The Premiere: A Case of the Ridiculous and the Sublime Stephen Lees

ISBN: 9780957162952

Published: November 29th 2013

Paperback

342 pages


Description

The Premiere: A Case of the Ridiculous and the Sublime  by  Stephen Lees

The Premiere: A Case of the Ridiculous and the Sublime by Stephen Lees
November 29th 2013 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 342 pages | ISBN: 9780957162952 | 10.78 Mb

A new novel by Stephen Lees called The Premiere, comprises a series of incidents leading up to and following the London premiere, in 1910 of Gustav Mahlers mighty Eighth Symphony. Before the premiere, a chance meeting occurs in the Cafe Royal,MoreA new novel by Stephen Lees called The Premiere, comprises a series of incidents leading up to and following the London premiere, in 1910 of Gustav Mahlers mighty Eighth Symphony. Before the premiere, a chance meeting occurs in the Cafe Royal, between the intense Mahler and the renowned writer and raconteur, Oscar Wilde, brimming with self-confidence and an excess of reckless wit.

Others sitting around the table, drinking include, Rossetti, Villiers Stanford, Antheil, Beardsley, Atkinson Grimshaw, Kandinsky, Rackham, Sargent, Liz Siddall, Whistler and von Zemlinsky. Gradually a monumental argument develops between these two Titans of creativity, who upon meeting for the first time, despise each other, with a detestation that increases by the minute, as the vitriolic exchanges between them intensify.

Others at the table do not remain neutral, but rather fuel the argument and use the opportunity afforded them to vent their own vicious opinions to all and sundry. The Premiere considers the arts, architecture, music, philosophy, politics and religion which influenced Mahler profoundly when creating his huge symphonies, which Stephen Lees calls to life.

He does so in an interesting and fascinating way, by exploring facts which are not well known, making The Premiere informative, humorous and written with evident affection. The Premiere, complete with an extensive index, is all the more remarkable, in that the author identifies the shifting attitudes to the arts prevalent before the First World War.

In particular, the collapsing old Romantic regimes which dominate artistic and musical thinking- and their eclipse by more intellectually based movements. Ranging from the rise of the atonal technique and dodecaphonic twelve-note scale in music advocated by Schonberg and augmented by Webern and Berg.

To the challenges posed by Modernists, including Josef Hoffmann, Klimt, von Alt, Moser, Kurtzweil, or Zemlinsky who represent the Vienna Secessionists and the artistic spectrum of the Fusion of the Arts. A movement, comprising architects, musicians, painters and writers- most of whom are eager to establish a more real expression of the arts in a world they perceive as, spinning out of control and into the inevitable cataclysm.



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