Deep Focus: Enriching the Aspen Experience

An array of micro-essays by accomplished musicologists, curated to enhance and enrich your historical and aesthetic engagement with the musical programming offered at Aspen’s summer seasons. 

The Recovered Vision of Richard Gerstl

David Hoyt, Assistant Program Book Editor

Explore an artist's view of Vienna's musical vanguard, tragically lost before its time, in a new Deep Focus essay on Richard Gerstl. The painter had personal relationships to the composers Arnold Schoenberg, Alexander Zemlinsky, and others in their circle.

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“Adoration of the Earth”: Music, Species Belonging, and the Worship of Nature

Kirsten Paige, Assistant Teaching Professor at North Carolina State University

This deeply researched essay by Dr. Kirsten Paige outlines the ways humanity has defined nature as a category in opposition to the human, and what role music has played in that project. She argues that categorizing humanity (including the arts, like music) as distinct from unruly or “wild” nature has led to environmental exploitation and racial discrimination, while works by new composers wrestle with and try to overcome this legacy.

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Musical Ecology in Aspen

Denise Von Glahn, Professor of Musicology at Florida State University

In this short essay, Professor Denise von Glahn guides the reader in noticing the ways the natural world is present in both familiar and new music, and indeed in appreciating the natural beauty that surrounds us at every concert at the Tent.

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The Past and Present of Mariachi

Lauryn Salazar, Associate Professor of Musicology at Texas Tech University

Professor Lauryn Salazar provides an introduction to the form and tradition of Mariachi, dispelling an oft-repeated but questionable story about the origins of the performance tradition, then tracing the rise of Mariachi.

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Beethoven and the Launching of an Idea

Michael Broyles, Professor of Musicology, Florida State University

The greatest force for reshaping American attitudes toward music was that of one composer—Ludwig van Beethoven—and one genre in particular, his symphonies...classical music, and especially symphony orchestra, still enjoy a prestige born of the first American performances of Beethoven symphonies in the 1840s.

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