In his inaugural lecture to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Béla Bartók proposed dividing the works of Liszt into two unequally valued portions: the valuable works that showed Liszt as an artistic innovator, and the undesirable ones that adopted a false “Hungarian” style that pleased unsophisticated listeners but corrupted their taste. In sum, he asserted a radical pseudo-aesthetic dichotomy in the interests of a political agenda. Only a dozen years later, Bartók’s own legacy was dichotomized in a very similar way by musicians and politicians, on both sides of the Cold War divide, who were acting according to a political agenda that no one even tried to disguise as aesthetic. The crypto-political pseudo-aesthetics of the twentieth century, whether practiced in the name of pure national traditions, in the name of social justice, or in the name of aesthetic autonomy, has corrupted both the production and the reception of art music and has played a part in its devaluation, all too evident in twenty-first-century society. The many errors of evaluation enumerated in this essay have contributed to that melancholy history.
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Péter BOZÓ (Institute for Musicology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest, H)
Review Editor: Lynn HOOKER (Purdue University, West Lafayette, USA)
Martin ELEK (University of Oxford, Oxford, GB)
Belinda ROBINSON (University of Cambridge, GB)
Viktória OZSVÁRT (Institute for Musicology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest, H)
Patrick DEVINE (Maynooth University, Maynooth, IRL)
Anja BUNZEL (Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences, CZ)
William A. EVERETT (Conservatory University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA)
Márta GRABÓCZ (University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, F)
Denis HERLIN (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, F)
János KÁRPÁTI (professor emeritus, Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, H)
Katalin KOMLÓS (professor emerita, Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, H)
Valeria LUCENTINI (University of Bern, CH)
Tatjana MARKOVIĆ (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien, A)
Pál RICHTER (Institute for Musicology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest, H)
László SOMFAI (Institute for Musicology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest, H)
László VIKÁRIUS (Institute for Musicology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest, H)
István Csaba NÉMETH (Institute for Musicology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest, H)
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2020 Volume 61
Magyar Tudományos Akadémia
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