Thursday, December 31, 2009

Adorno and Music listening project

Adorno and Music

I have been on a little project to listen to the music that Adorno refers to in many of his works. I decided to use the new large collection Essays on Music, edited by Richard Leppert (University of California Press). I am also drawing from three of Adorno's longer works: Philosophy of Modern Music, Introduction to the Sociology of Music, and Alban Berg: Master of the Smallest Link.
It is a lot to listen to, of course, but as I read an essay or chapter, I am trying to listen to the music he is discussing. So I will add here little notices of things from time to time that seem of interest in the reading and link up to music, if I can (e.g., silence in Webern or Paul Whiteman's version of "jazz"). So far, listening to these works ---as well as some of the recently recorded works of Adorno himself--- has given me a better appreciation of Adorno in particular and Critical Theory in general.
See also this little video I put together on Adorno discussing popular protest music: Adorno, Popular Music, and Protest

Here is a list of pieces I found in Adorno. It is far from exhaustive and I have not yet listened to them all in the context of reading Adorno's writings.

The Art of the Fugue
The Musical Offering; Mass in B Minor; Well-tempered Clavier
Out of Doors; String Quartet no. 4; Violin Concertos No. 1 & 2
Bagatelles, op. 33 & 126; Grosse Fuge; Leonore Overture; Mass in C major; Missa Solemnis;
Piano Sonatas 14,21,26,29, and 32; Symphonies 3,4,5,7,8,and 9; String Quartets op. 95, 127, 131; Diabelli Variations, op. 120; Violin Sonata no. 47
Alban Berg
Seven Early Songs; Piano Sonata, op. 1; Four Songs, op. 2; String Quartet, op. 3; Alternber-Lieder, op. 4; Clarinet Pieces, op. 5; Three Pieces for Orchestra, op. 6; Wozzeck, op. 7; Chamber Concerto; Lyric Suite; Der Wein; Lulu; Lulu Suite; Violin Concerto
Pierre Boulez
Structure 1A; Le Marteau sans maitre; Piano Sonata no. 3
Johannes Brahms
Symphoniy no. 1
Anton Bruckner
Symphony no. 7 and 8; Mass in F minor
Claude Debussy
Preludes, Book II
Hanns Eisler
Duke Ellington
George Gershin
Rhapsody in Blue
Paul Hindemith
Rene Leibowitz
Four Pieces for Piano
Gustav Mahler
Des Knaben Wunderhorn; Symphony 2,3,4,5,6,and 7; Das Lied von der Erde
Marriage of Figaro; The Magic Flute; Symphony 39, 40, and 41
Giacomo Puccini
La Boheme; Madama Butterfly; Tosca;
Sergi Rachmaninoff

Prelude in C-sharp minor
Arnold Schoenberg
Gurrelieder; Verklarte Nacht, op. 4; Lieder, op. 6; String Quartet in D minor, op. 7; Chamber Symphony no. 1, op. 9; Das Buch der hagenden Garten, op. 15; Dance around the Golden Cafe from Moses und Aron; Funf orchesterstucke, op. 16; Erwatung op. 17; Die gluckliche Hand op. 18; Kleine Klavierstucke, op. 19; Hergewachse op. 20; Die Jakobsleiter; Pierrot Lunaire, op. 21; Lieder, op. 22; Klavierstucke, op. 23; Serenade, op. 24; Wind Quintet, op. 26; Suite, op. 29; Variations for Orchestra, op. 31; Von heute auf morgen, op. 32; Moses und Aron; Champber Symphony no.2 (op. 38a); Kol Nidre, op. 39; String Trio, op. 45; Phantasy for violin and piano, op. 47; String Quartets 1, 2, 3, 4
Franz Shubert
Symphony no. 8
Robert Schumann
Kinderszenen, op. 15; Kreisleriana, op. 16; “So oft sie kam” op. 90
Richard Strauss
Adriadne auf Naxos; Alpine Symphony; Elektra; Four Last Songs; Die Frau ohne Schatten; Ein Heldenleben; Der Rosenkavalier; Salome; Symphonia domestica
Igor Stravinsky
L'Histoire du Soldat; Petrouchka; Pulcinella; The Rake's Progress; Renard; Le Sacre du printemps; Symphony in Three Movements; Symphony of Psalms; Three Japanese lyrics
Richard Wagner
Die fliegende Hollander; Gotterdammerung; Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg; Parsifal;
Der Ring des Nibelungen; Seigfried; Tannhauser; Tristan und Isolde; Die Walkure
Anton Webern
Passacaglia, op. 1; Five Songs from Der siebente Ring, op. 3; Five Songs on Poems of Stefan George, op. 4; Five Movements for String Quartet, op. 5; Six Pieces for Orchestra, op. 6; Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, op. 7; Six Bagatelles for String Quartet, op. 9; Five Pieces for Orchestra, op. 10; Three Little Pieces for violoncello and Piano, op. 11; Orchestration of the Ricercare from Bach's Musical Offering
Kurt Weill
Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny; The Three-Penny Opera

and to this I would add these:

John Cage
“She is Asleep” duet for voice and prepared piano;
As Slow as Possible; Music for Prepared Piano
Charles Ives
String Quartets; Songs, Vol. 1 and II.
Henry Cowell
Steve Reich
Octet; Nagoya Marimba; Music for 18 Musicians
Dagmar Krause
Songs of Kurt Weill; Tank Battles: Songs of Hans Eisler
Frank Sinatra A Hot Time in the Town of Berlin
Sidney Bechet High Society
Paul Whiteman