Beyond the composer-conductor dichotomy: Bernstein's Copland-inspired mahler advocacy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Leonard Bernstein's advocacy of Gustav Mahler's music has been viewed primarily as a consequence of his position in a lineage of prominent conductors who preceded him as Mahler proponents. But treating Bernstein's conducting as divorced from another crucial aspect of his musical life-his composing-has limited our understanding of how ideas about music circulated in the twentieth century. This study argues that Bernstein's relationship with Aaron Copland, his mentor as a composer, played a central role in his engagement with Mahler's music. Correspondence suggests that from the 1930s, Copland discussed Mahler's compositions with Bernstein and supported his interest in performing them, particularly the Second Symphony. A script for a lecture from the New York Philharmonic Mahler festival in 1960 shows that Bernstein borrowed content and phraseology from Copland's 1941 book Our New Music in an attempt to define Mahler as a forerunner of twentieth-century tonal composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)606-627
Number of pages22
JournalMusic and Letters
Volume94
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013

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Advocacy
Conductor
Music
Composer
Dichotomy
Composing
Tonal
Philharmonic
Forerunner
Conducting
Phraseology
New music
Mentor
1930s
Musical Life
Symphony

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Music

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Beyond the composer-conductor dichotomy : Bernstein's Copland-inspired mahler advocacy. / Mugmon, Matthew S.

In: Music and Letters, Vol. 94, No. 4, 11.2013, p. 606-627.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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