By Heather Wiebe
Studying the intersections among musical tradition and a British venture of reconstruction from the Nineteen Forties to the early Nineteen Sixties, this learn asks how gestures towards the earlier negotiated problems with restoration and renewal. within the wake of the second one international conflict, tune turned a privileged website for re-enchanting notions of historical past and neighborhood, yet musical recourse to the earlier additionally raised problems with mourning and loss. How was once sound figured as a historic item and as a locus of reminiscence and magic? Wiebe addresses this question utilizing a variety of resources, from making plans files to journalism, public ceremonial and literature. Its valuable concentration, despite the fact that, is a collection of works through Benjamin Britten that engaged either with the far away musical earlier and with key episodes of postwar reconstruction, together with the pageant of england, the Coronation of Elizabeth II and the rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral.
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Extra info for Britten's Unquiet Pasts: Sound and Memory in Postwar Reconstruction
It “stands in for an elusive entity that it is not but that it must vainly aspire both to embody and to replace. ”71 Many of Britten’s community-oriented works suggest how art – and specifically music as a performing art – could construct a culture, one that resisted the forces of commodiﬁcation, social atomization, and disenchantment, whose sources could be found in the pre-modern English past. If in “England and the Folk-Art Problem” Britten saw art and national culture as opposed, returning to England, he made a renewed attempt to mediate between them, exploring music’s contribution to the texture of community life, and reimagining the English musical past and its role in the present.
23 But Auden’s move to the US signaled a turn away from this set of concerns, in a trajectory opposite from a set of writers who turned from cosmopolitan modernism to a deep Englishness at the same moment. ”24 Unlike Auden, as we have seen, Britten returned home, at the same time loosening his connection to the 21 22 23 See Harris, Romantic Moderns, 169–192 and Massey, The Independent Group, 5. Auden’s social orientation in the 1930s, as shared by Britten, is discussed by Donald Mitchell in Britten and Auden in the Thirties: The Year 1936 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1981), 24–26.
44 Conekin, “The Autobiography of a Nation,” 9. D. , University of California, Berkeley, 2001). Desmond Shawe-Taylor, New Statesman and Nation (May 1951): 617. The South Bank was the main site of the Festival of Britain, and many of its buildings were newly built for the occasion. The Times compilation is Musical Britain, 1951, Compiled by the Music Critic of “The Times” (Oxford University Press, 1951). Music and cultural renewal 29 Much of this new activity was in traditional forms of opera and concert music.