Gerhard on Music: Selected Writings
Even though the Catalan publishing house Aymá contracted Roberto Gerhard in 1966 to publish an anthology of his writings on music, the project never came to fruition during his lifetime, and it was only in 2000 that a selection of his written works (some of them translations) was published under the editorship of academic and critic Meirion Bowen. The volume contains thirty-four pieces, ranging from Gerhard’s early articles in Mirador in 1930 to an article published in Venezuela’s Revista Shell in 1962. Some of Gerhard’s writings were not originally published, but are notes for or transcriptions of lectures he gave in the United Kingdom and the United States (where he was briefly a visiting professor at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor), or of radio broadcasts for the BBC.
This selection of writings reflects Gerhards dedication to twelve-tone technique, which first caught his interest during his studies with Schoenberg (1923-1928), but became a major part of his own compositional practice only after he took exile in Cambridge in 1940. The volume contains writings on Gerhard’s own serialist works, as well as those of Schoenberg, Berg and Webern, and, interestingly, twelve-tone technique in Stravinsky. Even in 1962, Gerhard’s asserted that Schoenberg, through his student Webern, was the most single influential force in contemporary music. The influence of Schoenberg’s thinking is also visible in Gerhard’s articles concerning the role of the composer in society and his relationship to audiences. Even though this corpus of Second Viennese School-related writings dominate the volume, Gerhard’s appraisals of Bela Bartók, Hanns Eisler and Ildebrando Pizzetti are also included, as are articles on Pedrell and Spanish music and musicology.
Eva MOREDA RODRIGUEZ
For further information:
• Adkins, Monty, Russ, Michael (eds.), The Roberto Gerhard Research Companion, Farnham, Ashgate, 2014.
• Sánchez de Andrés, Leticia, Pasión, desarraigo y literatura: el compositor Robert Gerhard, Madrid, Fundación Scherzo, 2014.
|years of publication||2000|
|edited by||Meirion Bowen|