Tonhalle Zurich, 1895-2021, Ed. Inga Mai Groote, Laurenz Lütteken, and Ilona Schmiel, 2021, Bärenreiter.
I translated essays for this commemorative multi-discplinary volume produced for the reopening of the Zurich Tonhalle.
The Tonhalle in Zurich is an internationally recognised outstanding concert building. This richly illustrated volume presents the design and history as well as the architectural ideas behind its function as a music centre in the city. The history of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich is embedded in this context and the restoration work and acoustic planning are portrayed.
The location of the Tonhalle at Lake Zurich combines an urban accent with the aspiration to secure a prominent place for music in the city. The concert halls preserve the Wilhelminian architecture with which the renowned Viennese firm Fellner & Helmer, specialists in the design of music buildings, realised a project in 1895 that was ingeniously planned in every detail, combining concerts and conviviality. The Tonhalle Society Zurich has staged concerts in these concert halls since the opening where Johannes Brahms was the guest conductor of his own work, “Triumphlied”.
After a reconstruction and integration into the congress hall by Haefeli, Moser and Steiger, inaugurated in 1939, and subsequent changes, the entire building complex was extensively restored in the years 2017–2021. In the process, many of the original qualities could be recovered, so that through the combination of old and new, a fascinating music venue for the 21st century has emerged.
Music of the Renaissance: Imagination and Reality of a Cultural Practice, by Laurenz Lütteken, 2018, the University of California Press.
I’m the translator of Laurenz Lütteken’s Music of the Renaissance, originally published in 2011 by Bärenreiter, and supported in part through a grant from the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels. Whereas previous accounts of the Renaissance have not fully acknowledged the role that music played in this decisive period of cultural history, this book merges historical music analysis with the analysis of the other arts to provide a richer context for the emergence and evolution of creative cultures across civilizations. This fascinating panorama foregrounds music as a substantial component of the era and considers musical works and practices in a wider cultural-historical context. Among the topics surveyed are music’s relationship to antiquity, the position of music within systems of the arts, the emergence of the concept of the musical work, as well as music’s relationship to the theory and practice of painting, literature, and architecture. What becomes clear is that the Renaissance gave rise to many musical concepts and practices that persist to this day, whether the figure of the composer, musical institutions, and modes of musical writing and memory.
Cambridge History of Fifteenth-Century Music, ed. Anna Maria Busse-Berger and Jesse Rodin, 2015.
I was translator for five contributions to this collection of essays, which offers authoritative overviews of central composers, genres, and musical institutions as well as new and provocative reassessments of the work concept, the boundaries between improvisation and composition, the practice of listening, humanism, musical borrowing, and other topics.
Laurenz Lütteken, “The Musical Work Concept in the Fifteenth Century”
Laurenz Lütteken, “A Succinct History of the Motet”
Klaus Pietschmann, “Religion and the Senses”
Klaus Pietschmann, “Musical Institutions in the Fifteenth Century and their Political Contexts”
Nicole Schwindt, “A Succinct History of Song in the Fifteenth Century”
The Opera Quarterly, Special issue on Wagner’s Ring, Vol. 23, no. 1 (Spring-Summer 2007).
Klaus Zehelein, “The Stuttgart Ring, 1999–2000” (with David J. Levin)
Paul Bekker, “To the Mirror-Image” (with John Urang)