Ernst Kurth

Kurth, Ernst

 

Born June 1, 1886, in Vienna; died Aug. 2, 1946, in Bern. Swiss musicologist.

Kurth studied with the musicologist G. Adler in Vienna. In 1912 he began teaching musicology at the University of Bern, becoming a professor in 1920. He acquired fame with his book Foundations of Linear Counterpoint (1917; Russian translation, 1931), which concentrates on an analysis of the compositions of J. S. Bach. Among his most important works are Romantic Harmony and Its Crisis in Wagner’s “Tristan” (1920) and a monograph on A. Bruckner (vols. 1–2, 1925), which provides a portrait of the composer as an artist, as well as an analysis of a conception of musical form. Kurth expounded his ideas on the nature of creative work in Music Psychology (1931). A. Schopenhauer’s philosophy influenced his works.

REFERENCE

Mazel’, L.“Kontseptsiia E.Kurta.” In L.Mazel’ and I. Ryzhkin, Ocherki po istorii teoreticheskogo muzykoznaniia, issue 2. Moscow, 1939.
References in periodicals archive ?
August Otto Halm (1869-1929) was a talented and well-known musician, analyst, teacher and critic during the Wilhelmine and Weimar periods in Germany, who has received much less attention today than his contemporaries Hugo Riemann, Heinrich Schenker, Ernst Kurth, and Arnold Schoen-berg.
One might also compare Seeger's contributions to twentieth-century musical thought with those of Boris Asaf'yev (1884-1949) and Ernst Kurth (1886-1946), two of his contemporaries who also took an interest in Bergson.
Ernst Kurth's insights on Richard Wagner, Anton Bruckner, and Hugo Wolf are cited, and Arnold Schoenberg's concept of suspended tonality is invoked more than once.
In his highly readable essay Wehrmeyer focuses more on basic premises than did McQuere (Russian Musical Thought, 109-164) as he seeks out philosophical roots and affinities with Riemann, Francois-Joseph Fetis, and Ernst Kurth. Yavorsky's use of the Russian lad (generally translated as "mode") emphasizes intervallic relationships but does not fix a single tonic pitch; rather the modes are derived from the arrangement of all six tritones and their semitonal resolutions.
From Ernst Kurth in particular Handschin drew a definition of form as "not only the juxtaposition of sections in a work, but also the interweaving of parts that unfold simultaneously".
276].) Yet surely Ernst Kurth (about whose seminal theories Ratner has relatively little to say) will provide a better theoretical starting-point for the dialectic of sound and syntax in Romantic music than are H.