Moral Fire by Joseph Horowitz
Musical Portraits from America's Fin de Siècle

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Let us hope, then, that the next 200 centuries beget philanthropists and educators with the energy and foresight of those depicted in "Moral Fire."
-WSJ online

Synopsis

Joseph Horowitz writes in Moral Fire: "If the Met’s screaming Wagnerites standing on chairs (in the 1890s) are unthinkable today, it is partly because we mistrust high feeling. Our children avidly specialize in vicarious forms of electronic interpersonal diversion. Our laptops and televisions ensnare us in a surrogate world that shuns all but facile passions; only Jon Stewart and Bill Maher share moments of moral outrage disguised as comedy."

Arguing that the past can prove instructive and inspirational, Horowitz revisits four astonishing personalities—Henry Higginson, Laura Langford, Henry Krehbiel and Charles Ives—whose missionary work in the realm of culture signaled a belief in the fundamental decency of civilized human nature, in the universality of moral values, and in progress toward a kingdom of peace and love.

 

About Joseph Horowitz

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Joseph Horowitzis the author of Classical Music in America, Artists in Exile, (UC Press), Understanding Toscanini, and Wagner Nights. Previously a New York Times music critic, then Executive Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, he is currently Artistic Director of DC's Post-Classical Ensemble.
 
Published May 22, 2012 by University of California Press. 286 pages
Genres: Arts & Photography, History. Non-fiction
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Reviewed by Marion Lignana Rosenberg on Aug 30 2012

Let us hope, then, that the next 200 centuries beget philanthropists and educators with the energy and foresight of those depicted in "Moral Fire."

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