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"Was deutsch und echt..."

Richard Wagner and the Articulation of a German Opera, 1798-1876

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Kasper Bastiaan van Kooten

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.

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Joyce Block Lazarus

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 Making use of historical materials, including previously unpublished letters, Lazarus shows that Straus was a female intellectual during an era when women were non-citizens.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.

Artistic Disobedience

Music and Confession in Switzerland, 1648–1762

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Claudio Bacciagaluppi

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.