I think that Zuidervaart, in his book Adorno's aesthetic theory, says that Adorno makes two claims for artworks:
- They develop the productive forces of the artform
- The artist has a cognition of the social whole
The book has no preview, and I can never find it, so I cannot find quotes right now... But, rather than establish the role of these two claims in Adorno's aesthetics, I would really like to know what 1 really means.
Is there a simple (i.e. freely available) criteria for when something is a regressive development of the artform (as in, failing to meet point 1), or is that something which the critic has to decide based on their (presumably) subjective preferences?
i.e., why does Schoenberg's music meet this requirement (according to Zuidervaart / Adorno) and not Stravinsky's?
FWIW, I would imagine that newness, as we normally conceive of it, is not enough. Or an increase in complexity. If forced to guess, I'd draw an analogy with technology, and suggest that the emancipation of dissonance made something in the compositional process more powerful -- more totalising.