Bio reveiw - FullText(3173 words Copyright Oxford Publishing Limited(England May 2008 Franz Liszt and his World Ed by Christopher H Gibbs and Dana

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Full Text (3173 words) Copyright Oxford Publishing Limited(England) May 2008 Franz Liszt and his World. Ed. by Christopher H. Gibbs and Dana Gooley. pp. xx + 587. (Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford, 2006, £15.95. ISBN 0-691-12902-9.) This book should be judged by its front cover. The title and painting will tell readers more about what to expect to find here than the blurb, perhaps even more than the editors preface. For this collection of articles and translated sources is mostly about the young Liszt, his life, aesthetics, ideals, virtuoso persona, and public reception in and around the 1830s and 1840s. Only two articles deal with the 1850s, half an article deals with the 1870s, and Susan Hohls translation of the Ramann-Liszt exchange from the 1870s-one of the highlights of this collection-also happens to concentrate largely on Liszts early career. It is therefore curious that instead of emphasizing the books strengths, the editors give the impression that it is really an all-round compendium with few missing topics such as Liszts Hungarian and religious interests (p. xix), with not a word about the greater part of Liszts creative life that has gone missing. But it is precisely the privileging of a few areas that give this book its raison dêtre and special place within the Liszt literature. There is no attempt to replicate the more encyclopedic approach of The Cambridge Companion to Liszt (ed. Kenneth Hamilton), published only a year previously (Cambridge, 2005) or to go for an extreme variety of topics, as in the similarly titled Liszt and his World (ed. Michael Saffle; Stuyvesant, NY, 1998). Instead, the contributors are given ample room to present their subjects in all their complexity, and the resulting articles and translations are not only-almost without exception-of the highest quality, they also cohere and interrelate in the most satisfying way. Even without its original scholarship, the book would have been worth its (modest) price for the critical translations alone. They present and interpret unknown yet historically significant texts, as well as make more famous texts accessible for the first time to non-French and/or non-German readers. A prime example of this is Ralph P. Lockes prefaced and annotated translation of the final instalment of Liszts sixpart De la situation des artistes et de leur condition dans la société (1835). As many will know, this famous essay is about the central role art ought to play in society through the protection and encouragement of State and Church. Passages from this text are often to be found in biographies of Liszt and general historiographies of music. Yet this is the first time it has received a critical translation in English, where one can read it in context and get a sense of Liszts idiosyncratic vocabulary and phraseology. One can only hope to have the rest of De la situation des artistes translated one day-not to mention a complete English-language critical edition of Liszts writings (possibly by the
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This note was uploaded on 07/17/2011 for the course MUSIC 1010 taught by Professor ? during the Spring '11 term at Utah Valley University.

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Bio reveiw - FullText(3173 words Copyright Oxford Publishing Limited(England May 2008 Franz Liszt and his World Ed by Christopher H Gibbs and Dana

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