Temporaries and Eternals
Marking the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), Temporaries and Eternals focuses on the music column that Huxley wrote for The Weekly Westminster Gazette in 1922-23. Readers of Huxley's novels, essays and travel writing will be aware of the wealth of musical detail in these works, and this book suggests that such references can only be fully understood in the context of the opinions voiced in Huxley's music criticism. Not only does Huxley's column offer a fascinating snapshot of musical life in 1920s Britain, but several of the themes that Huxley explores continue to have contemporary relevance. These include music and technology, the composer-performer relationship, the nature of the child prodigy, musical tradition and innovation, the suitability of opera libretti, and how to write about music effectively. However, Huxley's central theme, reflected in the title of this book, is the problematic question of how to judge the significance and potential longevity of specific composers and their works, from Palestrina to Schoenberg. After an extended introduction placing Huxley's music criticism in the context of his other writings, the book reproduces all 64 of Huxley's weekly articles, with footnote commentary to help the reader appreciate his wide-ranging textual references.
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