Political Dreams and Musical Themes in the 1848–1922 Formation of Czechoslovakia: Interaction of National and Global Forces characterizes the 1918–22 formation of Czechoslovakia as a consequence of political and musical expressions. Nationalist expressions and formations were striking after the 1848 Revolution. The authors explore how the music of Smetana, Janáček, and Dvořák inspired people with reminders about the important achievements of past Bohemian leaders. Under the control of the Vienna-based Habsburg Empire, Czech leaders also achieved more political representation in both Habsburg and Bohemian legislatures, and Slovaks made some national progress in at least asserting their demands to Budapest and its controlling Magyar Empire. During the early twentieth century, there was additional pressure to link up these nationalist movements in both music and politics with regional “modernist” approaches that were increasingly popular in other parts of Europe. The outbreak of World War I in 1914 opened up opportunities, such as joint participation in the Czechoslovak Legion, for the two key ethnic groups to forge a Czechoslovak state. Independence took place, with considerable western support, on October 28, 1918, and the commemorative concert two days later of compositions by Josef Suk put the final stamp on a considerable achievement that bore the hallmarks of globalism as well as nationalism.
James W. Peterson, professor emeritus at Valdosta State University, served in the Department of Political Science as the department head for thirty years.
William J. Peterson, professor emeritus and college organist at Pomona College, served in the Department of Music for thirty-nine years.
A Note on Translations
Chapter One: Appearance of Czechoslovakia on the Global Stage in 1918: Realization of Nationalist Political and Musical Dreams
Chapter Two: The Revolution of 1848 and the Intensification of Nationalism Sentiments in Politics and Music, 1848-1881
Chapter Three: Emergence of a Global Framework: New Directions in Politics and New Horizons in Music, 1881-1901
Chapter Four: Pressures from the Outside European World and the Czech Response in Politics and Music, 1901-1914
Chapter Five: The War Years: Divided Political Loyalties and War Themes in Music, 1914-1918
Chapter Six: New Directions for Czechoslovakia: Nationally Rooted Musical Commemoration of the War and Globally Inspired New Political Architecture, 1918-1922
About the Authors
Political Dreams and Musical Themes in the 1848–1922 Formation of Czechoslovakia: Interaction of National and Global Forces by the duet of scholars James W. Peterson and William J. Peterson is a tour de force of music history coupled with Czech and Slovak modern political history. The authors dexterously weave the political and the musical, showing off their respective areas of expertise. James, the political scientist, and historian, displays his profound knowledge of Czech and Slovak nationalist movements, while William, the musician and music historian, dazzles with his knowledge of the Czech and Slovak musical worlds during their most creative phase. For the lovers and connoisseurs of Czech and Slovak music, and those interested in these nations’ modern political history, this is an indispensable book.
This is a fascinating book which fuses historical and political with cultural and musical analysis in its account of the emergence of an independent Czechoslovakia. The authors trace the interaction and mutual influence of both nationalist and global political and cultural influences on this emergence, from the rise of Czech nationalism in the mid-nineteenth century and the subsequent struggles for political autonomy and then independence, to the foundation of a new multi-ethnic state after the First World War. In this innovative account of the Czechoslovak case, the role of music (and culture more generally) as a counterpoint to external political domination is explored, as is the extent to which music reflects political developments but can also be an instrument of political change while helping to shape political identities and outcomes.