HORIZONS CIRCLED: Reflections on My Music by Ernst Krenek

HORIZONS CIRCLED: Reflections on My Music

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Back in 1927, when he was 27, composer Krenek had a huge success in Europe with his two-act opera Jonny spielt auf (Johnny Strikes Up the Band) -- a surreal farce which featured jazz patches against classical music, radio loudspeakers, train sounds and so on. The satire was equally well received at New York's Metropolitan Opera. But acclaim was fragile: Krenek never achieved it again, despite an amazingly prolific career. Although he's written more than 20 operas, the vast bulk of his compositions remain unperformed and unrecorded. His most recent work, Horizon Circled, a supersymphony in six movements, as described by a colleague, sounds dizzying and fascinating. Krenek (now a Californian) sketches in the musical scene today, tells of his artistic ideas and development through atonality to his present serial compositions, talks about politics, copyright and economic problems and analyzes style and technique in fairly abstruse jargon. He reflects upon himself with amusement, love, tolerance and a lively mind. Rather special, though.

Pub Date: Aug. 12th, 1974
Publisher: Unif. of California Press