An unintended dialogue between 'materialists' and 'idealists': The essays on west European art music in the 'Zvuk' magazine (1932-1936)
Materijalisti i idealisti u netraženom dijalogu - časopis 'Zvuk' (1932-1936) i muzika zapadne Evrope
AuthorsVasić, Aleksandar N.
Article (Published version)
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The Zvuk magazine, one of the best Serbian and Yugoslav music reviews, was published in Belgrade from 1932 to 1936. It was founded and edited by a pianist, music historian and music critic Stana Ribnikar (1908-1986). Her closest collaborators in the magazine were leftist musicians. Nevertheless, the editorial board was open for collaboration with writers who had different ideas on the relationship between art and society. This article deals with numerous essays on the nineteenth-century West European art music in the Zvuk magazine. Their topics are very diverse: some of the essays deal with individual composers, historical issues, various problems of writing music, and related subjects. Others tend to provide information and present art music in a popular manner. A significant feature of the Zvuk magazine was the parallel presence of essays written by Marxist musicians and those written by other music writers, who did not believe in the social function of art, even though these two gro...ups of authors did not engage in polemics. Pavao Markovac, a musicologist from Zagreb, was very critical towards Richard Wagner's views on art and society. The Belgrade musicologist Vojislav Vučković shared his point of view. In his essays on the historical significance of baroque music, Vučković opposed the idea of absolute autonomy of art. Both Markovac and Vučković believed that art and society were inseparable and they evaluated music accordingly. Other prominent Serbian music writers, such as Miloje Milojević, also voiced their opinions on the pages of the Zvuk magazine. Milojević published essays on Johannes Brahms and Richard Strauss. He was also in favour of evaluating music within the given social context, but he advocated the ideas of Hyppolyte Taine. Zvuk remains the only Serbian music magazine that published articles on ancient Greek music. Milos Djurić, a classical philologist, philosopher and literary translator, wrote on music in ancient Boeotia and Lesbos. This subject has remained untackled in Serbian musicology to this very day. In order to address the wider audience, the Zvuk magazine also featured contributions concerning the boundary areas between music and other disciplines. As many as three articles on Friedrich Nietzsche's attitude towards music were published by Yuri Arbatsky and Matija Bravničar. Notwithstanding its professional profi le, this magazine was also open for popular articles for wider intellectual audience. The essays on West European art music in the Zvuk magazine contributed to widening the scope of knowledge and public interest. The policy of the editorial board was to bring together writers of different ideological standpoints, by publishing their essays side by side. In this way, the public was presented with different ideas and beliefs, but also with professional information. It was clear that one-sidedness was not the policy of this magazine. On the contrary, the editors proved that it was possible for writers who thought differently to engage in a dialogue, even if they had no prior intention of doing so.
Časopis 'Zvuk' (1932-1936) objavio je brojne oglede o muzici Zapadne Evrope. U radu se daje pregled i analiza tih tekstova i ukazuje na uredničku koncepciju. Želeći da predstavi muzičke pisce različitih ideoloških uverenja, uredništvo je u svojevrstan, posredan dijalog okupilo marksiste i pisce koji su o evropskoj muzici pisali s nemarksističkih pozicija.