'I listen to a piece and ask myself what has made the greatest impression on me. What has moved me the most about it, what has excited me the most, what it is I want to write about, what sets my mind working, what sets off my imagination.' Derrick Puffett's description to a group of Cambridge graduate students of his approach to listening and writing about music is clearly evident in the articles reprinted in this collection. For the first time, the book makes available in one place writings previously widely dispersed amongst many journals and symposia. Resonances emerge that cross from essay to essay, with the result that a larger, coherent project is revealed. Insistent on the need of music analysis to be accompanied by a wider historical knowledge, Puffett believed strongly that the methods to be adopted on each occasion must be dictated by the music at hand. His work on Bruckner, Strauss, Webern, Zemlinsky, Delius and Debussy is of enduring importance to the study of music. With a prose style distinguished for its elegance and clarity, Puffett's writings will enhance the understanding and enjoyment of the music that he discusses amongst students and teachers alike.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; The Analyst Speaks: Editorial: in defence of formalism; Schenker’s ’Eroica’; Liner and Programme Notes: Wagner: overtures and orchestral music; Richard Strauss: Tod und VerklÃ¤rung and Don Quixote; Richard Strauss: Symphonia Domestica and Parergon; The ’tawdriness’ of Salome; English Music: A Nietzschean libretto: Delius and the text for A Mass of Life; In the garden of Fand: Arnold Bax and the ’Celtic Twilight’; The fugue from Tippett’s Second String Quartet; Tippet and the retreat from mythology; ...an analytical offering (A.G. 1992)...on Goehr’s homage to Bach; Russian and French Music: A graphic analysis of Musorgsky’s ’Catacombs’; Eight bars of Stravinsky: the Septet revisited; Debussy’s Ostinato Machine; Opera: Siegried in the context of Wagner’s operatic writing; Schoeck’s operas: a question of genre; Some reflections on Literaturoper; Berg and German opera; Salome: an introduction; Images of Salome; Strauss’s scenario for the ’Dance of the Seven Veils’; Salome as music drama; Elektra: beginnings; The music of Elektra: some preliminary thoughts; An introduction to Der Rosenkavalier; Vienna: Transcription and recomposition; the strange case of Zemlinsky’s Maeterlinck songs; A notational peculiarity in early Webern and its implications; Gone with the summer wind; or, what Webern lost; ’Music that echoes within one’ for a lifetime: Berg’s reception of Schoenberg’s Pelleas und Melisande; Berg, Mahler and the Three Orchestral Pieces, Op. 6; German music: ’Lass er die Musi, wo sie ist’: pitch specificity in Strauss; Bruckner’s way: the Adagio of the Ninth Symphony; Sources; Index.
'Kathryn Bailey Puffett is to be congratulated and thanked. ... Throughout this impressive summary of a life's work, Puffett's writing reveals the riches which flow when the ears, heart and brain of a fine musician are fully engaged and connected.' Times Literary Supplement 'Puffett was a wonderful writer with a refreshingly independent mind. What a pleasure it is to find an academic whose erudition is equalled by his open-mindedness, honesty, lightness of touch and humour...This is a tremendous book and excellent value even for non-Schenkerians.' Classical Music '...no-one who loves music could fail to derive great pleasure and instruction from it. Puffett's knowledge of the repertoire was vast, and deep. His writing is always interesting, often vivid, frequently witty......a book which I expect I will continually be taking down and consulting, and admiring for its sanity and scholarship, and reading pleasure, for the rest of my life.' Calum MacDonald, International Record Review 'All praise is due to Ashgate for taking on the project... Derrick Puffett on Music ha[s] provided me with hours of artistic and intellectual stimulation...' The Musical Times 'This volume does an invaluable service in bringing together essays otherwise available mainly as articles in periodicals, or as sleevenotes accompanying CDs, or as contributions to the composite volumes.' Music and Letters