Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Tribute to Maynard Solomon

The Greater New York Chapter of the American Musicological Society is having a symposium in honor of Maynard Solomon's 80th birthday. From the notice to the AMS announcement mailing list; it looks great:

On Saturday, May 8th, the AMSGNY will host a tribute to Maynard Solomon in honor of his 80th birthday at the Juilliard School in Lincoln Center. In addition to presentations by noted scholars, there will be a special exhibit of items from the Juilliard Manuscript Collection.


9:30 Welcoming remarks. Joseph Polisi, President, The Juilliard School

Joseph Kerman. A Puccini Pastoral. To be distributed in written form with the program

9:45 Robert Marshall. Bach at Mid-Life: The Christmas Oratorio and the Search for New Paths
10:30 James Webster. Did Haydn Have a 'Late' Style?
11:15 Robert Winter. WoO 83 and the Classical Performing Tradition
12:00 Lewis Lockwood. Beethoven as Sir Davison: Another Look at his Relationship to the Archduke Rudolph


1:45 Richard Kramer. Anagnorisis: Euripides, Gluck and the Theater of Recognition
2:30 Elaine Sisman. Sunrise, Sunset: Music of Darkness and Light
3:15 Kristina Muxfeldt. Liberty in the Theater, or the Emancipation of Words:
Mozart, Beethoven, Tieck, Schubert
4:00 Leo Treitler. Why We Need 'The Image in Form' Today

(I here note that I made it about 8 pages into his Beethoven bio before throwing it against the wall. Why? Beethoven's mother, married to an abusive alcoholic, advised a young woman not to get married. The bio attributed this to hating men or something equally silly. Everybody else loves this book, so maybe I ought to try it again, but let's just say that the quality of that first analysis didn't make me look forward to the rest.)


Anonymous said...

I got all the way through but of the two of us, I think you made the wiser choice. Wasn't strict Freudianism already parodied better--and on purpose--in Frederick Crews' "The Pooh Perplex?"

Lisa Hirsch said...

Ahaha. Solomon's professional training is as a shrink of some kind, isn't it? But even in the 1970s it should have been obvious that the circumstances were a sufficient explanation of her behavior.

Joe Barron said...

Charles Ives has taken more hits from musicologists in the past two decades than any other composer I can name --- articles and books questioning his competence, his originality, his character. And it all started with Mr. Solomon. I'm told he's gotten a lot of stuff right: the identity of the Immortal Beloved, for example, or Schubert's homosexuality. But the damage he's wrought to Ives has been incalculable, and I don't know that he's ever retracted his accusations or apologized for them.

Anonymous said...

"a lot of stuff right"? Other scholars I've read react to Solomon's identification of the Immortal Beloved with a shrug of "well, he might be right," but they also point out a lot of problems with it. The problem is, we know no better candidates. That hardly makes this a definitive solution.

As to Schubert's sexuality ...

Lisa Hirsch said...

Isn't his theory about Schubert's sexuality accepted at this point?

I've received what I can only call a slightly peculiar update to the symposium announcement, and, though it came yesterday, I'm sure it's not an April Fool's joke. Will post later.

Anonymous said...

No. It's pure guesswork, possible but entirely undemonstrated, and don't trust anybody who claims to know more than that.

Unknown said...

My father is not a "shrink"; he is a musicologist who writes psychoanalytic biographies. First of all, what are your credentials for discrediting his work and second, why would you feel it necessary?

Lisa Hirsch said...

The work of any public figure is quite rightly subject to critical scrutiny. That's not exactly "discrediting." I certainly stand by my reaction to the opening of the Beethoven biography.

As far as my qualifications go - if you think only people with special qualifications can make critical comments about a book, we disagree. However, to satisfy you, if the question was directed to me, I have an undergraduate degree in music, two years of graduate study in musicology, and I'm presently a part-time music reviewer and writer. (Most of the people posting comments here are also reviewers.)

I see from some research that I was misinformed as to Solomon's background - I was under the impression he had trained as a psychiatrist or psychologist. Thanks for the correction.

Lisa Hirsch said...

P. S. Not really sure why you are so concerned about a paragraph on a fairly obscure blog detailing my personal response some 30 years ago to a book that has sold quite well.

Unknown said...

You are right; I was being an overprotective daughter. Thank you for your response. And BTW, my comment about credentials was not directed at you. -Nina