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This volume collects twenty of Lawrence Kramer’s seminal writings on art song (especially Lieder), opera, and word-music relationships. All examine the formative role of culture in musical meaning and performance, and all seek to demonstrate the complexity and nuance that arise when words and music interact. The diverse topics include words and music, music and poetry, subjectivity, the sublime, mourning, sexuality, decadence, orientalism, the body, war, Romanticism, modernity, and cultural change. Several of the earlier essays have been revised for this volume, which also contains a preface by the author and a foreword by Richard Leppert. The volume should be essential reading for scholars, students, performing musicians, and other music-lovers interested in musicology, word-music relationships, cultural studies, aesthetics, and intermediality.

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Abstract

Moving images without sound tend to lack the dimension of embodiment. Music forestalls or remedies this lack; it projects and specifies a lifelike effect of embodiment on behalf of the images. Classical music in particular tends to project an idealized body image characterized as smooth and closed (what Mikhail Bhaktin calls the “classical body”). But it does so only in relationship to a contrary, more porous, sometimes violent mode of embodiment, which may equally reveal itself through classical music. Examples in cinema include Mike Figgis’s The Loss of Sexual Innocence and Jacques Audiard’s De battre mon coeur s’est arrêté (‘The Beat that my Heart Skipped’).

In: Music, Narrative and the Moving Image
In: Silence and Absence in Literature and Music
In: Word and Music Studies
In: Song Acts
In: Song Acts
In: Song Acts
In: Song Acts
In: Song Acts