Singing in the Age of AnxietyLieder Performances in New York and London between the World Wars

Singing in the Age of AnxietyLieder Performances in New York and London between the World Wars

Laura Tunbridge

Print publication date: 2019

ISBN: 9780226563572

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

This book investigates the culture of lieder performance in New York and London between the two World Wars. Treated with hostility initially, German music and musicians became an important barometer by which to gauge questions of identity in an age increasingly anxious about nationalism, internationalism, race, technology, and taste. Through case studies of individual singers, venues, and media history, this book reveals the ways in which transatlantic networks were negotiated by musicians through their choice of repertoire, the spaces in which they played, and the manner in which their performances were disseminated. Also examined are changes in listening practices, prompted by the spread of recordings, radio, and sound film, and encouraged and supported by music criticism and education. The reverence with which lieder are approached today is shown to have been contested politically and aesthetically during the interwar period.