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Music and Beyond

Hans Keller, 21 October 1982

Hanns Eisler: Political Musician 
by Albrecht Betz, translated by Bill Hopkins.
Cambridge, 326 pp., £25, June 1982, 0 521 24022 0
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Music and Political: Collected Writings 1953-81 
by Hans WernerHenze, translated by Peter Labanyi.
Faber, 286 pp., £15, July 1982, 0 571 11719 8
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Vindications: Essays on Romantic Music 
by Deryck Cooke and Bryan Magee.
Faber, 226 pp., £12.50, July 1982, 0 571 11795 3
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... three books which I would spontaneously turn into the subject of a single article. How Eisler and Henze hang together need hardly be explained: but ‘poles apart’ would be a misleading metaphor for them, on the one hand, and Cooke, on the other, for the North Pole and the South Pole have more in common. Amusingly enough, Eisler’s ambivalently beloved ...

Offered to the Gods

Frank Kermode: Sacrifice, 5 June 2008

Culture and Sacrifice: Ritual Death in Literature and Opera 
by Derek Hughes.
Cambridge, 313 pp., £45, October 2007, 978 0 521 86733 7
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... long neglected, turned out to be of particular interest in the 20th century (to Thomas Mann, Hans WernerHenze and Wole Soyinka, along with a good many others cited here). The Bacchae, in effect, came to replace the Iphigenia tragedies because of a new emphasis on the chaotic, orgiastic violence of the ...

A, E♭, C, B

Paul Driver: Robert Schumann, 21 February 2008

Robert Schumann: Life and Death of a Musician 
by John Worthen.
Yale, 496 pp., £25, July 2007, 978 0 300 11160 6
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The Cambridge Companion to Schumann 
edited by Beate Perrey.
Cambridge, 302 pp., £19.99, June 2007, 978 0 521 78950 9
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Schumann’s Late Style 
by Laura Tunbridge.
Cambridge, 246 pp., £50, October 2007, 978 0 521 87168 6
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... third movement), works in this way. The symphonies of Mahler and Shostakovich, the concertos of Hans WernerHenze, the amazing early scores of Peter Maxwell Davies all depend on a deep-seated, structural irony. Davies’s orchestral Second Fantasia on John Taverner’s ‘In Nomine’ concludes with a passionately ...

Grand Old Sod

Paul Driver: William Walton, 12 December 2002

The Selected Letters of William Walton 
edited by Malcolm Hayes.
Faber, 526 pp., £30, January 2002, 0 571 20105 9
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William Walton: Muse of Fire 
by Stephen Lloyd.
Boydell, 332 pp., £45, June 2001, 9780851158037
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William Walton, the Romantic Loner: A Centenary Portrait Album 
by Humphrey Burton and Maureen Murray.
Oxford, 182 pp., £25, January 2002, 0 19 816235 9
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... and in his Ischia-based friendship with the much younger and stylistically distant figure of Hans WernerHenze, but to understand the gnawing anxiety about his standing one has to remember that he began as the whitest of British white hopes. Being the youngest undergraduate at Oxford for centuries (though he did ...

Rodinsky’s Place

Patrick Wright, 29 October 1987

White Chappell: Scarlet Tracings 
by Iain Sinclair.
Goldmark, 210 pp., £12.50, October 1987, 1 870507 00 2
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... the underworld of the crypt, we ascended the hierarchical steps to hear music by Messiaen and Hans WernerHenze. The frisson was undeniable. Earlier this year I went back to visit the disused synagogue at 19 Princelet Street – a rather dilapidated building now owned by the Spitalfields Trust and leased out as a ...

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