Emphasising the 'constructedness' of serious contributions to well-established classical genres might be little more than stating the obvious, as if the positive absence of constructedness were a conceivable alternative: and when, with respect to the Fourth Symphony, Johnson claims that 'where the formal collapses and disjunctions in the preceding two movements draw attention to the element of fabrication, in the third movement the unfolding of the music is presented self-consciously as a true, authentic journey', the apparent contrast between what is false (fabricated) and what is true risks drawing attention to its own artificiality. Johnson nevertheless gives the intricate arguments about such slippery aesthetic categories as 'authenticity' and 'threshold' a fair run for their money, and offers a late-stage clarification in the suggestion that understanding Mahler's music, it seems, might involve making sense of the paradox of a voice that is heard as unquestionably authentic but in a musical context that implies that nothing can be taken at face value, that all its voices are equally generic, borrowed, and conventional.
Affirming, denying Arnold Whittall Musical Times; Winter 2009; 150, 1909; Docstoc pg. 107 Reproduced with permission o
Pages to are hidden for
"Affirming, denying"Please download to view full document