Dance of Polar Opposites: The Continuing Transformation of Our Musical Language

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In A Dance of Polar Opposites: The Continuing Transformation of Our Musical Language, the renowned American composer George Rochberg distilled a lifetime of insights about Western music across some three hundred years. Rochberg describes how the asymmetrical tonal language of the late eighteenth century--the era of Haydn and Mozart--evolved through the gradual incursion of symmetry into a system based on the juxtaposition of tonal and atonal, asymmetrical and symmetrical--as seen in notable composers such as Webern, Prokofiev, and Rochberg himself. A Dance of Polar Opposites takes us inside the composer's studio, reveals how he assessed his and our musical past, and paints a picture of what he believed our musical future may be. George Rochberg (1918-2005), one of the most respected composers and writers about music in the second half of the twentieth century, was a finalist twice for the Pulitzer Prize and longtime professor at University of Pennsylvania. His writings include The Aesthetics of Survival: A Composer's View of Twentieth-Century Music (which won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award); the memoir Five Lines, Four Spaces; and a volume of letters. Jeremy Gill was a student of George Rochberg and is a composer, conductor, and pianist.