Book Series Music, Criticism & Politics, vol. 7

Music Criticism 1900-1950

Jordi Ballester, Germán Gan Quesada (eds)

  • Pages: 540 p.
  • Size:220 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:44 b/w
  • Language(s):English, Italian
  • Publication Year:2018

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58072-2
  • Hardback
  • Available

This monograph focuses on the situation of Music Criticism throughout the first half of the twentieth century, Adorno, Stuckenschmidt, Stravinsky, Hindemith, Messiaen, Stage Music, Ballet, Opera, Avant-garde


JORDI BALLESTER teaches musicology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. His research is mainly focused on music iconography and organology. He is also the President of the Societat Catalana de Musicologia.

GERMÁN GAN QUESADA (PhD in History of Art-Musicology), is currently Lecturer in Musicology at the Departament d’Art i de Musicologia of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Chair of the Publications Committee of the Spanish Musicological Society.


The analysis of music criticism, and by extension music literature, has become over the last few decades one of the most active research fields in musicological studies. It has decisively contributed to a reinvigorated understanding of musical life from the 18th century to the present day. It has also provided new methodological tools in order to evaluate the construction processes of the socioeconomic and cultural circumstances that have determined the creation, performance, reception, and intellectual appraisal of the musical reality in contemporary societies. This monograph gathers up to 22 contributions that throw light on a broad range of topics and geographical and cultural areas concerning the situation of music criticism throughout the first half of the twentieth century. So, it offers appealing insights into some of the key elements which define the relationship between music and criticism during a pivotal historical period for the discipline.


Jordi Ballester – Germán Gan Quesada

Writing on Music, Cultural Identity and Political Discourses

Ivana Vesi! Reflections of All-Slavic Political Ideals in Narratives on Music: The Case of Yugoslav Music Journals in the Interwar Period
Kristin Van den Buys Brussels, Crossroad for French, German and Russian Modernism in the Interwar Period (1919-1940)
Gemma Pérez Zalduondo La música en la prensa de la España «nacional» durante la guerra civil española (1936-1939)
Stefanka Georgieva «The Vague Time» or: How the Music Criticism Started the Propaganda of the New Socialist Ideology in Bulgarian Musical Culture (1944-1950)

Music Criticism, Nationalism and Identity in Latin America

Vera Wolkowicz Identidades en construcción: la crítica musical en la revista cultural Nosotros de Buenos Aires (1907-1934 y 1936-1943)
Belén Vega Pichaco Las aventuras y desventuras de «un raro Quijote eslavo»  en La Habana: la recepción de Igor Stravinsky en Cuba (1924-1946)
Lia Tomás Musicologie sous l’Ère Vargas et la construction du nationalisme brésilien
Marita Fornaro Bordolli Crítica musical en el País del Centenario: la construcción de un discurso nacionalista en Uruguay entre 1930 y 1950

Composers as Critics / Criticism on Composers

Paulo F. de Castro Composer-Critics in Portugal in the 1930s: The Cases of Luís de Freitas Branco and Fernando Lopes Graça
Vicent Minguet Entre surrealismo, Renouveau Catholique y no conformismo: la crítica musical de Olivier Messiaen (1936-1939)
Teresa Cascudo Petrouchka dans la presse madrilène: la musique d’Igor Stravinsky comme limite du nouveau entre 1916 et 1960
Germán Gan Quesada «Germanic Fogs» and «Mediterranean Clarity» in an Aesthetic Struggle: Spanish Music Criticism Facing Paul Hindemith’s Music (1921-1936)

Music Criticism and Stage

Mónica Vermes The Remodeling of Rio de Janeiro (1902-1906) and Its Musical Life: Reflections on the Criticism of Oscar Guanabarino (1851-1937)
Mark Pinner Criticism in the Antipodes: Gerald Marr Thompson, George de Cairos-Rego, and the ‘Melba Grand Opera Season’ of 1911
Nicoletta Betta – Cristina Trinchero The Teatro di Torino (1925-1930): Synergy between Patronage and Music Criticism as a Means to Open a Window on Modernity under the Fascist Regime
Rosa Paula Rocha Pinto «Para un mejor conocimiento peninsular»: Music Criticism and Propaganda in the Performances of the Portuguese Ballet Company ‘Verde Gaio’ in Barcelona and Madrid (1943)

New Perspectives on Music (and Critical) Repertoires

Beatrix Darmstädter The Revival of Early Music in Austrian Music Criticism: An Overview
Maria Fuchs ‘Silent Film’ Music in the Weimar Republic: Its Reception in Contemporary Criticism by Modernist Composers
Davide Ceriani «Under the Florentine Sky, with the Clarity of Latin Thought»: Italian Music Critics and the 1934 Meeting of the International Society for Contemporary Music
Matthias Pasdzierny From Berlin to the World? The Early Postwar Writings of Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt
Morgan Rich Theodor W. Adorno’s Musical Monographs: Challenging the Genre and Creating Historical Narratives
Helena Martín Nieva Dau al Set Deciphered in Sounds (1948-1956)

Index of Names