This book provides a selection of annotated translations from Ernst Kurth's three best known publications: Grundlagen des linearen Kontrapunkts (1917), Romantische Harmonik und ihre Krise in Wagners 'Tristan' (1920), and Bruckner (1925). Kurth's contemporaries considered these books to be pioneering studies in the music of J. S. Bach, Wagner, and Bruckner. Professor Rothfarb's extensive introductory essay discusses the intellectual and socio-cultural environment in which Kurth was writing, referring to aspects of the early twentieth-century cultural renewal movements and to intellectual developments of the day in phenomenology, aesthetics and psychology. By reading Kurth against the cultural-intellectual background provided in the essay and commentaries, today's music historians and theorists can round out their picture of music theory in the early twentieth century.
"Not only has Rothfarb mastered a wealth of material from Kurth's four principal writings, he has sifted as well through the complexity and abundance of thought, has organized it cogently, and has honed a precise yet fluent prose style of his own that reveals with impressive clarity Kurth's governing ideas and 'pre-analytic attitudes'." Notes