The Unanswered Question: Six Talks at Harvard.

First Edition of Leonard Bernstein's The Unanswered Question: Six Talks at Harvard; Inscribed by Him

The Unanswered Question: Six Talks at Harvard.



Item Number: 44062

Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1976.

First edition of this work by the legendary composer. Oblong, quarto, original illustrated boards, original slipcase, original records enclosed. Inscribed by the Leonard Bernstein on the front free endpaper. In near fine condition.

The varied forms of Leonard Bernstein's musical creativity have been recognized and enjoyed by millions. Virgil Thomson says of the lectures: "Nobody anywhere presents this material so warmly, so sincerely, so skillfully. As musical mind-openers they are first class; as pedagogy they are matchless". Bernstein considers music ranging from Hindu ragas through Mozart and Ravel, to Copland, suggesting a worldwide, innate musical grammar. Folk music, pop songs, symphonies, modal, tonal, atonal, well-tempered and ill-tempered works all find a place in these discussions. Each, Bernstein suggests, has roots in a universal language central to all artistic creation. Using certain linguistic analogies, he explores the ways in which this language developed and can be understood as an aesthetic surface. Drawing on his insights as a master composer and conductor, Bernstein also explores what music means below the surface: the symbols and metaphors which exist in every musical piece, of whatever sort. And, finally, Bernstein analyzes twentieth century crises in the music of Schoenberg and Stravinsky, finding even here a transformation of all that has gone before, as part of the poetry of expression, through its roots in the earth of human experience.

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