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Adorno, Theodor W.

Towards a Theory of Musical Reproduction

  • Editorial: Polity Press
  • Páginas: 278
  • Año: 2006
  • Precio: 28.05 €
  • Traductor: Wieland Hoban
  • Prólogo: Wieland Hoban
  • EAN: 9780745631998

In his earliest notes towards his planned, yet never completed theory of reproduction, Adorno writes: ´True reproduction is the x-ray image of the work. Its task is to render visible all the relations, all aspects of context, contrast, and construction that lie hidden beneath the surface of the perceptible sound´. One finds speculations on the manifold implications of musical interpretation dating back to Adorno´s writings from the 1920s, and his efforts to complete a comprehensive theoretical work were resumed time and again well into the 1960s. The choice of the word ´reproduction´ as opposed to ´interpretation´ indicates a primary supposition: that there is a clearly defined musical text whose precision exceeds what is visible on the page, and that the performer has the responsibility to reproduce it as accurately as possible, beyond simply ´playing what is written´. This task requires a detailed understanding of all musical parameters in their historical context, and Adorno´s reflections upon this task lead to a fundamental study of the nature of notation and musical sense.The anti-interpretative tendency of this view is in constant exchange, however, with an emphasis on performance as contributing something beyond a mechanical transmission of instructions through its physical and experiential nature. Thus, in the various notes and longer sections brought together here, one finds an obsessive circling around an irresolvable paradox: interpretation can only fail the work, yet only through it can music´s true essence be captured. While Adorno at times seems more definite in his pronouncement of a musical score´s absolute value, just as a book is read silently, not aloud, his meandering discourse repeatedly shows his inability to cling to that belief. Indeed, it is this quality of uncertainty in his reflections that truly indicates the scope of the discourse and its continuing relevance to musical thought and practice today.

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