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Kontinuität des Wandels- Continuity of Change

Bohuslav Martinů in der Musikgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts- Bohuslav Martinů in Twentieth-Century Music History


Edited By Ales Brozina and Ivana Rentsch

Die bemerkenswerte Zahl von Bohuslav Martinůs Werken, aber auch ihre Gattungsbreite und stilistische Vielfalt lassen eine einfache Einordnung des Œuvres auf den ersten Blick unmöglich erscheinen. Bei genauerer Betrachtung kristallisieren sich jedoch ästhetische Konstanten heraus, die zwar nicht auf einen einheitlichen Stil, jedoch auf eine während Jahrzehnten nahezu unveränderte Musikauffassung verweisen. Auf der Grundlage seines Ideals erprobte Martinů zeitlebens unterschiedlichste Formen, Gattungen und Stile.
Das Ziel dieses Bandes ist es, diese kompositionstechnische Flexibilität auf der Basis eines verbindlichen ästhetischen Standpunktes in unterschiedlichen Perspektiven zur Diskussion zu stellen. Die Autoren beleuchten Martinůs sämtliche Schaffensperioden: die Jahre im Prag der 1910er, im Paris der 1920er und 30er, im New York der 1940er sowie im Westeuropa der 1950er-Jahre. Den thematischen Rahmen der Publikation bildet die Tatsache, dass das verbindende Charakteristikum des in einem Zeitraum von über einem halben Jahrhundert entstandenen Œuvres paradoxerweise ein immer wieder vollzogener Stilwandel in der Tonsprache – gleichsam eine Kontinuität des Wandels – ist.
The remarkable quantity of works composed by Bohuslav Martinů, as well as their breadth in genre and diversity in style, make a simple ordering of his œuvre seem impossible at first glance. Upon closer observation, however, aesthetic constants crystalize that, while not indicating a unified style, do show a conception of music that remained almost unchanged over the course of the decades. During his lifetime Martinů explored the most diverse forms, genres, and styles on the basis of his ideal.
The objective of this volume is to open a discussion, from various perspectives, of this flexibility in compositional technique based on a unifying aesthetic standpoint. The authors illuminate all of Martinů’s compositional periods: the years in Prague from 1906 to 1923, in Paris during the 1920s and 1930s, in New York during the 1940s, and in Western Europe during the 1950s. The topical framework of the publication is determined by the fact that the unifying characteristic of this œuvre, composed over the span of more than half a century, is paradoxically an ever-more complete stylistic transformation of musical speech – continuity of change, as it were.


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MICHAEL B. BECKERMAN How Long is the Coast of Martinu ? 39


How Long is the Coast of Martinuo? MICHAEL B. BECKERMAN (New York) 1. In a pathbreaking 1967 article titled How Long is the Coast of Britain? Statistical Self Similarity and Fractional Dimension Benoit Mandelbrot an- swered his question counter-intuitively by saying, essentially, that it de- pends on what you use to measure it, or more precisely, what scale you are considering.1 The influence of this article was enormous, and it was considered a major contribution to the development of fractional geometry or fractals as well as to chaos theory, notions that did for mathematics what literary theory did for literature. Putting aside the metaphysics of just what constitutes Britain let’s look at a bit of its coast.The reader can easily do this with any computer map program that allows zooming. Looking at a coast from ›afar‹, say the equivalent of 50 miles away we could trace distance and come up with a specific number for coastline length. Moving to another level, however, creates additional nooks and crannies, and a different image, that would produce a different measurement. If we continue to zoom in we will notice other features analogous to the larger picture, but different ones as well.This involves the concept of self-similarity, the tendency for shapes of nature to be similar on dif- ferent levels. If we get close enough we have to trace around each rock and promontory, and going even closer gives us thousands, even millions of 1 Benoit B. Mandelbrot’s How Long Is the Coast of...

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