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“This War Is Too Dreadful to Write About”: Composer George Whitefield Chadwick’s Reactions to World War I

“This War Is Too Dreadful to Write About”: Composer George Whitefield Chadwick’s Reactions... mA ri ANNe bet Z “t his War is t oo Dreadful to Write About”: Composer George Whitefield Chadwick’s r eactions to World War i When the u nited States officially entered the Great War in 1917, this resonated in a hitherto unknown wave of patriotism that affected the German- affiliated musical life in many American cities on various levels. A confusion of emotions emerged with the declaration of war. in bos- ton, George Whitefield Chadwick (1854–1931), one of the city’s leading composers and director of the New e ngland Conservatory since 1897, even began to doubt the importance of musical activity as such. “o ver all hangs this dreadful foreboding of impending calamity,” Chadwick wrote in distress. “How can one think of music when the future holds such dreadful possibilities?” Chadwick’s reactions, both verbal and musical, highlight the impact that the nationalism aroused by the war had on music and on musical activities. t he severe blow that struck b os- ton’s cultural life as a result of the growing anti- German climate shook to the core the foundations of its most important musical ensemble, the boston Symphony o rchestra, and thus deeply affected Chadwick, himself a key http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

“This War Is Too Dreadful to Write About”: Composer George Whitefield Chadwick’s Reactions to World War I

American Music , Volume 34 (4) – Apr 15, 2017

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349

Abstract

mA ri ANNe bet Z “t his War is t oo Dreadful to Write About”: Composer George Whitefield Chadwick’s r eactions to World War i When the u nited States officially entered the Great War in 1917, this resonated in a hitherto unknown wave of patriotism that affected the German- affiliated musical life in many American cities on various levels. A confusion of emotions emerged with the declaration of war. in bos- ton, George Whitefield Chadwick (1854–1931), one of the city’s leading composers and director of the New e ngland Conservatory since 1897, even began to doubt the importance of musical activity as such. “o ver all hangs this dreadful foreboding of impending calamity,” Chadwick wrote in distress. “How can one think of music when the future holds such dreadful possibilities?” Chadwick’s reactions, both verbal and musical, highlight the impact that the nationalism aroused by the war had on music and on musical activities. t he severe blow that struck b os- ton’s cultural life as a result of the growing anti- German climate shook to the core the foundations of its most important musical ensemble, the boston Symphony o rchestra, and thus deeply affected Chadwick, himself a key

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Apr 15, 2017

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