Jon Marans
Old Wicked Songs
June 10, 2020 Comments.. 547
Old Wicked Songs Hoping to reconnect with his music and shatter the artistic block that s plagued his career Stephen Hoffman a young American piano prodigy ventures to Vienna in the spring of He is assigned to
  • Title: Old Wicked Songs
  • Author: Jon Marans
  • ISBN: 9780822215448
  • Page: 204
  • Format: Paperback
  • Hoping to reconnect with his music and shatter the artistic block that s plagued his career, Stephen Hoffman, a young American piano prodigy, ventures to Vienna in the spring of 1986 He is assigned to an elderly vocal teacher, Professor Josef Mashkan, who gives Stephen the Dichterliebe song cycle by Robert Schumann Although Stephen resents having to study simple vocalHoping to reconnect with his music and shatter the artistic block that s plagued his career, Stephen Hoffman, a young American piano prodigy, ventures to Vienna in the spring of 1986 He is assigned to an elderly vocal teacher, Professor Josef Mashkan, who gives Stephen the Dichterliebe song cycle by Robert Schumann Although Stephen resents having to study simple vocal accompaniment, he slowly realizes that he is in the hands of a master teacher It s a grudging realization at best for Stephen, as he and Mashkan approach each other from such opposite ends of experience It seems impossible at first that they will ever get along, much less work together Their dichotomies abound One is European, one American one old fashioned, the other modern one passionate, the other technically precise and finally, one a seeming anti Semite, and the other a Jew a theme partly expressed by the play s allusions to Kurt Waldheim s campaign for Austria s presidency When Stephen visits Dachau, at the insistence of his Jewish parents, the whitewash of official German history fills him with rage, and he channels this anger into his art and against Mashkan as well Stephen soon discovers that Mashkan s anti Semitic remarks mask a darker history he is a Holocaust survivor who would rather die than confront his demons Stephen urges Mashkan to tell his story for his sake as well as for Stephen s but eventually, only music their one common bond helps release the burning emotions of the teacher and helps melt the frigidity of the student.
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    1 Blog on “Old Wicked Songs

    1. Lauren says:

      There s a phenomenal play lurking somewhere in Old Wicked Songs If I saw it staged, I d perhaps be utterly wowed by this tale of a piano prodigy and his curmudgeonly instructor Music plays a big role in the play not shocking given the title , and the atmosphere of a theatre would no doubt make it easier to get swept up into the plot.On page, however, the play is too jumpy While I didn t love it, I am shocked no one s adapted it for film It feels like the sort of play that would transition beauti [...]

    2. Jared says:

      Wow Just wow This play conveys so many emotions Anyone can relate to it one some level those who lack passion in life, who have been hurt, repressed, thought of suicide, or simply love music and history I don t think there is anyone, that after seeing this performed, would say that they don t feel connected to or understand better the classics Highly recommended.

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