Providing an interesting approach to developments in modernist music - from 1980 onwards - this 2009 study also presents an intriguing perspective on the larger history of modernism. Far from being supplanted by a postmodern period, argues David Metzer, modernist idioms remain vital in the contemporary scene. The vitality comes from the ways in which those idioms have extended impulses of modernist styles from the early twentieth century. Since that time, works have participated in lines of inquiry into various compositional and aesthetic topics, particularly the explorations of how to build pieces around such aesthetic ideals as purity and silence and how to deliver and manipulate expressive utterances. Metzer shows how these inquiries have played crucial roles in defining directions taken since 1980, and how, through the inquiries, we can gain a clearer idea of what makes the decades after 1980 a distinct period in the history of modernism.
Features Represents a fresh approach to twentieth-century music studies by investigating the continued importance of modernist idioms Places contemporary music in the context of the wider history of modernism Music examples assist the reader in illustrating key points
"Metzer's approach is certainly a compelling one, and the chapters in which he discusses … various lines of inquiry are consistently interesting and thought-provoking." Classical Music