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American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century$
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John Spitzer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226769769

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226769776.001.0001

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Orchestral Programs in Boston, 1841–55, in European Perspective

Orchestral Programs in Boston, 1841–55, in European Perspective

(p.373) [v.1] Orchestral Programs in Boston, 1841–55, in European Perspective
American Orchestras in the Nineteenth Century

William Weber

University of Chicago Press

The Academy of Music, the Musical Fund Society, and the Philharmonic Society conducted orchestral programs in Boston between 1841 and 1855. Whether in Europe or in America, concert programming followed principles quite different from those that are taken for granted today. The Salem and Birmingham programs revealed how canonic repertory was less important in America than in Britain. The notion of programming as a “work of art” excluded those who wanted to be entertained and divided musical culture into separate regions in programming and aesthetics. The countervailing strength of religion and musical idealism complicated the establishment of a long-term set of orchestral concerts in Boston. It is noted that Boston's music public was not ready for “pure” classical music without vocal pieces.

Keywords:   orchestral programs, Academy of Music, Musical Fund Society, Philharmonic Society, Boston, concert programming, religion, musical idealism, orchestral concerts

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