Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 2: Americanism, Tradition and Modernism in its Relationship to W.H. Auden's The Age of Anxiety
Cuellar, Scott Dean
Doctor of Musical Arts
Bernstein's Second Symphony, titled The Age of Anxiety after W.H. Auden's epic poem of the same name, is an essentially American work. In this document, I explore the relationship between Bernstein's symphony and Auden's poem in light of elements present in both works that are American in nature, with special attention to both artists' inclusion of multi-national and multi-cultural components in each work as a representation of America. I also examine the manner in which both Bernstein and Auden, as modern artists, position their works in relation to modernism movements in both poetry and music and how both artists chose to maintain a fundamentally traditional foundation in their language and aesthetic, while pursuing a progressive path for their art. Finally, I explore the ways in which Auden's poem appealed to Bernstein on a personal level, especially its overall narrative of the search for faith.
Bernstein, Leonard; Auden, W.H.; Age of Anxiety