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Jewish IdentitiesNationalism, Racism, and Utopianism in Twentieth-Century Music$
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Klara Moricz

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520250888

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520250888.001.0001

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A Taste for “the Things of Heaven”

A Taste for “the Things of Heaven”

Cleansing Music of Politics

Chapter:
(p.300) Chapter 9 A Taste for “the Things of Heaven”
Source:
Jewish Identities
Author(s):

Kálra Móricz

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520250888.003.0010

Though he left it incomplete, Schoenberg never gave up Jakobsleiter, the Balzacian/Swedenborgian rise to heaven and Strindbergian struggle for faith of which stayed central to the composer's religious visions. Like his involvement in Jewish politics, his ideas about religion had no practical implications. Schoenberg's rare attempts to put his art in the service of any religious ritual more specific than the worship of an abstract, unimaginable God resulted in awkward interactions between him and religious authorities. The best summary of his religious beliefs are the texts of Modern Psalms, which recycle many ideas from The Biblical Way, Moses und Aron, and his political writings. Instead of seeing these works as the final manifestations of a journey toward Jewish identity, one should recognize in them the same idiosyncratic combination of spiritual, political, and artistic concerns that characterized some of Schoenberg's earlier compositions.

Keywords:   religious vision, Jakobsleiter, Jewish politics, Biblical Way, Jewish identity

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