Singing in the Wilderness by Wilfrid Mellers
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Singing in the Wilderness
By Wilfrid Mellers

Singing in the Wilderness

Music and Ecology in the Twentieth Century

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Format: Hardback

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Singing in the Wilderness by Wilfrid Mellers

Book Description

Displaying the broad erudition and intellectual agility that have informed a lifetime of scholarship, Wilfrid Mellers offers a set of diverse reflections on how western art music illuminates the shifting relationship between humankind and the natural world. Beginning with two turn-of-the-century operas - Frederick Delius' "A Village Romeo and Juliet" and Claude Debussy's "Pellias et Mlisande" - that present humankind as lost in a tangled wood that is at once internal and external, Mellers develops the theme of wilderness in sociological, psychological, ecological, and even geological terms. He discusses Leos Jan ek's "Cunning Little Vixen" ("the ultimate ecological opera") as a parable of redemption and explores the delicate yet dangerous equilibrium between civilization and the dark forest in works by Charles Koechlin and Darius Milhaud. Elements of wilderness and the city combine to infuse the music of Heitor Villa-Lobos and Carlos Chvez with a blend of primitivism and sophistication, while a creative tension between desert landscape and industrial mechanization inspires the works of Carl Ruggles, Harry Partch, Steve Reich, and Australia's Peter Sculthorpe. The volume culminates in a discussion of two American urban folk musicians, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin. By suggesting how the "musicking" of ecological issues articulates twinned perspectives on music and our place in the world, Mellers raises intriguing questions about the links among tradition, talent, learning, and instinct. Brimming over with fresh ideas and unexpected cross-pollinations, "Singing in the Wilderness" is a stimulating addition to the oeuvre of a distinguished and inventive scholar.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780252025297
ISBN-10: 0252025296
Format: Hardback
(236mm x 160mm x 25mm)
Pages: 224
Imprint: University of Illinois Press
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publish Date: 1-Mar-2001
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author Wilfrid Mellers

Francis Poulenc by Wilfrid Mellers Francis Poulenc, Paperback (August 1995)

An intelligent survey of Poulenc's music, based on a careful selection of works, and written by an authoritative guide. Adopting a broadly chronological approach, Mellers is able to trace Poulenc's development as a composer from enfant terrible to mature 'society' composer.

» View all books by Wilfrid Mellers


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