Listening to Reason by Michael P. Steinberg
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Listening to Reason
By Michael P. Steinberg

Listening to Reason

Culture, Subjectivity, and Nineteenth-Century Music

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Format: Paperback

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Listening to Reason by Michael P. Steinberg

Book Description

This pathbreaking work reveals the pivotal role of music--musical works and musical culture--in debates about society, self, and culture that forged European modernity through the "long nineteenth century." Michael Steinberg argues that, from the late 1700s to the early 1900s, music not only reflected but also embodied modern subjectivity as it increasingly engaged and criticized old regimes of power, belief, and representation. His purview ranges from Mozart to Mahler, and from the sacred to the secular, including opera as well as symphonic and solo instrumental music. Defining subjectivity as the experience rather than the position of the "I," Steinberg argues that music's embodiment of subjectivity involved its apparent capacity to "listen" to itself, its past, its desires. Nineteenth-century music, in particular music from a north German Protestant sphere, inspired introspection in a way that the music and art of previous periods, notably the Catholic baroque with its emphasis on the visual, did not. The book analyzes musical subjectivity initially from Mozart through Mendelssohn, then seeks it, in its central chapter, in those aspects of Wagner that contradict his own ideological imperialism, before finally uncovering its survival in the post-Wagnerian recovery from musical and other ideologies. Engagingly written yet theoretically sophisticated, Listening to Reason represents a startlingly original corrective to cultural history's long-standing inhibition to engage with music while presenting a powerful alternative vision of the modern.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691126166
ISBN-10: 069112616X
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 16mm)
Pages: 264
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 13-Mar-2006
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Michael P. Steinberg

Judaism Musical and Unmusical by Michael P. Steinberg Judaism Musical and Unmusical, Paperback (February 2008)

Modernity gave rise to a Jewish consciousness that has increasingly distanced itself from the sacred in favor of worldliness and secularity. This book traces the formulation of this secular Jewishness from its Enlightenment roots through the twentieth century to explore the variations of modern Jewish experience in central Europe and beyond.

Reading Charlotte Salomon by Michael P. Steinberg Reading Charlotte Salomon, Hardback (July 2005)

Featuring contributions from prominent art historians, literary and cultural critics, and historians, Reading Charlotte Salomon celebrates the genius and courage of a remarkable figure in twentieth-century art.

Austria as Theater and Ideology by Michael P. Steinberg Austria as Theater and Ideology, Paperback (August 2000)

Austria's renowned Salzburg Festival has from the outset engaged issues of cultural identity in a country that has difficulty coming to terms with its twentieth-century history. That this is the case was especially apparent in 1999, when the Austrian...

» View all books by Michael P. Steinberg


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Author Biography - Michael P. Steinberg

Michael P. Steinberg is Professor of History and Music, and Inaugural Director of the Cogut Center for the Humanities at Brown University. He is Associate Editor of "The Musical Quarterly" as well as author of "Austria as Theater and Ideology: The Meaning of the Salzburg Festival", which won Austria's Victor Adler Prize for History in 2001. He is also the recipient of the Berlin Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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