Quasi Una Fantasia

Quasi Una Fantasia:Essays on Modern Music

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Adorno’s own selection of his essays and journalism from more than three decades of music writing

This collection covers a wide range of topics, from a moving study of Bizet’s Carmen to an entertainingly caustic exploration of the hierarchies of the auditorium. Especially significant is Adorno’s “dialectical portrait” of Stravinsky, in which Adorno both reconsiders and refines his damning indictment of the composer in Philosophy on Modern Music. Throughout, Adorno is sustained by the conviction that music is supremely human because it is capable of communicating inhumanity while resisting it. His belief in the benevolent and transformative power of music reverberates throughout these writings.


  • This is an extraordinary book ... one of Adorno’s most impressive, fecund and elegant works ... It will appeal to anyone who wishes to encounter one of the century’s most challenging and provocative social theorists at his most openly enthusiastic.

    Times Higher Education Supplement
  • A volume of Adorno is equivalent to a whole shelf of books on literature.

    Susan Sontag