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Richard Wagner and the Articulation of a German Opera, 1798-1876
By examining theoretical debates about the nature of nineteenth-century German opera and analyzing the genre’s development and its international dissemination, this book shows German opera’s entanglement with national identity formation. The thorough study of German opera debates in the first half of the nineteenth century highlights the esthetic and ideological significance of this relatively neglected repertoire, and helps to contextualize Richard Wagner’s attempts to define German opera and to gain a reputation as the German opera composer par excellence. By interpreting Wagner’s esthetic endeavors as a continuation of previous campaigns for the emancipation of German opera, this book adds an original and significant perspective to discussions about Wagner’s relation to German nationalism.
This wide-ranging contribution to the study of nationalism and the social history of music examines the relationship between choral societies and national mobilization in the nineteenth century. From Norway to the Basque country and from Wales to Bulgaria, this pioneering study explores and compares the ways choral societies influenced and reflected the development of national awareness under differing political and social circumstances. By the second half of the nineteenth century, organized communal singing became a primary leisure activity that attracted all layers of society. Though strongly patriotic in tone, choral societies borrowed from each other and relied heavily on prominent German or French models. This volume is the first to address both the national and transnational significance of choral singing.

Contributors are: Carmen De Las Cuevas Hevia, Jan Dewilde, Tomáš Kavka, Anne Jorunn Kydland, Krisztina Lajosi, Joep Leerssen, Sophie-Anne Leterrier, Jane Mallinson, Tatjana Marković, Fiona M. Palmer, Karel Šima, Andreas Stynen, Dominique Vidaud, Ivanka Vlaeva, Jozef Vos, Gareth Williams, Hana Zimmerhaklová.
Geneviève Straus: a Parisian Life is the first biography in English of Geneviève Straus (1849-1926), a Parisian salon hostess and political activist. Joyce Block Lazarus explores myths surrounding Straus and offers an account of her life and accomplishments. Making use of historical materials, including previously unpublished letters, Lazarus shows that Straus was a female intellectual during an era when women were non-citizens.
Scholars have well documented the Dreyfus Affair (1894-1906), but have overlooked archival documents which spotlight Straus’s role as a political activist in the affair. In Geneviève Straus: a Parisian Life, Lazarus highlights Straus’s thirty-four-year friendship with Marcel Proust and examines her influence on Proust’s novel, In Search of Lost Time, finding echoes of Straus and her family in his masterpiece.
Music and Confession in Switzerland, 1648–1762
In Artistic Disobedience Claudio Bacciagaluppi shows how music practice was an occasion for cross-confessional contacts in 17th- and 18th-century Switzerland, implying religious toleration. The difference between public and private performing contexts, each with a distinct repertoire, appears to be of paramount importance. Confessional barriers were overcome in an individual, private perspective. Converted musicians provide striking examples. Also, book trade was often cross-confessional. Music by Catholic (but also Lutheran) composers was diffused in Reformed territories mainly in the private music societies of Swiss German towns (collegia musica). The political and pietist influences in the Zurich and Winterthur music societies encouraged forms of communication that are among the acknowledged common roots of European Enlightenment.
Henry George Farmer (1882-1965) was a pioneering musicologist who specialized in Arab music. In 1932, he participated in the First International Congress of Arab Music in Cairo, during which he maintained a journal recording his daily activities, interactions with fellow delegates and dignitaries, and varied perambulations throughout the city. This journal, and the detailed minutes he kept for his chaired Commission on History and Manuscripts, were never published. They reveal aspects and inner-workings of the Congress that have hitherto remained unknown. The illustrations and photos contained therein, as well as additional photos that were never seen, provide visual documentation of the Congress’s participants and musical ensembles.
A Story of Central European Subjectivity
This biography of the musician Franz Liszt contributes to our understanding of national identity formation and its interaction with cosmopolitanism. Liszt exemplified the nineteenth-century quest for subjective definition and fulfillment. Seeking to gain agency, authority, and community, Liszt experimented with various subject positions from which to forward his goals. The stances he selected, anchored in ideas about nation, religion, and art, allowed him to retain his cosmopolitan sensibility while making specific aesthetic and creative claims. Quinn’s analysis of Liszt’s correspondence and musical criticism, as well as of contemporary reviews of his performances, compositions, and essays, demonstrates the lack of a nationalist exclusivity in Liszt’s life was a historical phenomenon rather than a personal quirk as previous scholarship has often claimed.