCHS OF ART 214 VI, THE BEETHOVEN OF FRENCH PROSE, ., 228 Flaubert and his Art 228 The Two Salammbfts 244 VII. VERDI AND Bofro 236 Bottos Mefistofele 272 VIII. THE ETERNAL FEMININE 277 IX AFTER WAGNER WHAT 307 The Caprice of the Musical Cat 307 Wagner and the French 321 Isolde and Tristan 327 vu RICHARD STRAUSS We cannot understand what we do not love. - ELISE RECLUS. I IT is easier to trace the artistic lineage of Richard Strauss to its fountain-head Johann Sebastian Bach than to stamp with a contem porary stencil its curious ramifications. And this is not alone because of a similar polyphonic complexity, a complex of themes and their de velopment without parallel since the days of the pattern-weaving Flemish contrapuntists but be cause, like Bach Strauss has experimented in the disassociation of harmonies, and, in company with his contemporary, the master-impressionist, Claude Monet, has divided his tones setup, instead of the soberclassic lines or the gorgeous color masses of the romantic painters, an en tirely new scheme of orchestration, the basic principle of which is individualism of instru ments, the pure anarchy self-government of the entire orchestral apparatus. This is but a mode of technique and does not necessarily impinge upon the matter of his musical dis course it is a distinctive note, however, of the B I OVERTONES Strauss originality, and must be sounded in any adequate discussion of his very modern art, Borrowing the word with its original connota tions from the erudite and clairvoyant French critic, Remy de Gourmont, disassociation in the practice of Strauss is a species of tone chem istry by which a stereotyped musical phrase is reduced to its virginal element, deprived of facti tious secondary meaning, and then re-created, as if in the white heat of a retort, by the overpow ering and disdainful will of the composer. We have also the disassociation of ideas from their antique succession, that chiefly reveals itself, not in a feverish, disordered syntax, but in the avoidance of the classic musical paragraph that symmetrical paragraph as inexorably for mulated as the laws of the Medes and Persians, resulting in a Chinese uniformity maddening in its dulness and lifelessness unless manipulated by a man of intellectual power. Strauss is for ever breaking up his musical sentences. He does this in no arbitrary fashion, but as the curve of the poem is ideally pictured to his imagination A great realist in his tonal quality, he is first the thinker, the poet, the man of multitudinous ideas you hear the crack of the masters whip, a cruel one at times, as he marshals his themes into service, bidding thembuild, as built the Pharaohs slaves, obelisks and pyramids, shapes of grandeur that pierce the sky and blot out from the vision all but their overwhelming and RICHARD STRAUSS monumental beauties of form the form of Richard Strauss. He is, after his own manner, as severe a formalist as Josef Haydn, We are now far away from what is called euphony for euphonys sake though it is, as in Bachs case, art for art with all the misused phrase implies...