Ferruccio Busoni as architect of sound

Publication Type:



Oxford University Press,, New York, United States, p.xiv, 313 pages : (2023)

Call Number:



(OCoLC)fst01030269, (OCoLC)fst01030470, 20th century, fast, History and criticism., Music, Music and architecture., Music.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 291-304) and index.Introduction : Ferruccio Busoni and architecture -- The cathedral of the future and young classicality -- Busoni's architectural structures -- The circle of sound -- Busoni's liquid architecture -- Beyond Busoni : Building music in the twentieth century."This book presents a broad view of Busoni's compositional activities as not only connected to musical traditions of the past, especially the music of J.S. Bach and W.A. Mozart, but also as closely aligned with contemporary interest in experimentalism. Developments during the twentieth century included new means of pitch organization, the spatialization of sound, and the expansion of formal structures. Busoni helped pioneer these trends by writing pieces in which sound radiates from different directions, by creating montage formal structures, and by freely using all twelve pitches of the chromatic scale without avoiding consonances. In the process, the book brings Busoni's music into discourse with recent multivalent accounts of modernism in music that move beyond notions of rupture with the past as well as beyond elitist esotericism. In addition, it reveals that many of Busoni's innovations were rooted in interdisciplinary thinking that reconciled the spatial and the temporal in unique manners. While his abstract metaphysical notions of music transcended physical boundaries, the realization of his ideas was informed by an understanding of tangible architectural spaces and styles fostered by the study of buildings and floor plans. In addition, he engaged in a rich exchange of ideas with contemporary architects and artists, such as Henry Van de Velde and members of the Weimar Bauhaus. The book concludes by documenting ways Busoni's spatialized architectural music left a lasting imprint on future generations of composers, artists, and early film pioneers, such as Hans Richter, Heinrich Neugeboren, Wladimir Vogel, Stefan Wolpe, and Edgard Varèse." --