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Musical Witness and Holocaust Representation


Part of Music since 1900

  • Date Published: February 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107538849

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About the Authors
  • This is the first musicological study entirely devoted to a comprehensive analysis of musical Holocaust representations in the Western art music tradition. Through a series of chronological case studies grounded in primary source analysis, Amy Lynn Wlodarski analyses the compositional processes and conceptual frameworks that provide key pieces with their unique representational structures and critical receptions. The study examines works composed in a variety of musical languages - from Arnold Schoenberg's dodecaphonic A Survivor from Warsaw to Steve Reich's minimalist Different Trains - and situates them within interdisciplinary discussions about the aesthetics and ethics of artistic witness. At the heart of this book are important questions about how music interacts with language and history; memory and trauma; and politics and mourning. Wlodarski's detailed musical and cultural analyses provide new models for the assessment of the genre, illustrating the benefits and consequences of musical Holocaust representation in the second half of the twentieth century.

    • The first full-length monograph in English devoted entirely to the subject of postwar Holocaust representations in art music
    • Utilises previously unpublished archival materials and sketches in its musical and cultural analyses
    • Asserts the value of lesser known works by major composers and critics, including Schoenberg, Adorno, Eisler and Reich
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Musicologist Amy Lynn Wlodarski's debut monograph contributes a tremendous intervention to Holocaust witness, memory, and trauma studies. … The strength of this book lies in Wlodarski's generative contextualization and assessment of her archival findings (especially in the case of Reich's Different Trains), as well as her meticulous deconstruction and synthesis of vast and interdisciplinary literature collections. … Despite its deceptively compact nature, Musical Witness and Holocaust Representation is formidably detailed and persuasively delivered. It deservedly won the Lewis Lockwood Award of the American Musicological Society for most outstanding book. … With its engaging argument about the aesthetics and ethics of musical witness creations, Wlodarski's monograph provides an [indispensable] scholarly model for analyzing the artistic shocks that follow traumatic events.' Samantha M. Cooper, Musica Judaica Online Reviews

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107538849
    • length: 253 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.412kg
    • contains: 7 tables 15 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The composer as witness: Arnold Schoenberg's A Survivor from Warsaw
    2. The philosopher as witness: Theodor Adorno's A Survivor from Warsaw
    3. The composer as witness: Hanns Eisler's Nuit et Brouillard
    4. The state as witness: Jüdische Chronik in the German Democratic Republic
    5. The composer as witness: Steve Reich's Different Trains

  • Author

    Amy Lynn Wlodarski, Dickinson College, Pennsylvania
    Amy Lynn Wlodarski is associate professor of music at Dickinson College, Pennsylvania, where she has earned both institutional and national teaching awards. She is the co-editor, with Elaine Kelly, of Art outside the Lines: New Perspectives on GDR Art Culture (2011) and was the 2012 recipient of the Irving Lowens Prize for an outstanding musicological article (Society of American Music). Her scholarship has appeared in leading journals, including the Journal of the American Musicological Society and the Journal of Musicology, as well as in select edited volumes. She is the recipient of a number of prestigious fellowships, including funding from the Harry Starr Fellowship at Harvard's Center for Jewish Studies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Commission, and the Presser Music Foundation. She also offers regular speaking engagements and pre-concert lectures with leading musical ensembles, such as the Los Angeles Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

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