The Pursuit of High Culture

The Pursuit of High Culture

John Ella and Chamber Music in Victorian London

Christina Bashford

Hardback
$90.00

Boydell Press

Overview

Overview

This monograph investigates the promotion and consumption of high musical culture among leisured society in Victorian London, by focusing on the activities of the concert manager John Ella and his Musical Union.
This monograph investigates the promotion and consumption of high musical culture among leisured society in Victorian London, by focusing on the activities of the concert manager John Ella and his Musical Union (1845-81), an eminent, long-lived institution for chamber music, much fêted across Europe in its day. It combines a biography of Ella with a social-economic history of the Musical Union, its players, repertoire and audiences, and sets them against the gradually shifting contexts for London concerts, chamber music and cultural life. Ella's extraordinary life story, which began in provincial, artisan-class obscurity and ended in the upper echelons of London society, shapes the narrative. Such themes as entrepreneurship, concert management, taste shaping, music appreciation and elite social networks are discussed throughout, as is the curious interplay between the desire to 'sacralize' chamber music, especially Beethoven's, on the one hand, and the need to survive amid the increasing commercial imperatives of London concert life on the other.
CHRISTINA BASHFORD is Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Details

November 2007
17 black and white, 1 line illustrations
424 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Music in Britain, 1600-2000
ISBN: 9781843832980
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BIC AV, 1DBK, 2AB, 3JH
BISAC MUS020000, MUS005000
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Case for Ella
From Leicester to London, 1802-29
Successes, Frustrations, Ambitions, 1828-44
Establishing the Musical Union, 1845-8
Consolidation and Expansion, 1849-57
New Spaces, 1858-68
Adapting to Survive, 1868-79
Endings (1880-88) and Legacy

Reviews

(B)ashford's book expertly relates her thorough documentation of Ella's life and professional activities to the broader social, cultural, and musical Victorian context, offering us a model example of how good scholarship can make even one enabler of music, relevant all of music and Victorian culture. NABMSA Newsletter

(This) study not only meets a need in Victorian cultural history but prompts applications to our day...of interest to anyone working on nineteenth-centiry performing arts, in Britain or elsewhere. VICTORIAN STUDIES
The first of its kind...As such it takes its responsibility very seriously, and as a consequence it does not disappoint...It is a model of modern musicological biography, and for that Christina Bashford is to be highly praised. MUSIC & LETTERS (Bennett Zon)

Also by Author

Also in Series