The research for the FP7 Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship “Brahms and the Fabric of Modernist Culture” was designed to explore Modernism in relation to Brahms, and Brahms’s critics in relation to Modernism. It was an interdisciplinary project that focused on the intersection between musicology, aesthetics, German studies, and philosophy. The aim was to plot Brahms’s compositional output along the continuum of the aesthetics of modernity from the end of the eighteenth century up to the Frankfurt School.
This research established a model for uncovering how we shape perceptions of composers. It explored the shaping of the subject that takes place while the composer is alive and for a period of approximately fifty years after their death. It examined how the aesthetic persona is created, how linear chains of causal relationships are constructed in music criticism and music history, and assessed the criteria by which a certain view of a composer obtains a dominant position. In its inter-disciplinary approach, this research, therefore, provided a valuable model that can be applied to other composers. The work performed throughout the duration of this fellowship resulted in the following publications:
“Brahms’s Ascending Circle: Hölderlin, Schicksalslied, and the Process of Recollection,” Nineteenth-Century Music Review 11/1 (July 2014): 1–36.
“Eduard Hanslick,” Oxford Bibliographies Online (January 2015).
“The Schoenberg/Brahms Critical Tradition Reconsidered,” Music Analysis 31/ii–iii (Autumn 2012): 127–75.
“Brahms’s Poetic Allusions through Hanslick’s Critical Lens,” American Brahms Society Newsletter 29/2 (Autumn 2011): 5–9.
“The Sense of an Ending: Adorno, Brahms, and Music’s Return to the Land of Childhood,” Irish Musical Analysis (Irish Musical Studies, Vol. 11), ed. Gareth Cox and Julian Horton (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2014), 104–24.
Theodor W. Adorno, “Brahms Aktuelle,” complete essay translated as an appendix to “The Sense of an Ending: Adorno, Brahms, and Music’s Return to the Land of Childhood,” Irish Musical Analysis (Irish Musical Studies, Vol. 11), ed. Gareth Cox and Julian Horton (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2014), 121–24.
Constantin Floros, Free but Alone: A Life for Poetic Music, commissioned for Nineteenth-Century Music Review 9/2 (December 2012): 341–46.
Theophil Antonicek, Gernot Gruber and Christoph Landerer, eds, Eduard Hanslick zum Gedenken: Bericht des Symposiums zum Anlass seines 100. Todestags, commissioned for the Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland 7 (2011–2012): 67–76.
The final research output of the fellowship is a monograph called Brahms Elegies: The Poetics of Loss in German Culture, which is currently in the final stages of preparation. For further details, please see here.
The Project Team included:
- Dr Nicole Grimes, International Outgoing Fellow, 2011–14;
- Professor David Brodbeck, Mentor, University of California, Irvine, 2011–13;
- Professor Julian Horton, Mentor, University College Dublin, 2011–13;
- Professor Harry White, Mentor, University College Dublin, 2013–14.