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FRIHUM-Fri prosjektstøtte humanistiske fag

Musical Expression in Transforming Cultures: A Comparative Study of Rudolf Kolisch's Performance Practice

Awarded: NOK 2.8 mill.

The results from this project's comprehensive performance studies will provide a new understanding of historical recordings as documents of aesthetic transformation which are characterized by three distinct periods in Kolisch's performance practice. The r ich body of unpublished archival material recently made available provides optimal conditions for source studies to support new, comparative studies. The results from the three case studies are to be published in the form of at least three articles which will elucidate the changes in twentieth-century musical culture which Kolisch's performance practice epitomizes: Kolisch as a central agent in the 'culture of truth', established upon the ruins of Viennese fin-de-siècle culture; his encounter with the Ame rican culture industry and rapidly developing technology; and finally, the re-emigrating 'American modernist's' struggle for his ideal of true expression within the venues of the European, post-World War II avant-garde. By exploring the intrinsic and ex trinsic properties and values of the individual performer's practice, which have been fixed in audio documentation of his playing and articulated in Kolisch's writings and speech, this project will bring about a deeper understanding of the inner dynamics and variability of musical culture emerging from the cultural crosscurrents and contradictions of the first half of the twentieth century. Combining performance studies with historical methods and cultural analysis in this project will bring new perspecti ves to one's understanding of twentieth century's musical culture. The results from the comparative investigations of performative practices show that variation in the aesthetic field has to be related to changes in the cultural situation. Hence, this pro ject will revise the picture of a homogeneous high culture regulated by consistent, normative ideas, in favor of a comprehensive understanding based on knowledge of heterogeneous, transforming individual practices

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FRIHUM-Fri prosjektstøtte humanistiske fag