PANEL 1: “School’s Out?” The New Germans and the Problematics of the 1860s
The aesthetic and polemic skirmishes of the 1850s over musical progress may have caused Liszt, Franz
Brendel and New German associates battle scars from their literary engagements with opponents, but
they were working from a stable base. Above all, Liszt occupied a well-resourced position at the court in
Weimar and the Neue Zeitschrift under Brendel (re-)established itself as a leading music journal. And
both Liszt and Brendel assembled reliable circles of like-minded musicians and writers on music, not least
including Wagner.
However, the decade of the 1860s brought stresses to that base that threatened to tear apart
the group. Shortly after Brendel baptized the “New-German School” at the Leipzig
Tonkünstlerversammlung in 1859, Liszt resigned his Weimar post and moved to Italy. Without Liszt in
Weimar as an anchor and with Wagner wandering throughout northern Europe, centrifugal forces within
the movement became more intense and disappointment and even alienation caused former members
to pull away. Brendel made a valiant attempt to hold the forces of musical progress together through the
national movement Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein (symbolically founded in Weimar in 1861), but
then he died in 1868. The New Germans were in no position to assert themselves powerfully against the
opposition during this period of uncertainty that for the progressive movement ultimately served as a
prelude to Bayreuth.
This panel proposes to explore the history and politics of this little understood period of
dissolution and new birth among the progressive musical forces in Germany.
The Literary Works and Aesthetics of the New Germans: The Problems of the 1860s
Detlef Altenburg (Hochschule für Musik Weimar)
Detlef Altenburg opens the panel by introducing the difficulties faced by the New Germans in the 1860s,
especially through the loss of Weimar as centre for the movement. He considers the wide-ranging
ramifications of the movement’s dissolution through the centrifugal forces at work at the time. The
paper will conclude by discussing how these historical factors have caused problems for the selection
and editing of texts from the 1860s for the forthcoming edition of critical writings Die Neudeutsche
Schule: Chronik einer Kontroverse.
Liszt’s Heirs: The New German School after 1861
Daniel Ortuno (Hochschule für Musik Weimar)
Daniel Ortuno looks at the diverse tensions within the New German movement that came to a head
during the early 1860s: Liszt’s departure from Weimar in 1861 left the group without a centre, Wagner
and Berlioz disavowed their connections to any such movement, and former Liszt pupils like Draeseke,
Raff and Bülow were strongly estranged from their mentor (and each other). Research into unpublished
letters and journal articles reveals that Liszt himself was the source for a good deal of the disaffection
and disunity.
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Brendel’s Idea of a New German Aesthetics: An Ideological Crossroads?
Dominik von Roth (Hochschule für Musik Weimar)
Dominik von Roth provides an insight into the New German’s aesthetics. When in 1860 Brendel’s History
of Music was published in third edition his struggle over the historical supremacy of Wagner and Liszt
seems fulfilled. Despite the major aesthetic writings of the 1850s (Wagner, Liszt, Marx), Brendel felt
challenged by writing a historically extensive aesthetics of music that he never did realize. Although
there are plenty of aesthetic positions in music journals of the 1860s Brendel gives the impression to
ignore them all, except for two remarkable references: a break with the Hegelian system of Vischer and
an unexpected concession to his aesthetic opponent Eduard Hanslick.
SESSION 1: Dance I
Exotic Yet Familiar: Female Bodies and the Supernatural Other in La Sylphide
Alixandra Haywood (McGill University)
The rousing success of La Sylphide in the 1830s left an indelible mark on ballet history, bringing dancers
on to their toes and into the air as it established a new set of physical ideals for the Romantic ballet that
were best exemplified by its new star character: the supernatural woman. Yet, despite the ballet’s iconic
status in the dance world, little has been made of either of the two versions of its score. This paper
explores the important but virtually ignored role Hermann Løvenskiold’s music plays in the
communication of the art form’s new aesthetic.
This aesthetic of delicate pointework and effortless leaps is introduced as an exotic alternative to
the everyday world of the ballet’s heavy highland dancing and percussive Scottish reels. Even more
interesting than this archetypal Romantic tension between reality and fantasy, however, is the duality
within the Sylphide herself, who traces the surprisingly fluid boundary between the human and the
supernatural. I argue that Løvenskiold’s score plays on these tensions as he crafts musical analogues to
the Sylphide’s fluttering wings and bursts of flight, while also rooting the character in some of the
corporeal gestures that underscore quotidian life, such as the periodicity of deep breathing, and
manipulating others, for example, giving the Sylphide an “erratic” heartbeat consonant with her
supernatural essence. In addition, I consider the carefully staged female bodies of La Sylphide within a
broader historical context, as the dancers and narrative articulate contemporary anxieties regarding
women and the regulation of their behaviour.
Choreographic Leitmotifs in Giselle
Marian Smith (University of Oregon)
Much has been said about repeating motifs in nineteenth-century opera music—Wagner used them,
French composers before Wagner used them, though not nearly so extensively. Repeating motifs were
also used in French ballet music in the first half of the nineteenth century, before Wagner rose to his
greatest fame—notably, in Halévy’s Manon Lescaut (1830) and Adolphe Adam’s Giselle (1841).
But what about repeating gestures and steps by the actors? Less is known on this matter
because of the paucity of sources. However, the discovery in 2002 (at a flea market in Regensburg) of a
complete choreographic score for Giselle has now made it possible to learn what the actors did in one
production of this particular ballet. (The score was created by Henri Justamant in the 1860s and may
reflect the original Giselle production at the Paris Opéra in the 1840s, with choreography by Eugène
Coralli and Jules Perrot.) Among other things, it shows us that the choreographers of this production
gave the actors gestures and steps in the second act that echoed, ironically, similar scenes from the first
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act. (For instance, Albrecht's happy pursuit of the coy Giselle in Act One is an obvious variant of the
choreography of his desperate pursuit of her ghost in Act Two.) I will argue that the system of repeating
choreography does coincide with the score’s system of repeating musical motifs at times but for the
most part works independently of the music’s repeating motifs.
Das fremdartige Ballett and Issues of Interpolated Dance in
19th-Century Performances of Christoph Gluck’s Operas
Eric Schneeman (University of Southern California)
When Gaspare Spontini conducted Gluck’s Armide in 1837 at the Berlin Hofoper, critic Ludwig Rellstab of
the Vossische Zeitung complained that Spontini inserted an outlandish ballet in the first act. Such an
insertion was not unusual: opera companies in Berlin and Vienna continued the long-standing practice of
replacing Gluck’s original dance music with new ballets that updated the composer’s works and that
satisfied nineteenth-century audiences’ taste. Yet when opera companies inserted these newer ballets
into an eighteenth-century opera, they placed nineteenth-century critics in a bind: Critics understood
the need to revise Gluck’s works in order to ensure his works’ financial success, but the music for these
dances was stylistically incompatible with the composer’s original music, and the choreography
contained exaggerated gestures. Mary Ann Smart and Marian Smith have called attention to the
important role of dance and gesture for the narrative function of nineteenth-century opera. But,
nineteenth-century critics believed that this new music and gesture were inappropriate in the context of
Gluck’s operas, in which the composer created poignant dramatic works through the most basic,
simplest means. Focusing on performances of Alceste, Iphigénie en Tauride, and Armide in Berlin and
Vienna, this paper provides examples of the type of dance music inserted into Gluck’s scores and a
discussion of critics’ varied responses to dancers’ gestures. Building on Lydia Goehr’s discussion of
musical ontology, my examination analyzes the underlying tension in German musical discourses
between critics’ desire to preserve the composer’s original music and opera companies’ desire to satisfy
audiences’ demands.
The Seductive Dance of the Devil in Le Diable amoureux
Mia Tootill (Cornell University)
By the time Benoist and Réber’s ballet-pantomime Le Diable amoureux premiered at the Opéra in 1840,
the Parisian musical stage was overflowing with devils that sang, spoke, and danced. Many of these
works explored the theme of temptation by looking to Goethe’s Mephistopheles or Milton’s Satan, while
Le Diable amoureux found the most seductive devil in Cazotte’s 1772 tale about an androgynous demon
who seduces a young Spanish man. In this text, music plays an integral part of the seduction, as the
demon is a virtuoso performer; however, the ballet replaced these scenes with the talents of the dancer
Pauline Leroux and the movements of her androgynous body became the locus of desire.
This paper investigates the character of the seductive devil as an outgrowth of the extensivelydocumented coveting of female dancers at the Opéra by not only the Jockey Club but many other male
spectators. I explore the use of the devil to both critique this practice and offer an alternative fulfillment
of the audience’s desires by responding to the vogue for multisensory works that pervaded midnineteenth-century Paris. Le Diable amoureux offered visually stunning scenery and costumes, sonic
recreations of hell, and provoked visceral reactions to Leroux’s well-known dances. Discussions of the
ballet in the French press document the immense spectacle of the combined musical and visual
elements. By examining the seductive devil as a media effect, I aim to illuminate the ways in which the
ballet embraced the culture of indulgence that lead from the stage to the streets outside.
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SESSION 2: Schoenberg
Competing Interests: Form, Programme, and Leitmotifs in Pelleas und Melisande
Scott Hanenberg (University of Toronto)
In Style and Idea, Arnold Schoenberg espouses his belief that musical form can be dialogic, comparing it
to a house: “one can assume of any listener that he has an ever-present image of a house. . . . Music
must operate by putting together complexes whose familiarity is taken for granted . . .” (Schoenberg
1951). This belief is fundamental to the organization of the composer’s symphonic poem Pelleas und
Melisande, which combines large-scale form, leitmotifs, and programmatic narrative; crucially, when one
method of organization is absent, the others carry the logic of the work forward. I argue that, because of
this cooperation among methods, formal features carry their own narrative implications in two scenes
towards the end of the piece.
My analysis draws upon a number of texts, each of which focuses on only one or two of the
many organizational aspects (e.g. Puffett 1995, Cherlin 2007, Vande Moortele 2009). Vande Moortele
examines Schoenberg’s “two-dimensional” navigation of a four-movement symphony within an
overarching sonata allegro movement in Pelleas. The two scenes I investigate pose a problem insofar as
they are both “exocyclic” and “interpolated”—i.e. they take part in neither of Vande Moortele’s two
dimensions. Because these scenes depict Melisande’s death and her earlier contemplation thereof, I
interpret their exit from Schoenberg’s established formal space as a dramatic reflection of Melisande’s
disassociation from the world of the living.
Formgestaltung: Reading Beethoven through the Lens of the Wiener Schule
Áine Heneghan (University of Michigan)
In March 1927, a festival commemorating the centenary of Beethoven’s death was held in Vienna.
Musikblätter des Anbruch celebrated the occasion with a special issue that included contributions by
Erwin Stein and Paul Pisk, both members of Schoenberg’s circle. With essays entitled “Das gedankliche
Prinzip in Beethovens Musik und seine Auswirkung bei Schönberg” (Stein) and “Beethoven und unsere
Zeit” (Pisk), their purpose was less about paying homage to the music of the past as it was to connect it
to the music of their present. Lauding Beethoven for the wealth and “depth” of his musical ideas, they
celebrate what they call his Formgestaltung (formal organization), arguing that Schoenberg—and in
Pisk’s case, Reger—grasped the essence thereof.
Schoenberg’s Formenlehre, like that of A.B. Marx, was inspired by close analysis of, and
sustained engagement with, the music of Beethoven, in which the period and sentence are, to use
Webern’s expression, “at their purest.” Although scholars are now well versed in identifying these theme
types, comparatively little is known about Schoenberg’s formulation of the sentence. I aim in this paper
to study its origins, probing the convoluted genesis as it is expressed in the (unpublished) drafts for
Fundamentals of Musical Composition. Recognizing “two main forms of the sentence” (as “divided” and
“undivided” forms) leads to a more nuanced relationship than has hitherto been acknowledged,
revealing implications for both performance and analysis.
“Denk an meinen Hund”: Recursive Plagalism and Motivic Treatment in
Schoenberg’s “Warnung,” Op. 3/3
Julie Pedneault-Deslauriers (University of Ottawa)
In Schoenberg’s “Warnung,” Op. 3/3 (1899–1903; after a poem by Richard Dehmel), the speaker informs
his beloved that he has murdered a bellicose dog and threatens her with the same fate should she be
unfaithful. “Warnung” explores a central theme in Dehmel’s oeuvre: the predatory dimension of the
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sexual instinct. This paper discusses how Schoenberg responded to this theme through advanced
harmonic techniques (namely, a tonal syntax that exploits the inverted functional drive of plagal motions
at various levels of structure) and concentrated motivic work based on the atonal collection [016].
Drawing on Schoenberg’s own analytical notation, I show how the series of plagal motions of the song’s
opening evolve into a larger-scale trajectory of ascending scale-steps. The syntactical counter-drive of
these persistent plagal motions projects the speaker’s striving to bridle his jealousy, while the stepwise
rise from tonic to predominant suggest the compulsive allure that his raw impulses hold over him. In the
last section of the song, the plagalisms of measures 1–2 become the model for a sequence in which each
supertonic determines the next transposition level. Section A’ thereby functions as a chromatic
enlargement of the harmonic ascent of measures 1–6, its recursive plagalism releasing the speaker’s
pent-up impulses in the relentless sequences that culminate in the chilling death threat: “Du: Denk an
meinen Hund!” The paper also demonstrates how the pervasive [016] motive infiltrates the plagal bass
motions and underscores the speaker’s dire warnings to his beloved.
Fatal Attraction: Sex, Drama, and Fluctuating Tonality in Schoenberg’s “Lockung”
September Russell (University of Toronto)
Schoenberg’s Eight Lieder Op. 6 (1903–05) depict anxieties surrounding fin-de-siècle degeneration and
decadence. “Lockung,” on a poem by Kurt Aram, stands out because of its fluctuating tonality and its
barely veiled narrative of power and sex. The interpretation of this power struggle depends largely upon
the gender of the beguiling speaker in the poem. Generally, scholars have either avoided gendering the
speaker (Lewis 1987, Morgan 2010) or they have assumed it to be male (Neff 2000, PedneaultDeslauriers 2010). However, examination of the poem against fin-de-siècle anxieties concerning
masculinity suggests that a more appropriate interpretation is one in which the speaker is a femme
fatale. Schoenberg’s setting is a dramatic depiction of the interaction between the femme fatale and a
second character, the emasculated male, who is given voice through the piano. I propose that the
complex tonal relationships in “Lockung,” set in dialogue with tonal-syntactical norms, depict a narrative
of the sex act through the eyes of the emasculated male.
First I propose an interpretation of Aram’s poem based on its historical, aesthetic and
philosophical context. Then I offer an analysis that reconciles this interpretation with the frustration of
tonal-syntactical norms or fluctuating tonality of Schoenberg’s music. In this “drama of keys,” tonal areas
articulate boundaries between the femme fatale and the emasculated male, distribution of harmonic
material suggests the perspective from which the story is told, and harmonic progressions describe the
plot events of the sex act.
SESSION 3: Schenkerian Analysis
Voice-Leading Bifurcations and the Trope of Separation in Selected Songs by Brahms
Diego Cubero (Indiana University)
Peter Smith has recently argued for the possibility of prolonging notes from the melody that are
dissonant with the bass. This paper expands on this subject by examining a type of harmonic conflict in
Brahms’s songs arising from a rhythmic displacement between melody and accompaniment. The result is
what I call a voice-leading bifurcation whereby one voice prolongs a forthcoming harmony while another
continues expanding the previous one. These bifurcations may be local events, as in Brahms’s “Gold
überwiegt die Liebe” (Op. 48/4), or characterize entire sections, as in “Auf dem See” (Op. 59/2) and
“Klosterfräulein” (Op. 61/2). This paper contends that the bifurcation of the voice-leading structure in
these songs expresses the separation of the protagonist from the longed for person or state depicted in
the poetry.
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Although intuitive to hear, voice-leading bifurcations represent hierarchical contradictions. Yet,
such contradictions are more basic to Schenkerian analysis than generally recognized. Napthali Wagner,
for instance, has pointed out several “crossed-branch” hierarchies in Schenkerian theory, and Frank
Samarotto has argued that similar hierarchical contradictions characterize Schenker’s concept of
interruption. Voice-leading bifurcations involve the type of cross-branched hierarchy that Wagner and
Samarotto describe. But, unlike Wagner’s and Samarotto’s examples, the contradiction in this case arises
from an outer-voice conflict.
While this paper focuses on songs by Brahms dealing with separation, the concept of voiceleading bifurcation has applications that go beyond these particular songs, offering a more dynamic view
of harmony and a useful tool for engaging the issue of harmonic overlaps in Romantic music.
Brahms’s Laboratory: Probing the Limits of Competing Tonal Centers
Heather Platt (Ball State University)
Despite the frequent citations of Brahms’s lifelong engagement with folksong, there have been few
sustained studies of the harmonies in his arrangements. That Brahms applied the same level of creativity
and ingenuity to these arrangements as he did to his original compositions is particularly clear in the
settings that seem to begin and end in different keys. Some of these arrangements employ harmonic
elements that scholars such as Robert Bailey, Harald Krebs, and Peter H. Smith have associated with
tonal pairing. Although these techniques are also present in Brahms’s instrumental works and art songs,
the small-scale folksong arrangements discussed in this presentation exhibit much stronger challenges to
monotonality. In the broadest terms, Brahms’s manipulation of the two tonal areas leads the analyst to
consider whether to interpret the piece as bitonal or according to a single Ursatz. Schenkerian analyses
reveal further irregularities, such as incomplete fundamental structures in which the initial tonic chord,
structural dominant, and/or structural descent are absent.
In some cases, Brahms created as many as four arrangements of a single melody, with the initial
arrangement originating as early as 1858 and the last one in 1893/94. The later versions of the
arrangements characterized by competing tonal centers, such as the last setting of “Gunhilde,” reveal
the composer honing the measures most crucial to the establishment of the main keys. Aside from
suggesting Brahms changed his attitude in regards to this type of tonal enmeshing, such adjustments
offer rare, and previously undocumented, glimpses into his compositional process.
Differentiating “True” and “Stylized” Romantic Fragments: A Schenkerian Approach
Aaron Grant (Eastman School of Music)
In his discussion of Chopin’s Prelude in G major, Carl Schachter characterized Schumann’s fragments as
“true fragments,” while describing Chopin’s pieces as “stylized fragments,” stating that “even the
shortest of the Chopin Preludes makes sense when played alone.” (1999, 58) Although work by Rosen
(1980/1995), Daverio (1987/1993/1997), Marvin (2005), Sobaskie (2007), Kaminsky (1989/1990), Perry
(2005), and Perrey (2002) has expanded our understanding of these two composers’ approaches to the
Romantic fragment, the analytical and theoretical implications of Schachter’s observation remain
This study addresses this concern, using Schenkerian theory to examine the two composers’
fragmentary works, bringing to light an array of background and foreground elements that distinguish
Schumann’s “true” from Chopin’s “stylized” fragments. For instance, Schumann’s fragments often
project incomplete Urlinien, while Chopin’s fragments almost always convey complete tonal structures.
While previous scholarship has acknowledged that Romantic fragments may project either complete or
incomplete Urlinien, the various technical means by which composers elaborate these tonal structures
and the ramifications of these compositional decisions remain insufficiently understood.
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The first section of this paper offers a summary of Schenkerian mechanisms for explaining
tonally and formally incomplete works such as auxiliary cadences (Hilfskadenz) and deceptive beginnings
(täuschende Anfänge). Part two presents analyses of selected works from Schumann’s early piano cycles
and Chopin’s preludes that elucidate the differences in these repertoires. Through these analyses, this
section differentiates between “true” and “stylized” fragments.
Longing to be United with Nature: Schumann’s “Sehnsucht nach der Waldgegend,” Op. 35, No. 5
Lauri Suurpää (Sibelius Academy)
This paper is a close reading of Schumann’s song “Sehnsucht nach der Waldgegend,” which will be
elucidated from the perspectives of music analysis, poetic structure, Romantic aesthetics, and musicopoetic associations. In addition to analyzing a single song, the paper also addresses a more general,
methodological topic: it is a kind of case study on some of the ways in which musical, poetic, and
historical layers can intertwine in a Romantic Lied. Furthermore, it clarifies how this interaction might be
analyzed. Schumann’s music is here mainly approached from a Schenkerian perspective, with special
emphasis on the tension between structural and apparent tonic chords, motivic enlargements, and an
extended prolongation of a locally unstable sonority. The analysis of Kerner’s poem, in turn, applies
some semiotic concepts, which are used for describing, at an abstract level, the poetic subject’s longing
for a fundamentally unobtainable object. Moreover, the paper discusses various qualities and phases
that this longing assumes. Finally, the poem’s two central images—longing and nature—are interpreted
within the aesthetic ideals of the early Romantic literature. The subsequent musico-poetic reading shows
how the musical and poetic structures map onto each other, creating a tight network of structural
parallels between the song’s music and text. The poem’s actual imagery, in turn, provides a historical
point of reference for these abstract musico-poetic connections. The paper therefore argues that, in
addition to showing abstract musico-poetic associations, technical musical and poetic analyses can also
deepen our historical understanding of Lieder.
“... a modest little violet that blossomed hidden from the world”:
The Public Faces of the German Lied, 1850–1914
The audience of the German Lied underwent an enormous transformation from the second half of the
nineteenth century onwards. Initially, the Lied was primarily a participatory genre, enjoyed mainly at
home by amateurs with little by way of formal audience or established concert practices. The baritone
Julius Stockhausen pioneered the elevation of song into a genre worthy of the concert platform,
attracting enormous audiences and critical acclaim with his performances of complete Schubert cycles in
the 1850s. As the Lied gained in significance, later singers developed international profiles on the concert
stage, which was now a viable alternative to an operatic career. In the early twentieth century, the global
reach of Lieder was potentially extended through recordings, but also complicated by the outbreak of
World War One. The three papers on this panel trace this history of Lieder performance as a means to
understanding the genre’s often overlooked significance in public musical life.
The Infancy of the Concert Lied: Julius Stockhausen and Johannes Brahms
Natasha Loges (Royal College of Music)
Julius Stockhausen’s championing of the Lied was by no means straightforwardly successful. Above all, it
depended on his relationship with his accompanist, Johannes Brahms. This paper considers this
creative—and often tense—artistic partnership in the context of Brahms’s relationships with other
singers of his day.
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Growing Audiences and International Advocates: George Henschel
Katy Hamilton (Royal College of Music)
As a singer, pianist, composer and pedagogue, Henschel’s role in raising the international profile and
popularity of the Lied is hard to underestimate. This paper examines the legacy of his song performances
across Europe, Russia and America, and in particular his part as a German musical diplomat in England
towards the end of the nineteenth century.
The Lied in the International Marketplace
Laura Tunbridge (University of Manchester)
The international reputation of singers such as Henschel was supported by the growth of the recording
industry, which had the potential to disseminate performances still more widely. However, there were
two ironies: first, recordings returned listening to the Lied to the home environment; second, the First
World War divided singers and audiences according to their national allegiances.
SESSION 4: Grand opéra
The Metamorphosis of the Prophet: Meyerbeer and the Censorship in Russia
Emanuele Bonomi (Università degli Studi Pavia)
Spectacular depictions of conflicts among ethno-religious groups were common ingredients in the
nineteenth-century grand opera tradition, yet their potential subversive force was regularly subdued
through censorship by authoritarian political regimes. Ruled by a ruthless tsarist autocracy, strongly
supported by the Orthodox church, Russia represented the height of artistic repression. Both Nikolai I
and Alexander II interfered personally in theatrical matters; their consent was needed to grant each
opera the unconditioned approval for the stage, and they had the power to request the alteration of
portions of the libretto to warrant governmental control. The several adaptations of Meyerbeer’s Le
Prophète offer one emblematic example. In 1853 the opera, sung in Italian to a disguised libretto under
the title Osada Genta, ili Ispantsï vo Flandrii (The Siege of Ghent, or The Spaniards in Flanders), was given
its Russian premiere by the Italian troupe in St. Petersburg. It took almost two decades, in 1869, for it to
finally reach the Russian stage of the Mariinsky Theatre, this time as Ioann Leydenskiy (John of Leiden).
Act 4, Scene 2, with its impressive Coronation scene, in which a conscious imposter declares himself the
new Emperor, obviously attracted the tsarist reactionary censorship. A reasoned comparison between
the original French libretto and the two above-cited adaptations could shed new light on Meyerbeer’s
reception in nineteenth-century Russia, delineating also the enduring influence exerted by Le Prophète’s
choreographic tableau on later significant works by Russian composers, like Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov
and Tchaikovsky’s The Maid of Orléans.
Jacek Blaszkiewicz
(Eastman School of Music)
Scholarship on Verdi’s Aida tends to focus exclusively on the “Egyptian” genesis of the work: namely, the
scenario by Egyptologist Auguste Mariette, which Camille du Locle gave to Verdi in 1870. That year, Verdi
visited du Locle in Paris, who had just assumed directorship of the Opéra-Comique. Therefore, du Locle
was undoubtedly familiar with Daniel Auber’s and Eugene Scribe’s Haydée, ou le secret, a hugely
successful opéra comique with 499 performances between 1847 and 1894. The heroine of this oncepopular opera, set in sixteenth-century Venice, bears striking resemblances to Verdi’s Aida: Haydée is a
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slave to the benevolent Lorédan, a master whom she loves and eventually marries. She is a Cypriot
princess, but conceals her identity for the sake of her country’s protection. Surprisingly, however, Aida
and Haydée have never been discussed in tandem.
In this paper I investigate this heretofore unacknowledged link between these two operas,
focusing on a comparison of the dialectical struggles facing both heroines. Although Haydée is about a
Cypriot in Italy while Aida is about an Ethiopian in Egypt, both libretti depict a female slave in a
hegemonic “West,” but is royalty in an oppressed “East.” Haydée and Aida both face the choice
between conjugal love and patriotic duty, and in both cases, love prevails. In my conclusion, I frame
both heroines within the larger representation of the “Eastern-female-slave” in nineteenth-century
music, literature, and painting. Thus Aida and Haydée belong to a broader Orientalist archetype, lying
between the femme fatale and the femme fragile.
SESSION 5: Zoomusicology
Operatic and Ecological Imaginations in Scena illustrata
Aaron Allen (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
Upon perusing nineteenth-century Italian music periodicals, one discerns quickly that these publications
emphasized reporting on, gossiping about, and analyzing their favorite genre: opera. But a curious
situation arose in Scena illustrata during the 1880s, when authors strayed from the Italian musical
obsession and instead engaged with ideas of nature. For example, “Parrots in the Theater” reported on
the fascination with Italian-trained birds that sang opera excerpts; “The Song of Mice” recounted how
Italian brown mice could learn to sing; “The Music of the Trees” posited that forest soundscapes could
substitute for, and inspire new, human music; and “The Morning Singer” expounded on larks’ vocal
talents — and the quality of their meat.
These curious writings precipitate two reflections, one interpretive and the other
historiographical. Because of opera’s dominance and a perceived stagnation of the repertory, some
Italians believed opera was in danger of falling from its cultural pinnacle. If we consider these writings as
part of a quasi-patriotic rethinking of the popular genre, we could understand them as exercises in
operatic and ecological imaginations that might have been part of efforts to push opera in new
Historiographically, these writings provide a corrective to assumptions that it was only after the
twentieth-century environmental movement when soundscape studies, acoustic ecology, and
ecomusicology flourished. The authors in Scena illustrata are part of a longer intellectual history of
engagements between music, culture, and nature. Rather than frivolous entertainments, their
ecomusicological concerns reflect the political, cultural, and aesthetic contexts in which they were
Romantic Ornithology and the Meaning of Birdsong
Bennett Zon (Durham University)
Birdsong is studied in composition, aesthetics, philosophy, literature, poetry, folklore and evolutionary
science. But seldom is birdsong studied directly through the field of ornithology; Romantic ornithology is
a case in point.
Often portrayed as an ideological battleground, Romantic ornithology reflects antithetical
viewpoints of science and religion. For scientists like Darwin and Spencer birds provide rare glimpses
into the evolution of language and music; for theologians they revealed the music of Creation. What
neither scientists nor theologians seemed to realize, however, was that they argued their positions using
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almost identical language—what Isaiah Berlin defines as the root of Romanticism: the language of “unity
and multiplicity.”
This paper tests Berlin’s definition, locating unity and multiplicity within a comparative study of
the science and theology of birdsong. I begin by introducing nineteenth-century images of Trees of Life
by Darwin and other scientists, locating hierarchical patterns in man’s evolutionary relationship to birds
and birds’ relationship to one another. I then explore the concept of unity and multiplicity through two
evolutionary paradigms (development and sexual selection), showing how they come to mirror the
quality of musicality ascribed to individual birds by contemporary ornithologists Charles Witchell and F.
Schuyler Mathews. A third section reveals how theologians like W. E. Evans and Henry Drummond read
these evolutionary truths as unassailable evidence of intelligent design.
The paper concludes with a reflection on what ornithology and birdsong tell us about the nature
of Romanticism, and its meaning for two increasingly divergent intellectual traditions—secular
Musikwissenschaft and sacred Kunstreligion.
SESSION 6: Music in South America
The Music in the Theaters of Rio de Janeiro (1890–1900): The Configuration of
Repertoires, Audiences and Myths of Nationality and Civilization
Monica Vermes (Universidade Federal do Espirito Sante)
The last decade of the nineteenth century was marked by deep changes in Brazil: the Abolition of Slavery
(1888) and the Proclamation of the Republic (1889) echoed in the artistic-cultural life, particularly in the
city of Rio de Janeiro. An important part of the intense cultural activity of the city took place in theaters.
An impetus for change emerged with the Republic, often translated as civilizing projects. The analysis of
the musical activity in Rio de Janeiro theaters during this period allows us to delve into various aspects of
this society and the changes it experienced: the constitution of practices and repertoires in theaters and
their transits to other areas/venues, the consolidation of audiences, and the setting of a shared mindset
that would inform public policies concerning support to the arts until this day. In this paper I will present
a panorama of the musical activity in the theaters of Rio de Janeiro between 1890 and 1900, showing the
repertoires (works, composers, and genres); practices and values associated with theater attendance
and with the repertoires; identity-forging and civilizing projects that emerged in this effervescent
moment. This paper is the result of the analysis of daily theater columns published in newspapers;
reviews by writers and critics; official documents; in addition to traditional Brazilian music
historiography, and texts by chroniclers and memoirs dealing with everyday life in the city of Rio de
Unlikely Symphonies from a High Andean Kapellmeister: Reflections on the Instrumental
Music of Pedro Ximénez de Abrill (Arequipa, 1786?–Sucre, 1856)
José Manuel Izquierdo König (Universidade Federal do Espirito Sante)
Orchestral music from Latin America during the nineteenth century is almost unknown to musicians and
scholars today, and one reason for this is simple enough: very little orchestral or chamber music of any
kind was composed during the decades following the Wars of Independence of the 1810s and 1820s.
Instead, most composers continued to work for the Church, inheriting the practices from colonial times
and, consequently, writing religious music for everyday use. Obviously, this goes strongly against the
common European vision of a secular long nineteenth century, with a concert life dominated by
instrumental music. In South America, public concerts remained unusual until the 1900s in most of the
urban centres of the new Republics.
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Against this picture, however, stands the curious figure of Pedro Ximénez de Abrill, born in
Arequipa in Peru in 1786, and from 1833 'Kapellmeister' in Sucre, Bolivia. His numerous instrumental
works (including forty symphonies) have only recently partially resurfaced and remain almost completely
unknown. Ximénez seems to have used the orchestra in the cathedral there to develop his own ideas
about musical form and expression. His principal influence came increasingly not from the symphonic
repertoire, but instead from the new sounds of Italian opera, especially Rossini, which had arrived in
South America during the 1820s and 30s. In this paper I will investigate some questions related to the
creation, reception and style of Ximénez’s music, as well as considering the wider insights it can give into
musical life in nineteenth-century Bolivia and Peru.
SESSION 7: Schubert
Fantasizing at the Clavier: Schubert and the Musical Grotesque
Joe Davies (Oxford University)
Schubert’s F minor Piano Duet Fantasy, D. 940, displays a strange, quite terrifying expressive idiom.
Frequently indulging in violent emotional outbursts and incongruous stylistic fusions, this piece (like so
much of Schubert’s “late” piano music) seems determined not only to break out of the boundaries of
compositional decorum, but also to explore new aesthetic ideals. William Kinderman has characterized
this Fantasy as one that is “haunted by a sense of progress toward an inescapable destiny, an idea tied to
the universal human theme of mortality.” (1997) Taking Kinderman’s observations as a point of
departure, I will suggest that parallels can be drawn between D. 940 and contemporaneous discourses
on the grotesque, a hybrid genre that blurs the boundaries between the beautiful and the ugly, the
playful and the terrifying. I will consider the way in which this Fantasy contrasts lyricism with an
exploitation of harsh sounds and textures (movement 1), distorts the conventional expressive
associations of Baroque-influenced styles (movements 2 and 4), and subjects an initially playful Scherzolike topic to a series of seemingly unnatural affective transformations (movement 3). Reference will also
be made to other piano pieces by Schubert that are imbued with a notably grotesque sensibility,
particularly the second movement (Andantino) of the Sonata in A major, D. 959, which juxtaposes an
introspective dance-like topos with an outpouring of frantic passagework in the style of a fantasia.
Schubert and Hummel: Structural Considerations in the Piano Trios
Anne Hyland (Royal Holloway)
Studies of Hummel’s influence on Schubert’s music have traditionally been dominated by two scholarly
preoccupations: the identification of rhythmic similarities and virtuosic mannerisms in the composers’
music for piano four hands (McKay, 1999) and piano sonatas (Kroll, 2012), and the shared
instrumentation and use of variation technique in Hummel’s Septet (and Quintet), Op.74, and Schubert’s
“Trout” Quintet, D. 667 (Kroll) and Variations, D. 802 (Clements, 2007). Although this tendency to focus
on localised correspondences in their music has contributed vitally towards an evolving picture of artistic
affinity between these two composers, a comparable study of their use of form has yet to be
To that end, this paper explores the formal syntax of the first movements of Hummel’s Piano
Trios, Opp. 65, 78, and 83, all of which were familiar to Schubert during his life. In so doing, it aims to
situate Schubert’s formal practices within the tradition of which they were part, and to reappraise them
against contemporary standards. Specifically, by developing an historicist approach to the analysis of this
repertoire, this paper problematises the practice of employing Beethoven’s instrumental music as a
theoretical “norm,” and answers a critical need to question the approach to form which continues to
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speak of Schubert’s departure from a “norm” which may not have been normative in practice.
Ultimately, in considering Hummel’s formal practices in these Trios, this paper offers a means of
establishing the hinterland to Schubert’s compositional career in Vienna, and bringing it to bear on the
analysis of his music.
SESSION 8: Virtuosity and Madness
A Virtuoso on Display: Marie Pleyel in Vienna, Paris, and Brussels
Alicia Levin (University of Kansas)
Since the death of pianist Marie Pleyel in 1875, her story has revolved around her triumphs. Alongside
Clara Schumann, Pleyel paved the way for women to compete on the international stage as
professionals, hailed in the intensely competitive arena of virtuoso pianism as the “queen of the
pianists” and a “celestial pianofortist.” Although Pleyel was eventually relegated to the footnotes of
Berlioz’s biography, she nonetheless appears in contemporary accounts as a virtuosa whose skill was
eclipsed only by her sensitivity. More recently, Pleyel has been identified as an exceptional woman: a
female icon whose talent allowed her to surpass gendered expectations while simultaneously confirming
them. Indeed, the exceptionality of musical virtuosity associated with male virtuosos in nineteenthcentury Europe presented Pleyel with a framework in which to celebrate her own exceptionality as a
female one. It also provided the means with which she could be censured and controlled. As a
professional musician, Pleyel found herself in uncharted waters with critics, audiences, and other
musicians, all of whom operated according to cultural assumptions about how female performers should
behave. In this paper, I will address how Pleyel negotiated the duality of exceptionality and
transgression by examining several facets of her life and career: an 1840 concert in Vienna, her 1845
triumph in Paris, and her tenure at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels. Investigating her professional
profile illuminates overlooked aspects of this musician’s career as well as the gendered networks that
shaped the lives of nineteenth-century musicians. Though each segment addresses specific contexts,
together they add long-overdue nuance to Pleyel’s story.
Schumann’s “Song of (Mad) Love”: A Composer’s Insanity in Cinematic Representation
James Deaville (Carleton University)
The terms “madness” or “insanity” customarily appear in the Schumann literature to identify the
composer’s deteriorating mental state in the last years of his life. Indeed, Schumann arguably serves as
the canonic Western composer most closely associated with progressively debilitating mental illness, as
represented in print and in film. Biographical cinematic portrayals of Schumann comprise a rich field of
study not only to examine the culturally-informed substance of the (re-)constructions of the composer’s
insanity, but also to position them as they evolved over time.
This paper intends to apply the discursive-critical methodologies of madness studies to filmic
texts about Schumann. A close reading of major Schumann bio-pics—Träumerei (1944), Song of Love
(1947), Frühlingssinfonie (1983), and Robert Schumanns verlorene Träume (2010)—reveals narratives
that position the composer’s madness primarily within the nineteenth- and twentieth-century archetype
of the “mad genius,” a figure well represented in psychiatric and filmic discourses and consistent with
the historical valuations of imputed bipolarity (Martin, 2008, 207–208). That the cinematic fetishization
with Schumann’s disorder has intensified in recent years has to do with the popularizing of the
medicalized psychiatric gaze that promises inside knowledge of fallen genius. Nevertheless, and this
regardless of filmic vehicle, it is Clara who inevitably emerges as the hero in these cinematic stories of
overcoming disability: she must bear the weight of narrative closure for a husband whose progressive
enfeeblement renders him a tragic yet disempowered victim of his own mind.
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SESSION 9: Opera in America
La Querelle de New-York, or, Establishing an American Musical
Style through Italian or “English” Operas, 1832–35
Jennifer Wilson (Graduate Center of the City University of New York)
Giacomo Montresor arrived in New York in 1832, encouraged by a letter from Lorenzo Da Ponte: “Come
fearlessly to America, and the prospect before you and your companions is brilliant.” Instead, Montresor
faced skeptical audiences who were not convinced of the worth of Italian-language opera. This second
wave of Italian Opera companies, organized by Montresor, Vincenzo Rivafinoli, and partners Antonio
Porto and G. A. Sacchi, faced competition from the “English” operas that were being presented at the
Park Theatre. Often enhanced by visiting “vocal-stars,” these productions offered a different approach to
“naturalizing” opera in New York. By 1833, “a celebrated amateur composer” advocated for an operatic
environment based on the “English school of Glees,” which had adjusted, arranged and translated
foreign-language operas into English. A critic responded by declaring, “I consider this essay a manifesto
of an open war on the Italian Opera”; he proceeded to demonstrate that the “Italian dramatic school of
music” was a superior musical style to cultivate in the New World. Would New York emulate London,
where English composers adapted Italian, German and French works; or would New York follow Paris,
where composers had achieved their own style after including Italian composers and their works in the
musical scene? This paper will revisit the performance and reception of opera in early New York through
an examination of issues in transatlantic understanding and an analysis of the debate about which type
of opera could serve as a model in establishing an American musical style.
Carmen in America
Kristen Turner (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Her Majesty’s Italian Opera Company, an English troupe touring the United States, performed the
American premiere of Carmen in September 1878. Much about this first performance was typical for
opera productions in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century. Carmen was sung in Italian translation—not
the original language, but not in the vernacular either. Minnie Hauk, the prima donna, was American but
trained in Europe, and became famous for her interpretation of the controversial title role. Audiences
flocked to hear her and participate in the ritual of opera attendance that emulated their perception of
the refined sophistication of European social and cultural models. Carmen quickly entered the American
operatic repertory, and its main arias became staples on the concert stage, and in the home through
sheet music sales. Performers in many other artistic genres appropriated the opera’s story, its
characters, and music with versions of the work appearing in burlesque, dance, straight plays, musical
comedies, vaudeville, and silent film. Drawing upon a rich collection of primary documents, this paper
addresses the reception of Carmen in the United States before World War I. Critical responses to the title
character expose American anxieties about race and ethnic difference, class, and the role of women in
society. The various transformations of the work into other styles serve to illustrate how, and to what
extent, well-known operas infiltrated popular culture at the end of the long nineteenth century, as well
as the American public’s particular fascination with Carmen.
Sainted Censorship? The Great War, the Met, and American Anti-Wagnerism
Monika Henneman (University of Cardiff)
On 3 February 1917, as the First World War raged in Europe, President Woodrow Wilson broke off
official relations with Germany. New York’s Metropolitan Opera hurriedly followed suit—and abruptly
broke off relations with Richard Wagner, banning his operas from the stage. Censorship of this most
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notoriously nationalistic of German composers was perhaps understandable, if not laudable, but the Met
was simultaneously depriving itself of some of the most popular works in its repertoire. A replacement
was immediately sought, some potent anti-Wagner that might provide a positive message in troubled
times. The eventual choice was bizarre indeed: a staged version of Liszt’s oratorio St. Elizabeth. This was,
ironically, almost as German as the Wagner it was supplanting: a product of the “New German School,”
composed by Wagner’s staunchest supporter, set to a German text, located largely in Thuringia. Further
cultural cleansing was therefore needed. This started—most unusually for the Met—with the provision
of a cast of predominantly American singers. A new English translation was commissioned, one that
supposedly “triumphantly demonstrated” the suitability of the Anglo-Saxon tongue for the stage. Finally,
lest there should be any lingering doubts about the patriotism of the production, the “Star Spangled
Banner” was performed during the intermission. Soon, it even served as replacement for Liszt's own
This paper chronicles and evaluates the little-known but highly instructive reception history of
this crudely Americanized St. Elizabeth, certainly one of the strangest cases of naïve musical propaganda
produced by an otherwise sophisticated production team. Although St. Elizabeth obviously failed to
establish itself in the operatic repertoire, the Met's musical censorship nevertheless had a lasting effect
on American culture. In fact, it marked the beginning of a process of cultural emancipation that
decisively weakened German influence on twentieth-century American musical life.
SESSION 10: War and Revolution
Marianne, La Muette, and La Marseillaise: Storming the Fourth Wall in the Franco-Prussian War
Delphine Mordey (University of Cambridge)
When France declared war on Prussia in July 1870, the Opéra immediately put plans for a much-hyped
revival of Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine on hold, ceding its place to La Muette de Portici. Crowds flocked to the
first night, doubling box-office receipts. Yet it was not La Muette that drew these crowds: rumour had it
that the formidable soprano, Marie Sass, would perform the hitherto prohibited Marseillaise between
the second and third acts of Auber’s opera. She did not disappoint. Dressed in a classical white tunic,
with a crown of laurels and a Tricolour, she was, the press proclaimed, the very symbol of France herself.
Other theatres quickly followed the Opéra’s lead in what one critic described as a “concours des
Marseillaises.” Reviews of renditions of La Marseillaise soon took precedence over the dramatic works
into which they were interpolated. Such was the extent of Marseillaise fever, that audiences demanded
additional performances, forcing unprepared singers to rehearse the song in front of them, not only on
stage, but also in the street, where operatic celebrities were stopped in their carriages and urged to sing.
This paper will examine the stagings and reception of La Marseillaise during the Franco-Prussian war,
paying particular attention to the ways in which its female interpreters represented very different
incarnations of the Revolutionary Goddess of Liberty, each with its own political message to convey. The
relationship between audience and performer at this time will also be considered: in the politically
heightened wartime context, the fourth wall came tumbling down, blurring lines between reality and
representation, and temporarily resurrecting The Public Man.
Wednesday 18 June
Disavowing the Instrumental Battle Piece
Jonathan Kregor (University of Cincinnati)
The long nineteenth century is bounded by conflicts that significantly altered the relationship between
war and music. One musical genre to benefit early on was the instrumental battle piece, whose
popularity seemed to mirror Napoleon’s rise and fall. Indeed, most scholarship assigns the end of the
battle piece to c. 1815, but this paper suggests that in fact it survived for another century, being
transformed from a conveyor of heroic mythology to a politicized palimpsest of national and personal
Kocžwara’s The Battle of Prague and Beethoven’s Wellingtons Sieg illustrate the most common
musical and programmatic ingredients of the early nineteenth-century battle piece: an introduction to
the combatants and their military preparations; a depiction of the battle itself; attention to the wounded
and commemoration of the dead; and celebration by the victors. Toward mid-century, these ingredients
were poeticized and de-historicized in works such as Spohr’s Fourth Symphony (“Die Weihe der Töne”)
and Liszt’s Hunnenschlacht. Yet their tokenistic appearance in Tchaikovsky’s “1812” Overture, Bartók’s
Kossuth, and Debussy’s En blanc et noir suggests a widespread ontological subversion of the battle-music
narrative in the generation leading up to the First World War.
This transformation parallels what Kate McLoughlin has identified in contemporary literary
practice as “disavowal” (Authoring War, 2011), whereby authors recognized their failure to “impose
discursive order on the chaos of conflict.” Likewise, in moving from the characteristic to the
poetic/ethical and finally the ideological, the battle piece abandoned its original mandate to represent
conflict, opting instead to react to it.
Rossini’s Siège: An Archaeology of the Senses
Sarah Hibberd (University of Nottingham)
A number of French operas concluded with cataclysmic tableaux of destruction at moments of
revolutionary anxiety during the period 1789–1848. They employed the latest technological innovations
to overwhelm the senses, frequently melding the fictional with evocations of reported and remembered
(revolutionary) events. This paper takes as a case study the finale tableau of Rossini’s Le Siège de
Corinthe (1826): the mass suicide of the Greek citizenry in a burning palace besieged by Turks. Modern
commentators (Gerhard, Walton) have emphasised the novelty of the “noisy” score in the context of the
ongoing events of the war of Greek independence. In fact the spectacle offered a variety of real and
symbolic sensory stimuli—the visual chaos of the many people and collapsing scenery, the noise and
smoke drifting into the auditorium—which for audiences combined to evoke memories of real events.
Early nineteenth-century writings on the senses and their connection with emotion and memory, by
Maine de Biran and others, provide a context in which to examine the tableau’s effects on its audiences.
This paper argues that it articulates a very particular relationship with the 1789 revolution and
subsequent events, focusing on human suffering, accessed through the senses. This in turn can be
understood in relation to Victor Hugo's 1827 definition of modern drama in which the rhetorical power
of the sublime combines with the power of the grotesque to shock.
PANEL 3: Renewing Music in fin-de-siècle Vienna: a Roundtable
Music played an unusually intense role in the culture of Vienna in the decades around 1900. As the city
of Brahms, Mahler, Bruckner, Wolf, and Schoenberg, its music is central to both the academic canon and
the concert repertory. Moreover, keystones in the foundation of the discipline of musicology originated
there, in the work of Hanslick, Guido Adler and Heinrich Schenker, as did many of staples of current
critical opinion. Not surprisingly, then, the historical and critical study of Viennese music during this era
has always carried a special charge.
For several decades musical scholars have widely adopted Carl Schorske’s view that fin-de-siècle
Vienna experienced the “eclipse and failure” of a culture of liberalism that was increasingly embattled by
the rise of illiberal political and cultural tendencies including nationalism, mass populism, anti-Semitism,
and Christian socialism. This approach generated a significant body of work, much of it insightful, that
connected music with both its cultural milieu and underlying political developments, often using
contemporary music criticism as a means of connection. Yet now, as the limits of this approach are
becoming clearer, scholars are pursuing new lines of critical inquiry that deepen, correct, and enrich
established perspectives.
This roundtable will bring together five leading scholars of Viennese music and musical culture to
explore current and emerging approaches to this repertory, its aesthetics, and it socio-cultural
resonances. Our discussion, which will be organized around the themes of the brief position papers
outlined below, will range across criticism, analysis, hermeneutics, and historiography.
Cacciari’s Vienna
Thomas Peattie (Boston University)
In his collection of essays Dallo Steinhof, the Italian philosopher Massimo Cacciari offers an unorthodox
account of Vienna that upends the traditional historiographical assumptions about the Austrian fin de
siècle. From his metaphorical perch on the grounds of Vienna’s Steinhof psychiatric hospital, Cacciari
surveys a Nietzschean landscape of “posthumous people” whose borders extend far beyond the confines
of Austria-Hungary. In this paper I discuss the relationship between Cacciari’s “outsider” status and his
resistance to established narratives: what he calls “the amorphous ‘strudel’ made of waltzes, decadence,
a carefree apocalypse, and theatrical destinies that in the last twenty years has come to be glorified as
Grand Vienna.”
On the Experience of Music as Social Text in Late Nineteenth-Century Vienna
Benjamin Korstvedt (Clark University)
It is now widely recognized that in late nineteenth-century Vienna the significance of concert music
intersected with discourses of ethnicity, gender, nationalism, rationality, and bourgeois identity. This
presentation turns to an overlooked part of this equation to explore how music was heard and felt to
convey specific socio-political values. I propose that certain seemingly neutral descriptive terms that
recurred in music criticism of the time carried implicit value judgments about politically significant
modes of affect and states of being. The presentation examines one of these terms, considering how the
experience of music described as “plastisch” fit along a crucial politicized divide between music as an art
of inward subjectivity and an aesthetic of communal Einfühlung.
Thursday 19 June
Topical Discourse and Formal Narrative in the First Movement of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 83
Julian Horton (Durham University)
Reflecting longstanding anxieties over the social posture of Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto, Ulrich
Mahlert (1994) has explored the complex interplay of expressive oppositions in the work’s opening bars.
For example, the contrast of the piano’s passive role in the first-theme presentation with the ensuing
cadenza’s virtuosity engenders a distinction between chamber-musical and soloistic postures. This paper
examines the movement’s interplay of topic and form in this work as an outgrowth of the discourse
Mahlert identifies. Drawing together recent topical and syntactic approaches to nineteenth-century
music with readings of expression and form in Brahms’ music, it seeks to capture the complex
negotiation of private and public domains that the form engenders.
The Last Great Cultural Harvest: Nietzsche and Brahms’s Vier ernste Gesänge
Nicole Grimes (University College Dublin)
Drawing on Brahms’s sketches and markings on his (until now undiscovered) copy of Nietzsche’s The
Antichrist, I argue that the fourth of his Vier ernste Gesänge, Op. 121 may be interpreted as a response
to Nietzsche’s 1895 attack on German culture through the targets of St Paul and Luther. Building on
Kalbeck’s suggestion that this song was “illuminated and seized by a similar Urlicht” as Mahler’s, I
address the broader question of the degree to which the music of both fin-de-siècle Viennese composers
was coded not only by their song texts, but also by the German philosophical tradition from
Schopenhauer to Nietzsche.
Schoenberg, Maeterlinck, and the “Duty to be Happy”: A Utopian Moment in fin-de-siècle Vienna
Kevin A. Karnes (Emory University)
Against a backdrop of scholarship and criticism that regards fin-de-siècle Vienna as a domain of
emotionally alienated, tortured artists, I explore Arnold Schoenberg’s early engagement with a longoverlooked contemporary fashion for insistently optimistic literary visions of art, humanity, and the
future. Drawing on books, correspondence, and other evidence preserved in the Schoenberg estate, I
profile Schoenberg’s interest in the ecstatic utterances of the philosopher and playwright Maurice
Maeterlinck, and I suggest that Schoenberg sought, in his Gurrelieder (mostly completed 1900–03), to
make a monumental, musical contribution to the utopian discourse Maeterlinck pioneered.
SESSION 11: Sheet Music Markets
Faust at the Piano: The Social Economy of Opera in the New Domestic Sphere
Peter Mondelli (University of North Texas)
Nearly every nineteenth-century music publisher’s catalog was filled with dozens of instrumental
arrangements of operas. What purpose did they serve? Viewing them as more than just a means of
transmitting operatic works beyond the theater, I will argue that such arrangements served a dual
purpose: reaffirming the prestige of Paris’s opera houses, and thereby establishing the cultural cachet of
those who purchased and performed them. Using the piano arrangements of Gounod’s Faust published
by Choudens after the 1859 and 1869 Parisian premieres as a case study, I will situate this repertory of
derivative compositions in a swiftly changing domestic sphere. During the reign of Napoleon III, the
urban landscape of Paris changed dramatically. Baron Hausmann’s reimagining of the city’s medieval
networks of streets changed the city physically; the growth of industry, commerce, and transportation
changed it socially. The new idea of a domestic space separated from work and marked as one’s own by
décor was becoming commonplace. In this new domestic sphere, a consumer’s choice of music thus
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contributed to the processes of social self-definition. Many of the details of this repertory—the
prevalence of work-centered genres like transcriptions and paraphrases rather than performer-centered
themes and variations, the addition of numerically graded levels of difficulty—attest to the possibility
that such works were attempts to bring some of the sounds and social prestige of the opera house into
the home.
Pride and Progress: Sheet Music Publication in Nova Scotia, 1849–1867
Michelle Boyd (Acadia University)
The mid-nineteenth century witnessed the small beginnings of a Canadian counterpart to the sheet
music industry that was already flourishing in Britain and the United States. Although primarily a
phenomenon in what is now central Canada, this enterprise prompted at least eight publishers living in
Halifax, Nova Scotia to try their luck in the competitive sheet music market by publishing works
composed by local musicians.
The mid-nineteenth century was also a formative period for the colony of Nova Scotia, then still
a part of Britain’s North American territory. Termed the “Intellectual Awakening” by historian D.C.
Harvey (1967), this was a period when Nova Scotians began to conceive of their colony as a cohesive
entity, and when a distinct regional identity began to take shape.
This paper posits that sheet music publication in Halifax was simultaneously both a product and
catalyst of Nova Scotia’s “Intellectual Awakening.” Examining the body of sheet music scores published
in Halifax before 1870, I contend that these publications were a manifestation of the spirit of pride in
Nova Scotian achievement burgeoning in the province at that time. Paying tribute to Nova Scotian
themes through cosmopolitan musical fashion, these parlour ballads and piano dances were a creative
and commercial response to the demand for symbols of the colony’s collective identity. Moreover, while
sheet music publication was certainly a limited activity in Nova Scotia, this small body of scores
nonetheless testifies to the important role that music occupied in settling the North American frontier.
In Vienna “Only Waltzes Get Printed”: The Decline and Transformation of the
Contredanse Hongroise in the Early Nineteenth Century
Catherine Mayes (University of Utah)
Beginning in 1784, hundreds of Hungarian-Gypsy dances were published in Vienna alone, and the sheer
number of such pieces attests to their commercial success. Despite this success, the style of these
publications began to change noticeably around 1810, becoming melodically, harmonically, and
rhythmically richer. In his recent monograph Liszt’s Transcultural Modernism and the Hungarian-Gypsy
Tradition, Shay Loya has attributed this transformation to what he terms “authorial verbunkos,” which he
defines as pieces of Hungarian-Gypsy music that are emblematic of a specific musician or composer. His
explanation thus highlights one particular manifestation of a widespread Romantic trend. In this talk, I
offer a complementary reading, using trends in social dancing as a lens through which to suggest a
practical explanation for these stylistic changes.
In his 1772 treatise Erweiterung der Kunst nach der Chorographie zu tanzen, C. J. von
Feldtenstein suggests that many national dances lend themselves to improvisatory performance. His
endorsement of such freedom resonates strongly with the aesthetic of the contredanse, and the
anonymous collection of Contredanses hongroises, which appeared in Vienna in 1788, for instance, may
well have lent a touch of exoticism to an evening of dancing. Even when not explicitly identified as
contredanses, the perceived affect of Hungarian-Gypsy dances and their simplistic stylistic features
would likely have led them to be understood and put to use as such, bolstering their popularity. As the
waltz became more fashionable than the contredanse, Hungarian-Gypsy dances lost their important
function as social dance music, and they were gradually replaced by representations that increasingly
capitalized on the growing cult of virtuosity.
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Beethoven’s Waltzes in the British Isles: Dissemination and Reception in the Early 19th Century
Erica Buurman (Canterbury Christ Church University)
Accounts of the early reception of Beethoven’s music in the British Isles often focus on the London-based
musicians and organisations that actively promoted and published his music. Important figures and
organisations in these accounts include Ferdinand Ries, who arranged for the first English publication of
many of Beethoven’s late works, and the Philharmonic Society of London, which commissioned the Ninth
These accounts, however, often overlook the fact that Beethoven had a considerable reputation
in Britain as a waltz composer as well as a composer of serious works, to judge from early nineteenthcentury British keyboard publications. His Twelve German Dances, WoO 8 (published in Britain as
“Waltzes”), were particularly popular, as they were first published in London as early as 1804 and
subsequently published by a further six British publishing houses within the composer’s lifetime. Even
Beethoven’s most popular piano sonatas were generally far less well represented in British publications;
the “Waldstein” Sonata, for instance, only appeared in three contemporary British editions, whereas the
“Moonlight” Sonata was not published in Britain until 1822.
This paper examines the early dissemination and reception of Beethoven’s waltzes in the British
Isles, focusing in particular on the keyboard publishing industry. These early publications cast an
interesting light on British perceptions of Viennese music in the early nineteenth century, and suggest
that Beethoven was an important figure in the rise of the Viennese waltz in the British Isles.
SESSION 12: History of Music Theory
Gustave Lefèvre’s Traité d’harmonie Revisited
Gilad Rabinovitch (Eastman School of Music)
Gabriel Fauré spent eleven formative years (1854–1865) at the École Niedermeyer in Paris. The
pedagogy at the École incorporated an immersion in modal polyphony and plainchant alongside
common-practice repertoire. Scholarship by Gervais (1971), Chailley (1982), and Tait (1989) suggests that
Gustave Lefèvre’s oft-neglected Traité d’harmonie (1889) sheds considerable light on the teachings at
the École Niedermeyer. Specifically, Chailley claims that those teachings represent a distinct theoretical
lineage that was diametrically opposed to the methods used at the Conservatoire, going back through
Lefèvre’s teacher, Pierre de Maleden, to Gottfried Weber and l’Abbé Vogler, alongside an influence from
another outsider to the Conservatoire tradition, Jérôme-Joseph de Momigny.
My paper revisits Lefèvre’s treatise, drawing connections between its technical aspects of chord
hierarchy, chord progressions, and voice-leading, and those of mainstream authors of the Conservatoire
tradition such as Catel, Reber, and Durand, alongside the clear ties to Weber’s harmonic theory and the
possible ties to Momigny. This re-evaluation strongly suggests that ideas from the mainstream French
tradition permeated into the teachings at the École Niedermeyer. However, by demonstrating concepts
of what we would refer to as “harmony” and “voice-leading” with examples drawn of works by
composers from Palestrina through J.S. Bach to Mendelssohn, Niedermeyer, Félicien David and SaintSaëns, Lefèvre’s treatise treats divergent historical styles through a unified conceptual apparatus. This
offers a glimpse into the invented harmonic tradition cultivated at the École Niedermeyer.
Thursday 19 June
Judging Weber
August Sheehy (University of Chicago)
Gottfried Weber (1779–1839) is remembered today as a music theorist, and for good reason. He was
largely responsible for popularizing Roman numeral analysis; the concept of multiple-meaning
(Mehrdeutigkeit) developed in his Versuch einer geordneten Theorie der Tonsezkunst laid the
groundwork for theories of modulation still taught today; his analysis of Mozart’s “Dissonance” Quartet
(1831) is, in the words of Thomas Christensen, “probably the most raked-over passage of music analysis
in the historical literature.” Impressive as these accomplishments are, Weber was more than a music
theorist. Indeed, in his autobiographical contribution to Scriba’s Biographisch-literärisches Lexicon
(1831), he bemoaned the “great puzzlement of some morons, who do not grasp that a person can have
more than one side, while the thinnest piece of paper has but two.”
This paper will present a multi-sided Weber: a Catholic, a German in the Rhineland before and
during the French Revolution and Napoleonic military expansion, and a practicing lawyer and judge in
the aftermath of Napoleon’s defeat and the Vienna Congress. I show that these sides cannot be cleanly
separated from Weber’s musical thought, however efficacious doing so may be for a history of music
theory. From the composers and works that elicited his attention to the linguistic and philosophical core
of his music theory itself, Weber’s various sides share a concern with the problem of judgment under
conditions of historical uncertainty. Music—particularly Mozart’s music— afforded Weber a new means
of working through this problem.
Between Helmholtz and Riemann: Jean Marnold’s Musical Ear
Alexandra Kieffer (Yale University)
Around the turn of the twentieth century, the music theory of Hugo Riemann enjoyed a brief surge of
popularity in France. His books on harmony had recently been published in French translation—the
Musik Lexikon in 1899, Vereinfachte Harmonielehre in 1900, and the Harmonielehre in 1902—and were
well-received by a number of critics in the Parisian musical press. Prominent Debussyist critic Jean
Marnold, however, devoted multiple lengthy articles to a denunciation and debunking of Riemann’s
theories, particularly the theory of undertones, between 1904 and 1906. My paper explores the
premises and motivations of Marnold’s invective against Riemann’s music theory.
Though Marnold claimed that his disagreement with Riemann was an entirely empirical matter—
that is, the question of whether undertones exist—I argue that it rested on a basic divergence in
conceptualizing the musical ear. Unlike Riemann, who privileged the mental act of Vorstellung in musical
listening, Marnold attempted to keep music in contact with a Helmholtzian Empfindung; at the same
time, in contrast to Riemann’s static, ahistorical ear, Marnold’s ear admitted historical change. Yet,
calling into question whether there is any recoverable level of hearing that does not change according to
historical and cultural circumstance, Marnold also contravened Helmholtz’s account of musical hearing.
Consequently, Marnold’s critique of Riemann—inflected by Marnold’s account of Debussy’s harmony—
imagines the body’s listening apparatus quite differently than either Riemann or Helmholtz, and his
writings raise new questions on the relationship between empiricism and music theory at the turn of the
twentieth century.
Thursday 19 June
From Function to Transformation: Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877–1933) as Proto-Neo-Riemannian
David Byrne (University of Manitoba)
In two treatises published in 1930 and 1932, German composer-theorist Sigfrid Karg-Elert greatly
extended Hugo Riemann’s system of functional harmony (presented in Riemann’s Harmony Simplified of
1893). While Riemann’s published functional analyses seldom go beyond Beethoven, Karg-Elert’s
writings apply the concept of harmonic function to chromatic music from Schubert to Debussy. His
functional transformations encompass the gamut of chromatic relations, including mediant relationships
now often modelled using neo-Riemannian transformations. Karg-Elert retains Riemann’s framework of
three basic functions; thus, his system remains conceptually rooted in tonality. In contrast, neoRiemannian transformations operate freely from tonal context, without regard for function. In his
analyses, Karg-Elert regularly employs his purportedly functional transformations in distinctly neoRiemannian ways. He freely combines multiple transformations to model specific harmonic
relationships, analogous to composite neo-Riemannian transformations such as LP or PLR. He also
reiterates his transformations, producing results identical to neo-Riemannian LPLP or PLRPLR. Most
significantly, Karg-Elert often changes key in order to accommodate a surface-level harmonic
transformation; tonality and harmonic function are frequently defined by the transformations
themselves. To characterize the functional agency of different triadic transformations (Karg-Elert or neoRiemannian), I distinguish between function-retaining transformations (which retain certain pitch
connections with the original chord) and function-changing transformations (in which such pitch
connections are absent or negated). This distinction suggests a different perspective on the limits of
functional identity. I examine brief passages from Liszt, Wagner and Karg-Elert himself, to compare the
analytical methods of Karg-Elert and neo-Riemannian theory, and to highlight the significant connections
between those methods.
SESSION 13: Dance II
Musicality of Language and “Corporeal Writing”: Reconciling
Music, Language, and Dance in Symbolist Theater
Megan Varvir Coe (University of North Texas)
Stéphane Mallarmé declared dance to be the physical embodiment of Symbolism, describing the act of
dancing as “a corporeal writing…a poem detached from any scribe’s implement.” The Symbolists’
fascination with dance has led dance scholar Dee Reynolds to describe dance as the “quintessentially
Symbolist art form.” But how can we reconcile the paradox created when a wordless genre such as
dance aspires to the aesthetics of a literary movement such as Symbolism? This paper suggests a means
for achieving this reconciliation through a reevaluation of Symbolist thought on the musicality of
language. By seeking in their prose to achieve what Walter Pater termed “the condition of music” or its
lack of prescribed meaning, Symbolist writers developed a language that they believed transformed
words into music. Music thus became the medium through which language and dance could meet each
other; music acted as the space where “corporeal writing” could occur. This paper will argue that Florent
Schmitt’s ballet pantomime, La tragédie de Salomé (1907), inspired by Oscar Wilde’s Salomé, acted as
such a musical mediator. Contemporary critics heralded Wilde’s musical prosody in Salomé as a
Symbolist achievement. This music-language in turn was essentialized in Schmitt’s score which, when
accompanied with the synesthetic stage experience crafted by choreographer Loïe Fuller, exemplified
Symbolist aspirations in theater. Through an exploration of the relationship between music and language
in Symbolist aesthetics, this paper will demonstrate how the musicality of prose could be transferred
across boundaries of genre and discipline.
Thursday 19 June
“Lifestyle Modernism” Before the Ballets Russes
Sarah Gutsche-Miller (University of Toronto)
In her seminal study of the Ballets Russes, Lynn Garafola identifies one of the principal innovations of
late 1910s and 1920s French dance to be the birth of “Lifestyle modernism,” or as Cocteau termed it, the
“art of the sophisticated commonplace”: ballets that appropriated popular culture, sanitized it, and
presented it as entertainment for the elite (Garafola, 1989, 98). The first was Cocteau and Satie’s Parade
(1917), a ballet about circus performers structured like a music-hall variety show that was, according to
Garafola, inspired by the futurist manifestos of Marinetti and Apollinaire.
Yet Parade also had a direct precedent in 1890s music-hall ballets. Not only did Cocteau draw on
music-hall variety shows as fodder for his ballet scenarios, his works followed an already well-established
music-hall tradition of presenting Paris’s social elite with ballets that incorporated populist forms of
entertainment and that depicted or parodied contemporary people, situations, and current affairs.
I argue that the origins of 1920s “Lifestyle modernism” lay not only in futurist art and ideas, but
also in contemporary-themed music-hall ballets of the late nineteenth century such as Olympia (1893),
Chez le couturier (1896), Lorenza (1901), and Paris qui danse (1901). While these works have been
overshadowed by the Ballets Russes, they formed the backdrop against which Diaghilev’s ballets were
understood. They also lend another layer of meaning to Picasso’s quip that “Diaghilev does the same
thing they do at the Folies-Bergère; only they do it better there” (Scheijen, 2009, 345).
Hymnody, Dance, and the Sacred in the Illustrated Song
Marian Wilson Kimber (University of Iowa)
The “illustrated song,” consisting of a series of pantomimed poses that took place to a well-known vocal
work, was popular with American women at the end of the long nineteenth century. Stemming from the
Delsarte movement, the genre emerged within the field of elocution and was featured at women’s
“musical and literary entertainments,” events that mixed music and poetic recitation. Pedagogical
materials provided amateur performers with song texts, music, and accompanying motions shown
through photographs. The illustrated song could be based on parlor songs or patriotic music; however,
hymn tunes such as Jesus Lover of My Soul, Rock of Ages, or Nearer My God to Thee most frequently
served as its basis. The public presentation of the female body performing at schools or churches had to
be mediated through meanings that prevented any possibility of sexualized interpretations. Thus, the
introduction of sacred music as the inspiration for women’s dance-like motion lent it a new cultural
This paper examines the relationship between hymnody and movement in the most common
illustrated song settings, exploring the ways in which physical motion expressed the song’s sacred
meanings. It places this hybrid artistic form within the context of mainstream Protestant rejection of
dancing and explains the manner in which “dance” became acceptable in new social contexts through
masquerading as “song.” In doing so, it demonstrates how conventional generic divisions between
dance, music, and literature have limited our historical understanding of the role of music in sacralizing
American dance.
Choreographing Mahler Songs at the Centenary
Wayne Heisler (The College of New Jersey)
Beginning around 1960, choreographers of various stripes set nineteenth-century Lieder. The precedent
for “song-ballets” was Antony Tudor, who was pioneering in his attraction to late-Romantic, non-dance
scores, and specifically through his choreography of Gustav Mahler’s music (Kindertotenlieder [1937] and
Das Lied von der Erde [1948]). The subsequent trend of choreographing nineteenth-century songs
Thursday 19 June
includes Schumann, Wagner, Strauss, and Mahler, who is the most prominent composer in song-ballets,
and whose renaissance surrounding his 1964 centenary was arguably one catalyst for their proliferation.
This paper considers the meanings of Mahler and his music through embodied, danced
performances around his centenary. Nineteenth-century theories about music and the body impacted
the reception of Mahler in his day, including aesthetic-philosophical debates surrounding gesture as well
as nationalist-racial discourses. Drawing on recent work concerning opera and embodiment, I focus on
four choreographies set to Mahler in the centenary decade: Kenneth MacMillan’s Song of the Earth, Eliot
Feld’s At Midnight (Rückert-Lieder), Maurice Béjart’s Le Chant du compagnon errant, and Pina Bausch’s
Adagio—Five Songs by Gustav Mahler (tenth symphony and Kindertotenlieder). In Mahler historiography
it is often implied that at 100, this composer finally broke free from the shadow of Romanticism, e.g.,
through an avalanche of fresh performances, or via Adorno’s futuristic take on the composer.
Highlighting moments in which dancing bodies double instrumental and vocal gestures in Mahler’s
music, I argue that the choreographers of these diverse song-ballets rethink nineteenth-century
discourses, particularly as regards integrating the arts and the disruptive potential of the body.
SESSION 14: Early Nineteenth-Century Pianism
1838: Liszt’s Schubert and the Arrival of the Heroic Hungarian Masterwork
Shay Loya (City University of London)
Schubert’s Divertissement à la hongroise [sic] (1825) has long been a staple of the piano duet repertoire.
Its historical importance as the first truly large-scale instrumental work in a pervasive style hongrois is
now well-established (Bellman, 1993; Pethő, 2000). The significance of Liszt’s piano transcription of the
duet under the title Mélodies hongroises d’après Schubert (1838–39) is less certain. In any given
historical narrative it is eclipsed by Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies (1851/53), and the earlier transcription
goes unmentioned in Liszt’s book Des Bohémiens et de leur musique en Hongrie (1859), whilst the
Schubert original is taken to task for its alleged lack of authenticity. And yet rather than suppressing the
work, Liszt performed all or part of his youthful Mélodies hongroises throughout his life. Moreover, the
nine or ten (!) different versions of the second movement alone, composed from 1838 to 1883, is a
statistic that gives pause for thought. Liszt evidently needed to revisit and reclaim verbunkos from
Schubert in this way throughout his life: but why? My view is that in the second movement and its
recomposed Beethovenian apotheosis Liszt unleashed a new kind of national-heroic style comparable
only to Chopin’s Polish equivalent, the “Military” Polonaise, Op. 40, no. 1 (1838–40), of which he
probably had no knowledge at the time. This moment constituted both a creative and cultural-political
breakthrough. Its “re-enactment” in the following four decades is especially telling in the context of
Vienna’s cultural hegemony, Liszt’s complex allegiances and his continuing battle with musical
Sentimental Chopin
Stephen Downes (Royal Holloway)
Sentimentalists are routinely denied a place at the high table of artistic connoisseurs. This reflects an
“anxiety of contamination,” to use Andreas Huyssen’s phrase, in response to which an aesthetic barrier is
erected to separate (and protect) “high art” from the trivial, the banal, the tawdry, and the
commonplace. For such connoisseurs when the sentimental appears to be evoked in music of “high”
value it poses problems of taste, form and expression. For example, in The Romantic Generation Charles
Rosen is determined to resist the “sentimental” character of Chopin’s music, or at least to demonstrate
how Chopin transforms it into something more aesthetically valuable. This paper offers a counter to
Rosen, and to the wider tendency for critical denigration of the concept of sentimentality in
romanticism, by first proposing a preliminary (lover’s?) guide to hearing sentimentality in music and then
Thursday 19 June
scrutinising examples from Chopin’s nocturnes and preludes in which, along the lines suggested by this
sentimental primer, the sentimental is identifiable as a crucial component.
Through a combination of aesthetic revaluation and analytical close reading the paper shows
how sentimental hearings of Chopin’s music facilitate reconsideration of issues of borrowing, technique,
recollection, beauty and the decorative. It will conclude by illustrating the importance of the legacy of
Chopin’s sentimental moments by considering expressive and structural aspects of an allusion to, and
transformation of, that tone in Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune.
“Une nuit sans ténèbres”: Representation of White Night in the Early Nocturnes of John Field
Katelyn Clark (University of Toronto)
In 1859, Franz Liszt wrote a preface to the J. Schuberth & Co. edition of John Field’s early nocturnes,
composed during his long-term stay in Saint Petersburg and Moscow (1803–31). Liszt lavishly describes
the landscape that Field’s music evokes, relating the nocturnes to moments of natural beauty that
capture Saint Petersburg’s white nights of summer, “nuits drapées de voiles blancs, qui…ne recouvrent
les objets que d’une brume semblable au mat d’un crêpe argenté.”
Liszt emphasizes a connection between natural landscape and the evocative musical experience
of “nocturne.” Previous twentieth-century scholarship on Field has also discussed his music’s
representation of night in terms of his use of cantilena (Piggott 1973) and his quotations of Slavic song
imitating the nightingale (Nikolayev 1973). However, Field’s work has been seldom examined in recent
scholarship, and consequently has not been explored alongside current exciting discourse on music and
landscape by scholars such as Dolp (2008) and Grimley (2006).
In this paper, I examine Field’s musical depiction of landscape by analyzing his early nocturnes as
embodiments of Belye nochi, the summer white nights of far northern latitude that Liszt describes. I also
discuss the discrepancies between the 1812 Russian publication of the first two nocturnes and the 1814
German publication of the same works under the title “romances.” I argue that the original title was
created specifically for a domestic Russian audience familiar with Belye nochi, and that the use of the
term romance removed the nocturne from its placedness in Saint Petersburg’s summer landscape.
Liszt on Chopin: Composer Biography as Memorial and Mirror
Joanne Cormac (Oxford Brookes University)
The “self” is a familiar theme within discourses surrounding nineteenth-century culture. This is perhaps
most evident in the abundance of “life-writing,” in the form of travel-writing, biographies and
autobiographies. The obsession with “self” was equally ubiquitous in music with the advent of music
periodicals, composer biographies, and memoirs, yet life-writing has traditionally been seen as separate
from musicological research. Equally, biographies of composers rarely offer detailed discussion of music.
However, life-writing as a genre is becoming increasingly valued as a means of understanding
contemporary political, social and cultural landscapes. This paper examines an unusual piece of musical
life-writing that is certainly a product of his time: Liszt’s controversial Life of Chopin in conjunction with
his little-known Polonaises composed shortly after Chopin’s death.
This paper will interrogate tensions between author(s) and subject, and fact and fiction, in Liszt’s
prose and music. It will examine the narrative strategies Liszt used to tell the story of Chopin’s life,
considering how certain events and themes were selected and used to make sense of the life as a whole.
In doing so, the paper will trace how Liszt’s (and his collaborator Princess Carolyne von Sayn
Wittgenstein’s) reconstruction of Chopin’s identity actually projected his own values, insecurities and
resentments. Finally, the Life of Chopin contains a detailed description of Liszt’s conception of the
Polonaise. The paper will conclude with an intertextual reading of the two Polonaises, exploring the ways
in which the book and the music function as memorials to Chopin, yet reveal more about author than
Thursday 19 June
SESSION 15: Wagner and Faust
The Contesting of Faust: Composer Networks and the Status of Program Music in 1850s Germany
Oren Vinogradov (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Despite a trend of fantastical musical settings for Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust, nineteenthcentury German criticism tended to treat each piece as if the compositional decision to use an
unconventional form was unique. Although modern scholars have thoroughly analyzed how individual
Faust settings have manipulated the conventions of individual musical genres, little attention has been
paid to the open debate among German composers on how best to reenact Faust through instrumental
genres. I propose that the status of Faust as a program for instrumental music worked in parallel with
mid-century music-theoretical propaganda to produce an exclusive, self-referential repertoire. This
project focuses on three programmatic settings of Faust in the decade of 1850: the final revision of
Richard Wagner’s Faust Overture, Franz Liszt’s Faust-Symphony, and the concerted overture to Robert
Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust. Comparable programmatic and formal techniques in each of
these pieces suggest larger musical concerns for setting Faust. By extending previous analyses of musical
and structural borrowing between these texts, I suggest that the mythological subject of Faust formed a
referential network through which composers could interrogate contemporary theories of the limits of
music as a dramatic medium. I further argue that, given Liszt’s role as the premiere conductor for
Schumann’s Faust, the incorporation of Liszt’s suggestions leading Wagner’s revised Overture to more
closely mirror Schumann’s marks an important shift in how composers theorized program music.
Wagner and the Uses of Convention? La solita forma in Die Feen through Lohengrin
William Marvin (Eastman School of Music)
Analytic approaches to Wagner’s pre-Ring operas have emphasized his developing use of leitmotivic
technique, associative and expressive tonal deployment, and “symphonic” continuity across long spans
of music. While it is useful to track early appearances of these innovations associated with Wagner’s
style, surprisingly few studies have examined individual set pieces to place his early works in historical
context, and fewer, if any, have discussed Wagner’s use of Italian multi-movement conventions to
articulate larger musical numbers in succession. It is well known that Wagner was surrounded by Italian
bel canto repertoire as a young aspiring musician, and his first efforts to establish himself as a conductor
and arranger involved direct contact with much relevant Italian and French repertoire.
In this paper, analyses from Wagner’s first six operas demonstrate that Wagner utilized the
formal conventions of Italian opera, including clearly articulated cabalettas, at least through the
midpoint of his career. While the paper will present multiple examples from each opera, the first act
finale from Lohengrin demonstrates the point here: Henry’s prayer “Mein Herr und Gott, nun ruf’ ich
dich” (tonally closed in E-flat) represents a static cantabile movement; Lohengrin’s fight with Telramund
is the kinetic tempo di mezzo, and the celebratory chorus begun by Elsa at “O fänd’ ich Jubelweisen
deinem Ruhme gleich” (tonally closed in B-flat) is a caballeta/stretto finale. The paper concludes with
speculation on vestiges of la solita forma to be found in the later music dramas.
Thursday 19 June
SESSION 16: England and Beyond
Chamber Music, Conversation and Sociability in Early Nineteenth-Century London
James Grande (King’s College London)
This paper will explore the role of music in London’s advanced intellectual culture at the turn of the
nineteenth century, with a particular focus on how writers thought about music in response to new
political and philosophical ideas and on the relationship between chamber music and intellectual
In the utopian scheme of the philosopher and Jacobin novelist William Godwin, concerts would
be rendered obsolete by the progress of political justice: he objected in particular to the “miserable state
of mechanism of the majority of the performers” and the “formal repetition of other men’s ideas.”
However, his recently published diary reveals a vibrant culture of chamber music within his intellectual
circle, including figures such as Muzio Clementi, Thomas Holcroft, Felix Yaniewicz, John Crosdill and
William Shield. This paper will begin reconstructing this neglected musical world. It will consider the role
of coterie performance in relation to literary cosmopolitanism, reading and conversation and argue for
the influence of Protestant Dissent and the “collaborative poetics of nonconformity” recently described
by Daniel E. White. However, it will also examine the often vexed relationship between music and
Dissenting ideals of rational exchange. These questions were given renewed focus by German Idealism,
as mediated by Dissenters such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Henry Crabb Robinson. A combination of
sources, including essays, lectures and diaries, points to the frequent divergence between theory and
practice and the significance of this little-known chapter in metropolitan music history.
Variations on the Grand Tour: Musical Empathy and Risorgimento Sympathies in the Italian
Travelogues of Lady Anne Noel Blunt, 1854–5
Michelle Meinhart (Martin Methodist College)
Nineteenth-century travel diaries document numerous listening experiences in locales foreign to their
writers. Such is the case especially of travelogues kept by English aristocratic women concerning Italy, for
those from “the land without music” were intrigued by this most musical nation. These sources, though,
remain unknown in musicology. This paper will address Italian musical encounters in the 1854–5
manuscript diaries of Lady Anne Blunt, arguing these experiences, besides being rites-of-passage
consecrated in the Grand Tour tradition, were also means through which Blunt empathized with the
Italian people and Risorgimento.
The granddaughter of Lord Byron and daughter of Ada Lovelace, Blunt records hearing music
daily while in Italy. Like many women, she documents attending opera and private musical
performances, revealing an astute knowledge of repertoire, performers, and international high society
networks. However, other descriptions depart from this norm. For example, while in Venice she ponders
the cacophony of musical sounds heard on her daily walks to Piazza San Marco. Gypsy street musicians
reveal to her a natural musicality far removed from London’s professional venues. Outside San Marco,
she marvels at the boisterous Austrian military band’s display of power over a colonized Venice,
especially when juxtaposed with the ethereal, siren-like choirs inside the Basilica. Ultimately these
musical experiences thrust her outside the strict confines of English high society, enlivening in her a
liberal perspective sympathetic to the Risorgimento. Recognizing such dynamic dialogue between
history’s music makers and listeners is crucial to understanding music’s role in constructions of national
and political identities.
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Aesthetics over a Barrel
Jonathan Hicks (King’s College London)
It seems counter-intuitive to speak of “barrel organ aesthetics.” These instruments, so ubiquitous in the
industrialised cities of the long nineteenth century, have traditionally been placed in opposition to more
worthy forms of music-making: they belong among the hubbub of street sounds tormenting Hogarth’s
“Enraged Musician” (1741) and his Victorian descendants (including Charles Babbage and Charles
Dickens) who campaigned for the regulation of outdoor music; they were a defamation of character
when used to satirize Italian melody vs. Teutonic gravity (witness the French cartoon of Verdi-the-organman from 1867, reprinted in Dahlhaus’s Nineteenth-Century Music); even after century’s end, when
recording technologies forced most grinders into new trades, New York’s Mayor LaGuardia instigated a
street music ban in order to prevent their disruption of traffic. Existing historical studies addressing
barrel organ performance tend to fall into two camps: they either concentrate on how such music
sounded “from above” and why itinerant players were considered such a nuisance, or they focus on that
part of the repertoire which is closest to folk music and most easily assimilated into narratives of regional
style. In this paper, grounded in 1830s and 40s London, I build on recent work in “critical organology” to
describe the unremarked idiosyncrasies of mass-produced barrel, pin, and perforated paper instruments.
By listening to the characteristic irregularities of this mechanical music, the de-tunings occasioned by allweather performance, and the contested acoustic space in which operators ground out a living I seek to
resuscitate and resituate the bête noir of abstractionist aesthetics.
SESSION 17: New Approaches to Italian Bel Canto
Listening for the Lowlands: How Scottish is Lucia?
Edward Jacobson (University of California, Berkeley)
When Flaubert’s Emma Bovary attends a performance of Donizetti’s Lucie de Lammermoor, apart from
being charmed by the degree to which the action on the stage mirrors her own ill-fated circumstances,
she describes how she “could hear, through the mist, the sound of bagpipes echoing across the heather.”
Emma was not alone in identifying a bit of local color in Donizetti’s score—early reviewers of the opera
detected the same—yet scholarly studies of Walter Scott and Scottishness in Europe have noted only a
paucity, if not a complete absence, of any Caledonian element. What could make Emma hear bagpipes in
the music of a primo ottocento Italian opera composer?
This paper unpacks the various Scottish elements of Lucia di Lammermoor. I begin by discussing
two key components of Walter Scott’s continental popularity: the excess of historical detail, which
endowed his fictions with the patina of truth, and his vividly pictorial depiction of the Scottish landscape.
In diluting Scott’s novel, librettist Salvadore Cammarano imitated Scott’s historicism by annotating the
libretto with footnotes chronicling historical and anthropological practices of the region. This weakening
of the distinction between history and fiction allowed continental readers to map their imagined
Scotland (largely constructed from Scott’s sublime landscapes) onto Donizetti’s score. Given the ubiquity
of Scott readership in the early nineteenth century, I argue that several of the opera’s orchestral
passages—noted by reviewers for their novel instrumentation—came to be charged with Scottish
significance, allowing opera-goers like Emma to hear the Highlands in Lucia.
Thursday 19 June
Geography and Meaning in Donizetti’s La Favorite
Helena Kopchick Spencer (University of Oregon)
The genesis of Donizetti’s opera La Favorite was fraught with numerous musical and dramatic
reworkings—a complicated history that has been unknotted by Rebecca Harris-Warrick (1993; 1999).
Among the layers of the La Favorite palimpsest is Eugène Scribe’s revised scenic plan, in which the
Neapolitan setting of Royer and Vaëz’s L’Ange de Nisida libretto is discarded in favor of a fourteenthcentury Spanish setting. This translocation, according to Harris-Warrick, “provided opportunities for
Moorish and Spanish local color, but had minor impact on the plot whose outlines owe little to history.”
I argue, however, that Scribe’s geographic re-envisioning of La Favorite was not simply a superficial
attempt at historical verisimilitude, nor a mere excuse for decorative exoticism. Rather, the specific
locations detailed in Scribe’s scenic plan—the monastery of Santiago de Compostela, the Isla de León,
and the Alcázar of Seville—are rich in cultural and dramatic meaning. Indeed, topographical and spatial
contrasts among these three Spanish landmarks—reinforced by the timbral contrasts of Donizetti’s
musical scene-painting—reveal major thematic polarities crucial to the dramaturgy of La Favorite:
sacred/secular pilgrimage, sexual freedom/captivity, and pastoral retreat/return. Moreover,
protagonists’ travel to and from these places maps the trajectory of their respective psychological and
spiritual journeys over the course of the opera. For, as literary critic J. Hillis Miller (Topographies, 1995)
has asserted, setting should be viewed not as providing picturesque background for the text, but as
generating distinctive character types and stories: thus, Miller suggests, “environment may be a figure
for what it environs.”
Linda’s Madness Reconsidered: An Intertextual Reading of Donizetti and Schopenhauer
Candida Mantica (University of Southampton)
The representation of madness in nineteenth-century Italian opera has received considerable scholarly
attention in recent years, in connection with the development of interdisciplinary approaches in
musicology, and particularly in opera studies. Surprisingly, influential contributions on operatic madness
and mad scenes draw on a range of psychological and medical studies matured during the last two
centuries, and neglect early and mid-nineteenth-century philosophical accounts of mental disturbance.
My paper complements recent approaches to operatic madness with a discussion solidly rooted in an
early nineteenth-century interdisciplinary context. I use Arthur Schopenhauer’s Die Welt als Wille und
Vorstellung (1818) as the point of departure for an intertextual analysis of musical devices employed by
Gaetano Donizetti in his musical representation of madness. Schopenhauer relates madness to memory
and the falsified perception of past events, and distinguishes between Monomania (Fixer Wahn) or
Melancholy (Melancholie), and Folly (Narrheit) or Fatuitas. Analogously, in Donizetti it is possible to
identify at least two compositional treatments of the reminiscence motive: on the one hand, the
thematic recall of materials heard earlier in the opera as a form of reference to past events, a strategy
adopted in the mad scene of Lucia di Lammermoor (1835), aligns itself to Schopenhauer’s notion of Folly.
On the other, the idea of Monomania provides the most logical context for reading the obsessive
repetition of a reminiscence motive in Linda di Chamounix (1842). The latter, in particular, presents an
alternative to other interpretations of this character, which rely heavily on psychoanalytical categories.
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SESSION 18: Performance Studies
Disciplining the “Gothic Monument Overcrowded with Ornaments”:
The Pedagogy of Embellishment at the Paris Conservatoire
Kailan Rubinoff (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
With the establishment of the Paris Conservatoire (1795), a novel approach to orchestral discipline
emerged in France: critics frequently admired student performers for their neatness of execution,
uniformity of bowing and disciplined ensemble playing. Reflecting militaristic origins as a training
institute for National Guard musicians, the Conservatoire developed a new pedagogy emphasizing
standardization, obedience and restraint. This approach had important repercussions for the practice of
improvised ornamentation in nineteenth-century France—and beyond.
Before the Conservatoire’s first official instruction books were published (1799–1814), treatises
proffered ornamented examples as a palette of creative possibilities for performers. The Conservatoire’s
methods, however, present ornaments as ambiguously-notated graces already added by composers that
students must learn to interpret. Free ornamentation (broderie) by performers is discussed in treatises
for violin (Baillot, Rode, Kreutzer), piano (Adam) and voice (Mengozzi). But their language is guarded, and
they frequently “othered” improvisation as Italianate. Brass and wind treatises, particularly HugotWunderlich’s Méthode de flûte, reflect the newer French approach designed to train disciplined
ensemble players for republican military bands and performances at public festivals. In these methods,
instruction in ornamentation is curtailed, and students are instructed to pay close attention to the details
of the score. These changes illustrate growing divides between composers and performers, and between
soloistic and orchestral playing.
Although the Conservatoire’s ambitious expansion plans were curtailed by 1820, its disciplinary
pedagogy and suppression of extemporization remained enduring legacies. And the Conservatoire’s
treatises—frequently reprinted, translated and revised—formed the foundation of nineteenth-century
instrumental instruction.
Narrativity and story-telling in Grieg’s Ballade: The evidence from performance
Georgia Volioti (University of Surrey)
Grieg’s Op. 24 is a profound work for solo piano, but has not received any substantial critical
musicological attention. The Ballade comprises a complex creative fusion: a technically demanding piece,
inspired by a Norwegian tune set in the form of theme and variations, which blends sorrowful
autobiographical references with vibrant folkloristic allusions in a dynamically unfolding design. This
piece presents an unusual semiotic locus of juxtaposed narratives relating to individual and collective
I investigate how such narratives are expressed in performance by analysing historical and
modern recordings which represent significant landmarks in the work’s performance history: the early
recordings of D’Albert and Grainger (both interpreters were sanctioned by the composer), other
legendary performers (Godowsky and Rubinstein), and various Norwegian pianists are examined.
Concerning narratives of individual/artistic identity, by focusing on temporal and rhythmic aspects of
performance expression I examine how the agency of gesture relates to the enactment of persona in
different historical-stylistic contexts; the composer’s, the performer’s and the listener’s subjectivities are
Concerning narratives of collective identity, I focus on the variable treatment of the folk material
in the large-scale temporal shaping of the music. In this work, paradoxically, a folk song without any real
story is cast in an unmitigated narrative genre. Grieg’s composition, I argue, is not merely a repetitive
stanzaic treatment of the folk material, but suggests a progressive design alluding to a process of
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temporal, and national-cultural, “becoming.” Findings demonstrate competing visions of “becoming”:
from the romantic, organic conceptions of music by early pianists, to mid-century structuralist readings,
and more recently the re-invention of organicist narratives in performance by Norwegian pianists.
Mandatory Mannerisms: Notated Expressive Asynchrony in the Music of Franz Liszt
Brent Yorgason (Marietta College)
Pianists of the late nineteenth century had two quite noticeable playing habits: to arpeggiate chords that
were not marked as arpeggiated (chord-spreading) and to play the left hand slightly before the right
(hand-breaking). This expressive asynchrony served to emphasize melodic arrivals in the right hand,
thereby strengthening the singing quality of a performance. Gestures of chord-spreading and handbreaking could also be used to express Romantic longing and yearning. These performance mannerisms
are quite evident in the recordings of late-Romantic pianists made in the early twentieth century.
Traces of these performance mannerisms can also be found in some instances of notated music. In
several of his piano works, Liszt notates what might be called “mandatory” hand-breaking and chordspreading effects, requiring the performer to use specific asynchronous playing techniques. We can see
these effects not as an attempt to control the performer, but as an attempt to preserve in the score
expressive effects which might have been spontaneously introduced by the performer. These explicit
depictions of expressive performance techniques may very well document Liszt’s own practices as a
In this paper, I will examine instances of notated chord-spreading and hand-breaking in the
piano music of Liszt. My goal will be to understand the expressive function of these effects in Liszt’s
music and to determine whether or not his use of these notated effects is consistent with the
performance practice of later pianists, of whom we have recorded evidence.
SESSION 19: Matters of Taste
Le Pianiste’s Defense of Salon Music: Performance and Meaning in Early 19th-Century French Pianism
Shaena Weitz (Graduate Center of the City University of New York)
The writing of piano music based on opera themes is viewed today as one of the more embarrassing
habits of the nineteenth century. Recent literature, for instance, describes these works as hackneyed or
trivial, nothing more than rehashing of popular tunes for amateur consumption.
In response to an early backlash against this practice in France in the mid-1830s, the music
journal Le Pianiste published a series of articles defending opera variations. The authors were not
dilettantes, as one might expect, but Conservatoire-trained pianists whose musical tastes were
nourished in the salon of Daniel Steibelt and through lessons with Jan Dussek. The aesthetic brought
forth by these men has been lost in our modern conception of the practice. The authors describe a world
tucked in Parisian salons, where these works existed in performance, improvisation, and musical
ingenuity, meant for a musically literate audience. By way of contrast, they warned against a new piano
school called “monochromatic,” who were not piano players but piano “pressers” whose extreme fidelity
to the printed score caused them to overlook the music.
This paper reconsiders piano music based on borrowed themes in early nineteenth-century
France, shedding new light on how this repertoire was performed, understood, and disseminated in its
environment. In particular, I will show how changes in French society and in the role of the performer
affected the meaning of these works, and elucidate some of the barriers to fully understanding or
appreciating this sort of music today.
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Loyalty and Loathing: American Reception of Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies
Sarah Gerk (University of Michigan)
Historians have long acknowledged that understanding Irishness is critically important to understanding
the nineteenth-century United States. However, scholars know comparatively little about Americans’
conceptions about the Irish at the beginning of the century, before famine and immigration spurred
many changes. During that time, Thomas Moore’s immensely popular Irish Melodies of 1803–34 offered
Americans a chance to consider Ireland and its people. In this paper, I examine newspaper sources and
musical examples related to Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies in order to understand Americans’
perceptions of Ireland early in the nineteenth century. Reception of the Irish Melodies shows that ideas
about Ireland and the Irish were fluid, contested, and often racialized. In addition to representations that
reveal negative bias or positive idealization, some Americans felt solidarity with Ireland’s struggle against
British rule. Such sympathy with the Irish expands on scholarly analyses that often focus on egregious
moments of anti-Irish prejudice to show barriers to Irish-American participation in representative
democracy. Analysis of the melodies, including “St. Senanus and the Lady” and “Tis the Last Rose of
Summer,” shows how sonic codes of Irishness were embedded in an accompaniment that appealed to
cultivated, cosmopolitan taste. This facilitated consumption of the songs in middle- and upper-class
parlors, thus creating the space for a more nuanced American consideration of Ireland in which ideas
and emotions could add depth to political and racial stereotyping.
“Ground to death by barrel-organs”: Taste, Competition, and
Nostalgia for the London Ballad-Singer, 1800–1860
Oskar Cox Jensen (King’s College London)
Douglas Jerrold wrote the elegy of the eponymous subject of his essay, “The Ballad-Singer,” in 1840. He
was somewhat precipitate, for though Henry Mayhew’s research of 1860–61 documented a total
reversal in singers’ fortunes, vastly outnumbered by the instrumentalists they had formerly dominated,
he still estimated 250 vocalists on the London streets. By 1885, however, Andrew Tuer could declare the
London ballad-singer categorically dead.
This paper links changing attitudes to the singer on the part of audiences, to singers’ changing
fortunes and status in relation to other street musicians. The soundscape of the London street is
analysed, tracing developments in sonic competitors to the human voice. Correspondingly, opinions
expressed by both plebeian auditors and more patrician commentators are examined, charting the
growth of nostalgia and romanticisation of the singer in the face of the “fresh affliction” of organs and
concertinas. I draw upon visual sources, such as caricatures, as well as upon textual accounts.
This growing indulgence towards the balladeer is shown to be starkly at odds with prevailing
condemnation of singers’ performative qualities at the beginning of the century. An evolving conception
of “sound” and “noise” is revealed, alongside changes in different audiences’ taste that are politically
and socially contingent. In concluding, I draw attention to the broader implications of the marginalisation
of lyrical content in street music, with particular regard to the political and moral character of the
metropolitan street.
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SESSION 20: Notions of Empire
With God on their Side: Divine Endorsement of Empire in
Elgar’s Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf and Caractacus
Róisín Blunnie (Dublin City University)
Prior to the success of the “Enigma” Variations (1899) and The Dream of Gerontius (1900), Elgar’s
dramatic choral works point to a composer desperately seeking to access the cultural pulse of the lateVictorian music-going public. Amongst these “early” works, the cantatas Scenes from the Saga of King
Olaf (1896) and Caractacus (1898), in particular, have much to reveal about the ideological inclinations of
Elgar himself, his librettist, H. A. Acworth, and their choral-festival audiences, in the context of high
imperial excitement, growing unease about the morality of expansion, and increasing national military
This paper argues that King Olaf and Caractacus are highly charged, culturally significant
encapsulations of late-Victorian Christian-imperial ideology, in which Elgar and Acworth sought to
present a comforting view of the British Empire as a thoroughly admirable, benevolent force for global
moral improvement. In King Olaf, the journey from Longfellow’s original text, through the imperially
experienced Acworth’s narrative adaptation, to the final, musical manifestation reveals a calculated
effort to mould an ideal, quasi-messianic hero who, like General Charles Gordon, embodied—and
justified—the contradictions inherent in an expansionist power with a self-image built on the cultivation
of peace. In Caractacus, the libretto, and the musical setting, responds to an intensifying need for
reassurance amid the rising uncertainties of the fin de siècle by reinforcing the perceived God-given
Christian duty of the British Empire, common also to the poetry of Kipling and the adventure novels of
Haggard, Ballantyne and others.
Collective Affinities, Conflicting Identities: Delius, Grainger, and the Transatlantic Imagination
Ryan Weber (University of Connecticut)
“I firmly believe that music will someday become a ‘universal language’. But it will not become so as
long as our musical vision is limited to the output of four European countries between 1700 and 1900.”
-Percy Grainger, 1933
Reflecting on the long nineteenth century, Percy Grainger (1882–1961) reissued a call for universal
inclusiveness in the Western musical canon. Joining him throughout his career was his elder friend and
colleague Frederick Delius (1862–1934), who similarly shared a fascination for Scandinavian culture and
folk music from across the globe. Their mutual engagement of cosmopolitan idealism yielded a body of
repertoire that appropriated cultural difference as it recognized a reciprocal hybridity between national
However, in their mission to avoid cultural conflict and question traditional authority, they
opened up new doors to contradiction and social divergence. This issue comes to the surface most
patently in their experiences of America, both real and imagined. Works such as Delius’s Florida Suite
(1888) and Grainger’s Marching Song of Democracy (1901–15) sought to open up hybrid spaces of
identity, yet they paradoxically promoted the same malignancies of exclusivity that they aimed to
abolish. This study will thereby investigate the problematic use of American topoi in compositions by
Delius and Grainger, such as Negro folk tunes and texts by Walt Whitman. Using the semiotic network I
term symbiotic recurrence, this paper will address the complex role of archaisms and folk material in the
transatlantic agenda of creating a universal discourse.
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PANEL 4: Richard Strauss at 150: Dramatic Symphonist or Symphonic Dramatist?
A glance at the output of Richard Strauss reveals that his career appears to fall into two distinct phases,
focused respectively on symphonic music and opera (ignoring the two early operas). Beginning with
Salome (1905), the operas have often been described as “tone poems for the stage” with little
justification offered. It appeared as if Strauss simply transferred his motivic and orchestral practices from
one genre to the next; after all, the tone poems were already realizations of a “poetic idea,” and the
presence of a text could easily accommodate the same techniques. The composer himself said in later
life that his tone poems were “preparations” for Salome, but the fact that he disliked the descriptions of
Salome and Elektra as “symphonies with accompanying voice parts” suggests that for him there were
meaningful distinctions between stage and symphonic works. His operatic collaborator, Hugo von
Hofmannsthal, felt that the composer was torn between contrary impulses: “the symphonist is ever at
war with the dramatist in your breast.”
Although Wagner scholars have debated the apparent dichotomy between “symphonic” and
“dramatic” (especially as it relates to leitmotifs), Strauss scholars have tended to focus on other issues in
spite of Strauss’s obvious debt to Wagner’s musical language. Nonetheless, the question remains central,
controversial, and unresolved, and the three papers seek to illuminate it from different angles: Strauss’s
own understanding of the two concepts, the development of his leitmotivic technique between the two
early operas (1893–1901), and his occasionally symphonic sketching practices during operatic
The Unbroken Career of Richard Strauss, Symphonic Dramatist
David Larkin (Sydney Conservatorium of Music)
Despite the obvious changes in his compositional focus, and the equally pronounced shifts in his musical
style, Strauss’s understanding of “symphonic” and “dramatic” as concepts was fairly stable. In this paper,
I will explore Strauss’s theoretical explications of these principles, as found in his letters, notebooks,
essays, and his edition of Berlioz’s Treatise on Instrumentation. It will be shown that many of his ideas
derive from the study of Wagner’s works and writings, although the differences are as telling as the
similarities. The characteristics he associated with the symphonic and the dramatic are manifest in his
orchestral and theatrical music from all stages of his long career, and the stylistic shifts in his oeuvre can,
at least in part, be explained by the changing admixture of the two.
Symphonic or Dramatic? Strauss’s Leitmotivic Practice 1893–1901
Morten Kristiansen (Xavier University)
One key aspect in identifying Strauss’s music as symphonic or dramatic is his use of the Wagnerian
leitmotif, in particular its location in the continuum between symphonic/absolute or dramatic/semantic.
While the degree of referentiality of Wagner’s leitmotifs continues to generate debate, an equivalent
discussion is largely absent in Strauss scholarship. Most commentators have agreed that Strauss’s
motives are less clearly referential and thus more “symphonic” than those of Wagner and left it at that.
Drawing on primary sources, contemporary and later commentaries, and musical analysis, this paper
seeks to problematize the symphonic/dramatic dichotomy by investigating the development of Strauss’s
(leit)motivic technique between Guntram (1893) and Feuersnot (1901) in order to determine the likely
influence of the second cycle of tone poems on his conception of “dramatic” composition.
Tone Poems for the Stage? Symphonic Sketching for Arabella and Der Rosenkavalier
Joseph E. Jones (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Strauss often professed a preference for having ample time to digest new opera texts prior to sketching.
To a journalist in 1936, for instance, he suggested a gestation period of “at least six months or so” before
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setting text to music. Despite the rhetoric, this rarely happened in practice. Drawing upon extensive
study of the Rosenkavalier and Arabella manuscripts, respectively the first and last projects in his long
collaboration with Hofmannsthal, this paper argues that Strauss conceived of substantial stretches of his
opera scores as purely orchestral music, later “layering in” the voice(s) when the essential musical
character was more or less fully shaped. This suggests further complexities in the Strauss-Hofmannsthal
working relationship in that the sentiments Strauss expressed publically and in letters to Hofmannsthal
are sometimes contradicted by evidence in the sketches.
SESSION 21: Wagnérisme
Composition as Ethnography in Vincent d’Indy’s Fantaisie sur des thèmes populaires français
Mark Seto (Connecticut College)
The late 1880s marked an important turning point in Vincent d’Indy’s career. As a young composer,
d’Indy had often looked to foreign sources for inspiration, but as he matured, he began to employ
materials from his native France—in particular, folk songs from his ancestral homeland in the Ardèche
(Vivarais) region—with increasing frequency. Regional melodies feature prominently in several of his
best-known works, including the Symphonie sur un chant montagnard français (1886) and his magnum
opus, the opera Fervaal (1888–95).
As recent scholarship by Jann Pasler, James Ross, and Andrew Deruchie has demonstrated,
d’Indy’s interest in traditional music reflects the conservative ideal of enracinement—the notion that the
fin-de-siècle self should strive to be “rooted” in his or her ancestral land. The manner in which folk
elements pervade his work, however, deserves further attention. My investigation will focus on the littleknown Fantaisie sur des thèmes populaires français for oboe and orchestra (1888), which is based on
material d’Indy transcribed during his summers in the Vivarais. Beyond incorporating folk melodies, the
Fantaisie employs a traditional variation-based procedure and emulates performance practices that the
composer encountered in the course of his research, and would later describe in his ethnographic study
of the region (1892). More broadly, d’Indy’s appropriation of a regionalist ethos in the Fantaisie
demonstrates how folk music was promoted as a source of cultural renewal in the early Third Republic.
Gabriel Astruc and the Wagnerism of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
César Leal (University of Kentucky)
Inaugurated on 30 April 1913, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées represented a departure from Parisian
conventional spaces for music, theater, and visual arts. The Théâtre evolved as a life-long project of
Gabriel Astruc (1864–1938), a Parisian Jewish impresario, theater director, artist manager, author, and
playwright. From Astruc’s early ideas ca.1902 to its inauguration, the Théâtre’s history was marked by
aesthetic shifts, economic difficulties, scandals, and anti-Semitic campaigns, as revealed in unstudied
documents found at the Archives Nationales (Fonds Gabriel Astruc, 409AP) on which my research is built.
This paper examines the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées as an alleged Parisian representation of
Wagnerian aesthetics. Although publicly denied by Astruc, previously unstudied archival documents offer
significant amounts of evidence linking Astruc’s project with the Bayreuth and Prince Regent’s theaters
(Germany). A review of archival materials suggests the existence of a relationship between what the
press called “Wagnerian sounds” and the aesthetic ideals behind the project of the Théâtre des ChampsÉlysées. Although scholars of fin-de-siècle Paris such as Huebner, Pasler, Fauser, and Garafola have
addressed certain aspects of the Théâtre’s unique cultural significance, a full exploration of its aesthetic
and sociopolitical underpinnings has not been undertaken to date. Through the artistic-entrepreneurial
perspective of Astruc, as well as the aesthetics and politics surrounding the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées,
this paper aims to provide new views of the influence of Wagner’s aesthetic ideals on Astruc’s life-long
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Classical Wagnerism: Albéric Magnard’s Bérénice
Steven Huebner (McGill University)
Besotted by Wagner and wagnérisme, French writers and musicians at the fin de siècle simultaneously
sought to shore up their own national traditions and putatively native aesthetic predispositions. One of
the ways they did this was to invoke a series of entwined classicizing concepts, ever-ripe for critical
exegesis, such as ordre, pureté, and simplicité. Enter Albéric Magnard (the 100th anniversary of whose
death we recognize in 2014). Scarcely acknowledged by the music-loving public in his own day, Magnard
was well-known in professional circles, and viewed as a musician with classical aesthetic proclivities.
Magnard’s opera Bérénice (after Racine) had a brief run at the Opéra Comique in 1911, and in agitating
publicly for the opera to be staged the composer Gustave Samazeuilh described it as “simultaneously so
classical and so French.” Yet even at first glance Bérénice gives every impression of falling within a postWagnerian lineage with the composer-as-librettist, a lexicon of leitmotifs, contrapuntal writing,
chromatic voice-leading, active orchestra, and avoidance of set pieces. In the important preface to the
score Magnard noted that “my score is written in Wagnerian style” but that he chose that style because
it “suited my very classical tastes.” How to reconcile classicism with Wagnerism? Following upon a study
written twenty years ago by Jens Malte Fischer, I revisit this question with different conclusions, tying
Magnard’s classical Wagnerism/Wagnerian classicism to his personality, claims to creative autonomy,
ties with Vincent d’Indy, rearticulation of Racine, and dislike of symbolism.
SESSION 22: Tonality
Transformation at the Margins of Tonality: Scriabin’s Seventh Piano Sonata
John Muniz (Yale University)
Theorists of the past few decades have subjected Scriabin’s later works to vastly different analytical
treatments, ranging from linear analysis to set-theoretic techniques. This difference in methodology
registers sharp scholarly disagreement as to whether these compositions are tonal or not. Scriabin’s
consistent harmonic vocabulary, melodic fluency, and recurring emphasis of pitch centers create
tantalizing prospects for reading his works as tonal, yet the attempts made so far—founded on
(diatonically-based) Roman-numeral and linear analysis—have run aground on Scriabin’s thoroughgoing
In this paper, I consider what the chromatically-oriented tools of transformational theory can
offer towards understanding tonality in late Scriabin. Through a transformational network analysis of
the Seventh Sonata, I attempt to show that triadic thinking and schemes of transposition place Scriabin
in dialogue with the extended tonality of his immediate predecessors and contemporaries. By providing
insight into the harmonic procedures of the Seventh Sonata, transformational analysis creates an avenue
for understanding tonality in Scriabin’s other middle-to-late works. Conversely, my analysis suggests
ways in which triadic transformational methodology itself can be extended to later, more tonally daring
repertories than those to which it has previously been applied.
Tonal Pairing in Russian Sacred Music
Ellen (Olga) Bakulina (Graduate Center of the City University of New York)
The question of tonal duality and tonal pairing has been explored with regard to several nineteenthcentury composers, including Schubert, Schumann, Wagner, and Brahms (in the writings of Robert
Bailey, Harald Krebs, and others). None of the existing studies, however, have so far addressed the
question in relation to Russian music. In this paper, I introduce one layer of Russian music—liturgical
repertoire—into the discussion. Using Schenkerian analytical technique, I show that pairing of relative
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keys is highly typical for Russian church music at different structural levels, including the background
level (directional tonality).
The principle of constant fluctuation between relative keys, called in Russian parallel’naia
peremennost’, or relative mutability, originated in the anonymous body of liturgical repertoire that
formed in the second half of the nineteenth century (reflected in the 1897 anthology edited by Stepan
Smolensky). Composers who wrote church music around this time, such as A. Kastal’sky, A. Sheremetev,
and S. Rachmaninoff, appropriated this technique and created intricate harmonic structures where
relative keys closely interpenetrate each other. Such interpenetration gives us grounds to interpret some
pieces as displaying two tonics of equal hierarchical status, i.e., as directionally tonal. I demonstrate this
by offering background graphs that incorporate two different Ursätze (complete or incomplete). Though
this principle has been shown in Western music, Russian church pieces often include specific harmonic
techniques uncommon in Western repertoire. Thus, Russian church musical practice can be considered
another alternative to monotonality, alongside many works by Western romantics.
Exploring Intermediate States of Key
David Kopp (Boston University)
The emergence of the Neo-Riemannian approach to the explanation of chromaticism in nineteenthcentury music, and the current dominance of the voice-leading paradigm in explicating tonality, have led
to questioning the relevance of traditional concepts of key and harmonic function for this music. Some
past publications have argued, to the contrary, for the continued value and applicability of these
concepts and, from both within and without the Neo-Riemannian perspective, have proposed ways of
reimagining and elaborating them for a nineteenth-century context. For this presentation I propose to
develop, in a more formal way, a broadening of the idea of key first introduced in a recent study of
Schumann. Key is typically imagined as a discrete state of tonic reference, something that music is “in”;
when modulating, it swaps tonics and changes state. However, passages and situations characteristically
occur in mid- and some later-nineteenth-century music in which the hierarchical relation between
related tonics is not apparent, or appears to vary or waver over time, or a clear tonic is simply not
evident—often referred to as harmonic ambiguity. In such cases it may be useful to think more
concretely of intermediate states of harmony in which the music sometimes exists between keys—as if
traversing parameters of varying tonic influence and strengths, rather than leaping nodes on a Tonnetz.
Drawing examples from several composers, this talk will illustrate various processes generating
intermediate states (e.g. fade out/in; tiered accumulation; multiple meaning; nesting), developing a
vocabulary to ground the concept.
SESSION 23: Operatic Documentation
Le Musée de la voix: Sound Technology and the Operatic Artifact in fin-de-siècle France
Sarah Fuchs Sampson (Eastman School of Music)
The earliest reception of Thomas Edison’s 1877 phonograph speaks to a dream many hoped this new
technology would realize: the preservation of the human voice against the ravages of time. The musées
phonographiques established in Paris—including anthropologist Léon Azoulay’s 1900 collection, which
preserved ephemeral performing traditions worldwide, and linguist Ferdinand Brunot’s 1911 Archives de
la Parole, which salvaged dialects disappearing from the French provinces—affirm that, by the turn of
the century, the recorded voice had indeed become a cultural relic.
Founded in 1907, the Musée de la Voix might initially seem to have been nothing more than an
elaborate marketing scheme on the part of French Gramophone Company President Alfred Clark, who
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donated the recordings buried beneath the stage of the Palais Garnier. But the museum’s aspirations
actually aligned closely with those of Azoulay and others: the voices inscribed on these gramophone
discs, which were to remain sealed inside lead urns for one hundred years, would serve as artifacts of
French operatic culture for the next generation. Just as the musées phonographiques preserved
remnants of vanishing cultures and languages, so too the Musée de la Voix safeguarded the voices of
opera stars against their own vocal deterioration and physical death and, moreover, against the broader
decline of singer-oriented, event-based operatic culture at the Paris Opéra. This paper illustrates how the
Musée de la Voix both reflected and affected the Opéra’s transition from salon to museum and,
moreover, opera’s shift from social event to work of art.
Of Androids and Phonograph-Salons: Opera and Sound Recording in the Nineteenth Century
Karen Henson (University of Miami)
Historians of opera are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that we have for the last hundred years
tended to engage with opera as various kinds of audio and audio-visual reproduction, from the
recordings of Enrico Caruso in the 1900s to YouTube clip and the mp3. What is less well-known is that
sound recording was in origin a phenomenon of the nineteenth century and that in the nineteenth
century opera and sound recording enjoyed an important relationship too.
In this paper I will offer the first sustained account of opera and sound recording’s nineteenthcentury history. The first part of the paper will focus on the 1870s and 1880s, when there were few
practical attempts to record opera but when a lively discourse developed about the potential of the
technology for the art form. I will explore this discourse, paying special attention to Auguste Villiers de
l’Isle-Adam’s proto-science fiction fantasy, the novel L’Eve future (1886). The second part of the paper
will focus on the later 1880s and 1890s and the first attempts to record opera, which were made by
amateurs, but amateurs associated with such distinguished operatic settings as the Metropolitan Opera.
Although separated in geography and approach, these early written and practical efforts seem to share a
view of sound recording, one that, I will argue, was more rich and imaginative than the one that would
dominate the technology’s later history.
Pauline Viardot’s Letters to Her Husband
Hilary Poriss (Northeastern University)
The epistolary tradition among nineteenth-century singers is rarely as rich as scholars might desire.
While a few letters to and from important figures such as Maria Malibran, Giuditta Pasta, Giulia Grisi,
Adolphe Nourrit, Gilbert-Louis Duprez and others appear here and there, one rarely finds a store of
letters from performers as rich as those documenting the lives and careers of the composers who were
active at the same time. One notable exception is Pauline Viardot, whose correspondence to George
Sand, Julius Rietz, Charles Gounod, Hector Berlioz, and others is widely available both in library archives
as well as in publication. In April 2011, the Viardot correspondence expanded notably with a major new
acquisition of materials by Houghton Library, Harvard University. Among other items, the library
acquired a set of twenty-seven long, neatly written letters—both dated and undated—from Viardot to
her husband Louis. As the collection’s curator, Richard McNutt has noted, it is difficult to exaggerate the
importance of these documents. Discussing rehearsals and performances in which she was participating,
the singers with whom she worked, the friends she visited while away from her family, and so on,
Viardot writes to her husband in a voice that is noticeably distinct from the one she uses with her other
correspondents. In this paper, I will provide an overview of the letters, teasing out some of the most
important themes. What emerges is a dimension of this singer’s personality that has yet to materialize in
biographies or articles.
PANEL 5: Colonialisms and Musical Practices
The relationship between European musical practices and the worldwide processes of colonial expansion
in the long nineteenth century has been a concern in music studies at least since Edward Said’s 1987
essay on Aida and its premiere on the axis of division between Egyptian and European-colonial Cairo.
Nonetheless, the roles of music under different colonial practices have still received little close scrutiny
and even less comparative consideration. This roundtable will seek to redress this situation by exploring
colonialism as a worldwide but historically and regionally variable phenomenon, whose variability had
enormous implications for the dissemination of European (and other) musical practices and repertoires,
and for bringing about different kinds of interactions and understandings between musics of the
colonizers and the colonized. Although colonial studies have recognized common features in this process
throughout the nineteenth century and beyond (see, for example, Marc Ferro, Colonization: A Global
History, and Anna Laura Stoler and Frederick Cooper, Tensions of Empire), it is crucial not only to
recognize basic distinctions like that between settler colonialism and franchise or exploitation
colonialism, but also to acknowledge regional, national, and historical differences that shaped the
musical interactions of particular colonial enterprises. The participants, whose research includes French
and Russian colonial territories as well as British India and the “white Dominion” of Canada, will present
briefly on the individual areas of their research, before exploring commonalities and differences in a
general discussion.
Nalini Ghuman (Mills College)
Although the traditional view of Indian and British musics during the British Raj as having remained
home-grown and homogeneous has been durable, recent scholarship demonstrates that the colonial
influence on the classicization process of Indian music (Janaki Bakhle, Two Men and Music, 2005) and the
Indian influence on British music (Ghuman, Resonances of the Raj, 2014) was strong. I consider the
pivotal role of ethnomusicologist-performer Maud MacCarthy, whose interpretations of Indian music in
Britain at the end of the long nineteenth century, brought into focus here from a hitherto unconsidered
family archive, lie at the heart of British-Indian musical interstices.
David Gramit (University of Alberta)
I will consider the urban musical processes of the predominantly Anglophone settler colonialism that
displaced indigenous peoples and developed “instant cities” across western North America and
Australasia, as traced by historian James Belich (Replenishing the Earth, 2008). The frantic urban
development that characterized settler booms brought about consistent patterns in musical
developments, and recognizing those commonalities provides a corrective to both purely local histories
and nationally blinkered ones. But as the example of Edmonton, Alberta, shows, local particulars of
individuals, institutions, and technologies remain; musical histories of settler colonialism must find a
balance between the temptations of exceptionalism and homogenization.
Adalyat Issyeva (McGill University)
This paper examines nineteenth-century Russian ethnographies that mention the musical practices of its
Asian Others. I focus on a number of sources that are representative of Russian studies of different
ethnic groups (Kyrgyz/Kazakhs, Giliak, and peoples of Russian Turkestan) and exemplify different
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approaches and attitudes towards Russia’s oriental neighbours. I suggest that, in Russia, the
ethnographic field—with its wide range of conflicting ideas and practices—owes much of its vitality to
the various differences of the contributors’ personal experiences, social status, and education as well as
to the (often tangled) web of affiliations of different individuals, institutions, and agencies.
Jann Pasler (University of California, San Diego)
At Edinburgh (2012), I examined how performances in colonial towns, human networks, and repertoire
helped forge a common musical culture among the French colonies. Yet the Frenchness these
performances represented was complex and dynamic, embodying the contradictions of colonial life. In
this paper, I address how music ethnographers, in their interactions with indigenous musicians in Algeria,
adapted to the limits of French control. The point was not to denigrate nor to impose modern values, as
in other colonial domains, but to preserve and “fix” the distinction of their art music. Through
transcriptions, they both policed its boundaries, inhibiting the influence of non-European modernity—
whether recordings from Egypt or popular genres--and contributed to the shape tradition would take in
the future.
SESSION 24: Operetta
Operetta, Labor, and Escapism in Fin-de-siècle Vienna
Micaela Baranello (Princeton University)
In the final decades of its existence, the Austro-Hungarian Empire underwent a belated and rapid
industrialization. Viennese operetta was the soundtrack of this transformation. In this paper, I examine
the interaction between wage labor, mass production, and the operetta industry in Vienna, and argue
that the sentimental wistfulness and standardization common to “Silver Age” operetta was created with
the needs of the wage laborer in mind. Operetta of the early twentieth century has often been read as
an industrialized form of musical composition, but its depictions of emotional and material comfort
eased the exhausted minds and bodies of common workers. This goal prefigures critiques of popular
music by Viennese Socialists and the Frankfurt School, but was cast by writers of the time in a largely
positive light. This is illustrated by accounts by audience members and critics, and, most importantly, by
the operettas themselves. Oscar Straus’s Ein Walzertraum (1907) tells the story of Niki, an army officer
who is coerced into marrying the princess of a remote kingdom but is tempted by the conductor of a
visiting Viennese ladies’ orchestra. For Viennese men, a ladies’ orchestra represented an aural and visual
dreamscape. For audiences of Ein Walzertraum, Niki’s ennui represented the distant sound of a lost
homeland as well as their scant leisure time. In its sad ending, the operetta recognizes that it serves as
only a passing relief for its audience’s pains.
Viennese Operetta and Female Respectability: Sexuality and Spectatorship in Die lustige Witwe
Kathleen Hulley (McGill University)
From Die anständige Frau (The Respectable Woman) to Die ideale Gattin (The Ideal Wife), numerous finde-siècle Viennese operettas addressed the “proper” behavior of women. While much scholarship has
examined the textual and musical presentation of the sexual woman in opera, similar themes in
Viennese operetta have remained relatively unexplored. Yet Viennese operetta, as I argue in this paper,
also performed an important role in reinforcing and challenging contemporary bourgeois understandings
of female sexuality.
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This paper focuses on Lehár’s popular operetta Die lustige Witwe (1905), which playfully engages
with contemporary themes (such as women’s suffrage) alongside concerns about female respectability.
The first part of the paper examines how “respectable” female sexuality is presented through the text
and music. I demonstrate how Lehár draws upon and alters the musical language of opera to
characterize the sexual or chaste woman. The second part of the paper considers the issues of
respectability that arise when Lehár blurs private and public spaces within Die lustige Witwe. The
operetta itself places “respectable” bourgeois women alongside cabaret dancers: the women onstage
and offstage are transported from the home of a “respectable” woman, to the cabaret world of the
“Grisettes.” This paper concludes by considering the effect that such representations of respectability,
particularly amidst different musical spaces, could have had on female spectators. Thus, I demonstrate
that Die lustige Witwe’s musical representation of sexual women, alongside the intertwining of public
and private spaces, presents a challenge to the era’s bourgeois understandings of respectability.
Comic Style in the Music of Arthur Sullivan
Derek Scott (University of Leeds)
If Arthur Sullivan’s music is examined across the full spread of his comic operas, it becomes evident that
two types of comic style appear regularly. These styles are not characteristic of the Spielopern of Albert
Lortzing, whose music Sullivan would have encountered during his three years in Germany, nor, unlike
some comic devices he employs, are they indebted to the opéras-bouffes of his influential comic
precursor Jacques Offenbach. Instead, they illustrate Sullivan’s individual musical humour. They can be
found in embryonic form in Cox and Box (1866), and emerge a little more distinctly with The
Contrabandista (1867). Thereafter, they are then found regularly from Trial by Jury (1875) to The Rose of
Persia (1899).
I analyze the techniques Sullivan deploys in creating his two most common comic styles, and
consider how they function dramatically. When using these styles, he is more interested in character
psychology, or capturing a mood, than representing the meanings of words. Understanding this helps us
see a difference between the meaning of a particular device in Sullivan’s music and the meaning of that
same (or similar) device in the music of another composer. I explain why Sullivan’s comic devices are
appropriate to the character or scene and why they strike a listener as funny. I then investigate the
mixing together of his two typical comic styles in the comic operas of the 1880s, and conclude with a
brief survey of other means by which Sullivan creates humour.
Performing 18th-century opéra comique: Offenbach’s Madame Favart
Kimberly White (University of Southampton)
Premiered at the Folies-Dramatiques in 1878 and proclaimed an immediate success, Madame Favart
numbered among Offenbach’s final works for the stage. The opéra comique features a famous incident
in the lives of Charles Simon and Justine Favart, the celebrated couple who played an integral role in the
development of opéra comique in the eighteenth century. Through a series of dramatic ruses, disguises,
and staged performances, Madame Favart orchestrates their escape from the tyranny of the Maréchal
de Saxe and procures her husband a position as director of the Opéra Comique. The work’s emphasis on
intrigue has led some musicologists to dismiss Offenbach’s music drama simply as a fashionable satire on
eighteenth-century morals. In my paper, I argue that such a designation overlooks the work’s very
prominent performative dimension and its identity as one of several works in his oeuvre dealing with
performers and performance. Instead, I interpret the music drama as a medium through which
Offenbach could articulate his aesthetic position within the Parisian theatre industry. I draw a connection
between Madame Favart and Offenbach’s efforts to highlight operetta’s generic and stylistic affinities
with eighteenth-century opéra comique from his early years at the Bouffes-Parisiens. By integrating
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several instances of stage music, Offenbach not only imitated the style but also effectively performed
classical opéra comique. His homage to the genre’s pioneers worked as a kind of rapprochement, which
helped to repair Offenbach’s public image in the post-1870 climate, and reveals his commitment to
music of the past throughout his entire career.
SESSION 25: Analyzing Strauss
Moving Beyond Tradition: Meter and Form in Richard Strauss's Tone Poems
Evan Campbell (McGill University)
Which musical features accentuate formal divisions in Richard Strauss's tone poems? A tempting and
simple answer is, “All of them!” Yet, few scholars address, or even hint at, the powerful role that meter
plays in shaping the form of these compositions. Nevertheless, examining the metrical layer in these
works unearths a distinct method of formal articulation—metric dissonance. In specific, Strauss often
utilizes metric dissonance between formal sections of his tone poems. This dissonance creates a sense of
destabilization between sections, analogous to a transition between first and second themes in a sonataform piece. Accordingly, I call this technique a metric transition.
My methodology for investigating metric transitions combines the work of Harald Krebs and
Christopher Hasty. In particular, I draw upon Krebs’s notion of metric dissonance (1999) and Hasty’s
concept of metric projection (1997) to create a graphic analysis technique that captures metrically
dissonant passages in Strauss’s music. I apply this technique to transitions from Strauss’s Also Sprach
Zarathustra, Op. 30 (1896), Don Juan, Op. 20 (1888) and Till Eulenspiegel, Op. 28 (1894–1895) to
demonstrate that the awareness of metric transitions clarifies situations where traditional means of
formal articulation are distorted or altogether absent. Finally, I compare my findings with the analyses of
Steven Vande Moortele (2009) and James Hepokoski (2006), providing a simpler explanation of formal
features that they view as problematic. Although the analytical technique that I use was developed in
relation to Strauss’s music, it is equally applicable to the works of other composers from this period, such
as Mahler, Sibelius and Debussy.
Richard Strauss and the Classical Cadence
Caitlin Martinkus (University of Toronto)
Studies of late Romantic musical form typically highlight the complex relationships that arise when
various elements of a work interact, such as musical program, large-scale tonal structure, and the overarching form of a piece (e.g. Hepokoski 1992, Darcy 1997, Monahan 2007, and Vande Moortele 2009).
Issues of cadence, however, are rarely the focal point of analyses (with the notable exception of
Monahan 2011), even though cadences arguably play no less central a role in formal articulation in
Romantic music than they did in earlier repertoires. In this paper I focus on the use of cadences in the
works of one specific composer: Richard Strauss. Culling examples from the tone poems Don Juan and
Ein Heldenleben, the Brentano Lieder, and the Horn and Oboe Concerti, I argue that Strauss to a
surprising extent relies on classical notions of cadence.
I take as a starting point the distinction made by William Caplin between cadential content and
cadential function (Caplin 1987, 1998, 2004). I then catalogue the consistent means by which cadential
closure is both effected and thwarted in Strauss’s music: (1) I demonstrate classical cadential formulae
providing syntactical closure to large-scale formal units, and (2) I illustrate Strauss’s use of cadential
deviations in order to expand themes and middleground structures, thus creating larger overarching
formal designs. I conclude by assessing the aesthetic and interpretive implications of the fact that the
syntactical function and conventionalized harmonic content of cadential formulae retain their signifying
power in this highly chromatic late Romantic music.
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Motion and Emotion in the Lieder of Richard Strauss
Harald Krebs (University of Victoria)
Richard Strauss has gained a reputation for insensitivity in his Lieder to the rhythms that the poets
crafted so meticulously. It is true that (as Reinhold Schlötterer points out in his critical edition of
Strauss’s Lied texts) he occasionally adds extra syllables to his texts when he requires them for musical
reasons, and that (as Ursula Lienenlüke mentions) his vocal rhythms are usually quite far removed from
the rhythms of the poetry. Strauss’s distinctive manner of setting a poem in motion, however, is
consistently motivated by the poem’s emotional content.
In the first two strophes of “Winternacht,” Op. 15 no. 2, for example, Strauss’s vocal rhythm
departs drastically from the poetic rhythm, with abrupt increases in declamatory pace and an occasional
disregard for the large-scale rhythm of lineation. These liberties turn out to be a foil for the setting of the
last stanza, which adheres quite closely to every level of the poetic rhythm. The shift in text-setting
procedure is reinforced by a mode change (from minor to major), and by the abandonment of the
powerful, jagged accompaniment pattern of the first two strophes in favour of a fluid triplet pattern.
These changes mirror an emotional shift in the poem: whereas the first two stanzas deal primarily with
the storm that surrounds the protagonist, the final stanza dwells on the spring of love that he carries
within himself.
My presentation will include live performances of excerpts and complete songs.
SESSION 26: Voice and Body
Tired Voices, Worn Bodies: Italian Voice Lessons at the fine secolo
Laura Protano-Biggs (New Zealand School of Music)
In 1864 the eminent Italian vocal instructor Francesco Lamperti issued a disclaimer in his new vocal
treatise that there was nothing innovative about it. A decade later, the Italian baritone Enrico Delle Sedie
opened his new (and now little-known) vocal treatise with a remarkably similar announcement. Both
methods went on to become the most influential vocal treatises in Italian conservatoires at the fine
secolo, at a time when vocal instruction at these institutions was in crisis. Since the 1850s the crisis had
been a recurrent topic in Italian periodicals. Commentators first attributed the crisis to Bellini and Verdi,
whose new and unusual canto declamato vocal lines threatened voices in a manner that so-called bel
canto vocal lines never had, and left conservatoires unsure how to train their students. These same
alarmed commentators insisted that the conservatoires must hold fast to bel canto ideals even as the
theater welcomed the fashionable canto declamato. In this climate it was hard to find a vocal treatise
that did not insist on its lack of newness in order to make clear its debt to bel canto. But despite Lamperti
and Delle Sedie’s disclaimers, the latter’s treatise in fact set Italian vocal instruction on a controversial
new course that strained voices further and stimulated intense debate about vocal wear and the limits of
human productivity. I reconstruct how these treatises transformed vocalism at the fine secolo and show
how the establishment of “fatigue studies” at this time informed all these concerns about vocal wear.
Self-Realization and the Politics of Voice Production in Fin-de-siècle France:
On Dr. Pierre Bonnier’s Theory of Phonation
Catherine Schwartz (McGill University)
In recent years, the interface between the modern value of authenticity and the experience of embodied
subjectivity in music-making has emerged as a critical concern. Examining how vocal techniques have
been bound up in the interconnected philosophical, political and biological ideal of “being oneself,” this
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paper builds on the work of Nina Eidsheim by exploring modern voice production through the lens of
what she terms timbre corporeal, that is, “the physical act of forming sound” rather than simply the
sound itself. The focus here is the value of individual uniqueness in the work of Dr. Pierre Bonnier (1861–
1918), a laryngologist at the Paris Conservatoire, whose theory of phonation influenced the techniques
of several prominent singers in his day such as Jane Bathori and Claire Croiza. Specifically, I examine his
conception of timbre, what he calls “vocal physiognomy,” in light of his biological approach to the
politics of individual emancipation as outlined in his article “Socialisme et Sexualisme” (l’Harmonie
sociale, 1896). My claim is that Bonnier’s approach to timbre invites singers to execute the voice in terms
that I will characterize as “holistic.” I contend that the unique sound of each voice is produced as a selfrealizing liberation of the individual singer which simultaneously serves the social body. By attending to
the notion of self-realization in scientific and pedagogical singing sources in fin-de-siècle France, this
research provides a counterpoint to the work of Katherine Bergeron whose study of the mélodie
foregrounds the ideal of “selflessness” in contemporary approaches to voice production.
Throats, Ears and Force-Pump Operas: “Sick” Audiences and Singers in
Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera
Chloe Valenti (University of Cambridge)
In 1847 James William Davison wrote: “the disease of the Italian Opera has grown into a head, and Verdi
is the fungus to which all the bad humours have flowed […] this fungus must be lopped off, and a
wholesome plaster be applied […] but beware of applying it before the cancerous tumour, in which all
the most virulent poisons of the disease are concentrated, be removed.” Davison’s use of medical
imagery illustrates the increasing fascination with opera and health in the nineteenth century: the health
of music itself, and that of the performers and listeners.
Other opera composers inspired medical language: The Examiner described Bellini’s “sick
sentiment” as his mind was in a sick body, reflecting an increasing concern with how the mental and
physical health of composers affected their music. However, most critics were concerned with the
wellbeing of the audience and performers: they claimed that “Verdi bombast” split the ears of the
audience, whose enthusiasm for such “sick” works prompted critics to diagnose an alarming breakdown
in musical taste. Another complaint was “the wear and tear of the ‘Young Maestro’s’ force-pump
operas,” which highlighted the very real physical challenges of singing this music as orchestras expanded
and a more declamatory style prioritised vocal power over traditional bel canto techniques. At a time
when scientific advances collided with superstition and dubious experimental medical practices, the
treatment and training of one of the most delicate parts of the body fed into wider anxieties surrounding
the health of the Italian opera genre.
“The Expressive Organ Within Us”: Ether, Ethereality, and
Early Romantic Ideas About Music and the Nerves
Carmel Raz (Yale University)
A variety of harmoniums populate Honoré de Balzac’s novels, including the physharmonica, the orgue
expressif, the panharmonicon, and the accordéon, where the sounds of the instrument are deployed to
illustrate unusual mental states. Balzac’s musical fantasies were rooted in the medical practice of his day;
between 1820 and 1850, the harmonium was regularly used in the treatment of nervous disorders. The
linking of the harmonium with nervous effects holds much in common with earlier associations of glass
harmonicas with pathology. However, the medical implementation of the harmonium also differs from
this tradition, not least in the instrument’s generally positive connotations as well as its later trajectory
of use.
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I propose that studying the discourse around ethereal mediums can help illuminate the
emergence of the attitude that certain types of sounds had privileged access to the nerves. Specifically, I
claim that the unusual timbres and swelling dynamics of newly popular musical instruments, including
the glass harmonica, the Aeolian harp, and the Jew’s harp, were elided with ideas about a vibratory
nervous system and ethereal world spirit, both of which were essential to the formation of the culturally
determined ideal of ethereality in the eighteenth century. Closely linked to contemporaneous ideas
about physiology and nervous transmission, both the sounds and their presumed access to the nervous
system continued to influence the design and reception of instruments in the nineteenth century, most
notably in the case of the harmonium.
PANEL 6: Performing the Poetic: Music and Media in Prussia 1800–1850
Dana Gooley (Brown University)
Jennifer Ronyak (The University of Texas at Arlington)
Katherine Hambridge (University of Warwick)
Poetic activity was at the heart of cultural life in early nineteenth-century Prussia. It suffused letter
writing, private reading practices, salon activity, public theater, the press, and arguably even
bureaucratic life. Indeed Friedrich Kittler, looking at this particular historical context, theorized that
poetry shaped the entire “discourse network”—the distribution of language through diverse media
channels (voice, writing, typography, etc.). For all his concern with mediatization and corporeality,
however, Kittler concentrated on written texts and devoted little attention to music as a medium. He
similarly did not discuss the performance media involved in poetic recitation, drama, and concerts
involving poetry and music, nor the role of these media in positioning the poetic in the emergent public
sphere. Musicological approaches to music-text relationships, for their part, could benefit from a greater
emphasis on performance contexts and events, complementing the more traditional focus on
compositional response to poetic ideas. This three-paper panel thus examines performed songs,
melodramas, and other musically mediated presentations of poetry to reconsider the medial conditions
of Prussian culture in the early nineteenth century. How did musical performance shape the concept of
“poetry” and help establish its privileged position within Prussia’s cultural system? Taking examples from
the stage and the concert hall, we ask how considerations of genre, venue, and audience might inflect
our understanding of music within the “discourse network” of the early nineteenth century.
Dana Gooley discusses the songs that singer/pianist Carl Loewe improvised on poems given by
the audience at the close of his “ballad evenings.” He argues that Loewe was reframing the Lied as a
concert genre by borrowing practices from touring soloists and improvising poets (notably O. L. B. Wolff),
and explores the medial gap between Loewe’s realizations and the printed forms that made these poems
popular. Jennifer Ronyak investigates the initial, scarce appearances of Lieder on lyric poems featuring
intimate sentiments in concert. She argues that while such poems enjoyed a comfortable life in print,
they had a problematic and limited place in the most resolutely “public” publication venues in Prussia; as
a result, the musical delivery of such poems as Lieder relied on “protective” generic strategies to make
successful forays onto concert programs given in Berlin’s theaters. Katherine Hambridge explores some
intriguing early nineteenth-century instances of experimentation with acoustical effects on the theatrical
stage and in the concert halls of Berlin. She argues that these effects can be understood as attempts to
realise the Romantic literary trope of sound heard at a distance through actual performance: they seem
on occasion to have achieved the effect of conflating time and space so familiar from contemporary
Romantic literature, revealing the circulation of this “poetics of the remote” (in Richard Kramer’s words)
via public musical experience.
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SESSION 27: Staging
“Adapters, falsifiers, and con artists”? Staging La damnation de Faust in
Monte Carlo and Paris, 1893–1903
Heather Hadlock (Stanford University)
Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust (1846) extended the meta-theatricality and generic ambiguity of
Goethe’s play into the domain of music-drama. Until 1875, this “légende dramatique” was primarily
known through concert excerpts, and in the 1870s and 1880s it gained popularity as an oratorio. This
paper examines the first theatrical stagings of La damnation de Faust between 1893 and 1903, and their
critical reception. First, I show how Raoul Gunsbourg (Monte Carlo, 1893) addressed the work’s temporal
and spatial discontinuity, gaps in plot logic, and magical transformations and illusions, most notably the
Ballet of Sylphs and the Ride to the Abyss. Second, I analyze responses in the Paris press to the 1903
revival of Gunsbourg’s production at the Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt during the Berlioz centenary
Criticism of Gunsbourg’s 1903 Damnation reveals a fin-de-siècle ambivalence about French grand
opera’s legacy of visual spectacle, excess, and sentimentality. While the popular press tended to praise
the production for realizing La damnation’s dramatic potential, composers such as Debussy and Fauré
condemned it, defending Berlioz’s and Goethe’s “theater of the imagination” as superior to tangible
staging. Such defenses of La damnation served Berlioz’s posthumous elevation to the canon of French
music, for in contrast to the indifference that the work had previously met, Berlioz and his masterpiece
now needed defense against the assaults of “adapters, falsifiers, and con artists” (Debussy, 1903).
Finally, the reviews suggest a triangle of national and provincial hierarchies of class and prestige: in order
to disdain Gunsbourg’s catering to the taste of Monte Carlo pleasure-seekers, Paris critics promoted
Berlioz’s alliance with the German cultural heritage.
“The harmony between the music and the action”: Anton Seidl’s 1876 Scenic Notebook
Hannah Chan-Hartley (Toronto Symphony Orchestra)
During the 1880s and 90s, the Hungarian conductor Anton Seidl was arguably the most notable
conductor of Wagner’s monumental Ring cycle, leading early performances in various European cities as
well as the first definitive American stagings at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House. Seidl’s authority
with the scores of these operas began with his direct involvement helping Wagner prepare for the cycle’s
world premiere at the 1876 Bayreuth Festival. During the rehearsals in the summer of 1876, Seidl
recorded, in a pocket-sized book, notes that detail the coordination of the stage action with the music in
various parts of the Ring’s operas. One of several important extant sources that document the cycle’s
rehearsal process, this “scenic notebook” has not yet been examined in a comprehensive manner, until
For this paper, I provide a survey of the contents of Seidl’s notebook. As I will show, these
annotations reveal the conductor’s specific responsibilities in the Ring’s 1876 staging, notably, the
significant extent to which Wagner entrusted him to carry out some of its most complex and
sophisticated elements. Through this analysis, I illuminate how Seidl developed his particular
understanding of Wagner’s principle of integrating the stage action with the music, one which ultimately
distinguished him as the foremost conductor of the operas in the late nineteenth century on both sides
of the Atlantic. This source therefore provides a fascinating glimpse into Seidl’s engagement with the
Ring cycle at a formative stage in the work’s performance history.
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No Redeemer, No Redemption: Parsifal and the German Left
Elaine Kelly (University of Edinburgh)
The Marxist-Leninist reception of Wagner was a broadly positive one. His early operas were championed
as exemplars of his youthful revolutionary spirit, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg as a paean to the Volk,
and Der Ring des Nibelungen and even Tristan und Isolde as critiques of the decadent bourgeois society
in which they were conceived. Only Parsifal was deemed to be beyond the socialist pale. It was largely
neglected in the USSR and staged only six times in the GDR, with three productions in the 1950s and a
further three after a hiatus of two decades.
The resumption of interest in Parsifal in the final years of the GDR is significant. As the state
stagnated, those aspects of the opera that had been criticised in the 1950s now had the most resonance
for disillusioned artists. Its emphasis on intuitive knowledge undermined the socialist preoccupation with
rationalism, while its passive protagonist and cyclical form countered the myths of the socialist positive
hero and the continually evolving socialist society respectively. In the wake of 1989, the opera continued
to speak to the German left. Stagings of the grail’s redemption as an affirmation of a flawed status quo
reflected the conviction that there was scope neither for redeemers nor redemption in late modernity.
Focusing on productions of Parsifal by Berghaus, Kupfer, and Konwitschny, this paper explores the
relationship between the opera and the left in the period before and after the collapse of state socialism.
It examines how Parsifal was reconciled with left-wing politics, and considers what this might reveal
about Wagner reception more generally.
Macbeth and Google Maps: Staging Verdi in the 21st Century
Claudio Vellutini (University of Chicago)
To a greater extent than most nineteenth-century Italian operas, Verdi’s works have proved a fertile
testing ground for contemporary directors exploring unconventional approaches to staging. While
scholars have investigated the historical and dramaturgical implications of “radical” directorial
interpretations, issues of geography have rarely been considered. My paper discusses the 2009 Paris
revival of Dmitri Tcherniakov’s production of Macbeth by approaching it from a geographical standpoint.
Originally conceived for the Novosibirsk Opera, Tcherniakov’s work was co-produced by the Opéra
Bastille, where it was eventually filmed. Its journey from a provincial Russian city to a front-ranking opera
house is dramatized—indeed almost reversed—on stage. The setting of each scene is introduced by a
Google Map Street View close-up, a web function that Tcherniakov’s ideal non-Russian spectator is
supposed to have used to locate Novosibirsk. The pervasive use of fictional Google Map searches
contributes to blurring the chronological perception of the staged events. On one hand, their spatial and
temporal co-ordinates are merged in order to create a dramatic short circuit that makes the Macbeths’
rise and fall the result more of random than historical circumstances. On the other, the close-ups
function as a reference to the production’s migration from Russia to France. By combining a close
reading of selected scenes from Tcherniakov’s production with a discussion of how new technologies and
media affect the perception and consumption of opera in contemporary culture, I reconsider the extent
to which geography shapes our understanding of contemporary opera staging.
Friday 20 June
SESSION 28: Late Romantic Symphonic Repertoire
Convention and Context: Secondary Keys in the Finales of Rachmaninoff’s
Second Symphony and Third Piano Concerto
Stephen Gosden (University of North Florida)
One of the major developments in sonata-form practice during the nineteenth century was the use of
secondary keys in the exposition other than the dominant (for major-mode works) and relative major
(for minor-mode works). While these conventional key schemes retained their status as what James
Hepokoski and Warren Darcy call “first-level defaults,” the diversity of secondary key options from
Beethoven and Schubert onward has encouraged analysts to emphasize contextual factors (musical
events and processes specific to an individual work or characteristic of a composer’s individual style)
when explaining the tonal structure of sonata-based compositions from this era.
In this paper, I discuss how the finales of Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony (1907) and Third
Piano Concerto (1909) exemplify a particular way in which conventional key schemes and contextual
events/processes can interact in a sonata movement. I argue that both movements feature a somewhat
unconventional secondary key (flat-VII and IV, respectively) that forms a conventional relationship with a
“shadow tonic”—a non-tonic key that functions as an explicit tonic substitute during part of the P-theme.
I demonstrate that the status of a key as a “shadow tonic” is reinforced by harmonic events throughout
each movement, and is evident within the P-theme itself because of Rachmaninoff’s highly schematic
approach to thematic construction at the time these works were written. I also explain how the interplay
of convention and context in each movement’s tonal structure sheds light on what Michael Talbot would
call the “finale character” of each movement’s formal organization and expressive shape.
The “Recapitulatory Crisis” and Bipartite Design in the First Movements of Bruckner’s Symphonies
Eric Lai (Baylor University)
As a composer of symphonies, Anton Bruckner is usually considered a traditionalist in terms of his
adherence to the four-movement plan as established by the Viennese masters. On the other hand, he is
known for his expansion of the sonata principle, such as the introduction of a third theme group,
techniques of deformation, and the teleological treatment of musical discourse. In this paper, I examine
a particular location of Bruckner’s symphonic movements—the music surrounding the onset of the
recapitulation. This location has been of interest to scholars, and by focusing on the opening movements
of the Third, Sixth, and Eighth Symphonies, where false recapitulations play an important role, I will
broaden our understanding of Bruckner’s treatment of form and content in the sonata discourse. By
comparing the 1873 and 1889 versions of the Third Symphony, as well as the 1887 and 1890 versions of
the Eighth Symphony, I will show that the false recapitulations not only produce the effect of a return
and postpone the onset of the true recapitulation, but also contribute to a projection of the sonata
structure as a bipartite design rather than a tripartite division, as Bruckner himself understood it through
his studies of treatises by Ernst Friedrich Richter and Johann Christian Lobe. In addition to the false
recapitulation, Bruckner relies on another technique—“enclosure”—to fuse the development and
recapitulation into one single formal space through manipulation of thematic ordering. The last part of
the paper will explore this technique by means of analyses of the Fifth and Ninth Symphonies.
Friday 20 June
Tchaikovskian Monumentality: Emergence and Narrative Shift in the
Third Movement of the Sixth Symphony
Joseph Kraus (Florida State University)
While Tchaikovsky wrote several specifically commemorative compositions (such as The Year 1812), the
concept of musical monumentality also plays a major role in his most famous march, the third
movement of the Sixth Symphony (1893). I intend to show that the Scherzo-March from the Sixth is
nothing less than Tchaikovsky’s attempt to monumentalize the genre of the march itself. To begin I will
address notions of monumentality in nineteenth-century musical culture (drawing on recent work by
Alexander Rehding [2009]), then refer to Tchaikovsky’s previous essays in musical monumentality, finally
focusing on the March from the Pathétique and its unique narrative structure.
I submit that the opposition of scherzo and march topics in the Pathétique movement follows
Almén’s (2008) plot archetype for the comedy in its first formal rotation, displaying a discursive strategy
of emergence, where the march topic as transgressor slowly and steadily supplants the scherzo as the
primary musical material. An important aspect of this strategy involves a series of five “prospective cues”
(Hatten, 2006) that call forth the march with greater and greater intensity. When this strategy of
emergence continues in the second rotation, however, unchecked growth leads to exaggeration, causing
a narrative shift from comedy to irony as the march “overdevelops” into a parody of itself. I will first
analyze the scherzo and march agencies themselves, then the musical details that support the
emergence of the march in the first rotation. Finally, I will address how the shift to irony in the second
rotation is accomplished.
SESSION 29: Mahler
Whose Nietzsche? Mahler and Strauss’s Treatment of Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Leah Batstone (McGill University)
In 1896, both Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss completed works influenced by Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke
Zarathustra: Mahler’s Third Symphony and Strauss’s symphonic tone poem of the same name. The fact
that Mahler and Strauss are often discussed in terms of their contrasting aesthetics begs, therefore, a
closer examination of their interpretations of Nietzsche. Mahler’s engagement with Nietzsche reflects
particular interest in perspectivism and the frenzied Dionysian re-affirmation of man’s connection to one
another (McGrath). Strauss, by contrast, was primarily drawn to the philosopher’s rejection of
Schopenhauerian pessimism, strong anti-Democratic leanings, and the importance of individual striving
(Youmans). Their musical realizations of Zarathustra reflect two very different Nietzsches. Mahler’s
selection of the Zarathustra text “Oh Mensch, Gib Acht!” and its placement in the middle of what is
arguably his most Dionysian symphony reflects a concern for and connection to fellow man. Meanwhile,
Strauss’s tone poem is much more preoccupied with individualism; the musical structure of the work
itself illustrating a narrative of individualist striving and the Nietzschean concept of the “Eternal
Recurrence.” These works reveal divergent interpretations of the philosopher in a decade when
Nietzsche reception was at its most varied (Aschheim). Examination of their symphonic structure,
employment of Zarathustra texts, and personal correspondence regarding Nietzsche with each other and
others, reveal Mahler and Strauss as proponents of different receptions of the philosopher’s work. What
my paper provides is a study of music’s embodiment of not only the multi-faceted Nietzsche, but the
philosophical reception of a particular age.
Friday 20 June
Nature and the Ewig: Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde
Amanda Hsieh (University of Toronto)
The symphonies of Gustav Mahler are inextricably tied to late Romantic ideas of Nature. Yet while
musicologists have concentrated especially on philosophical views of Nature in Mahler’s Third Symphony
(Solvik, 2011; Franklin, 1991), few have examined the example of Das Lied von der Erde. Perhaps because
of the predominance of Orientalist discourses surrounding the work, its obvious resonance with the topic
of nature has been overlooked.
In the work’s final movement, the quasi-androgynous voice’s “ewig” seems to evoke the selfcontained world of Schopenhauer’s Will, conflating nature with the divine. However, Mahler’s constant
undermining of nature’s musical and poetic tropes—his “unnaturalness”—suggests that Das Lied focuses
not on the sublimity of an eternal mother nature but a mourning over a “broken pastoral.” (Peattie,
2002) Indeed, Mahler’s nature is one occupied by the bourgeoisie, with its hills turned into tennis courts
and its Alpine Mountains framed by postcards and trains’ windows.
My paper suggests that, alongside its affinity with German Romantic philosophies, Das Lied
embodies a “naturalist counterculture” specifically reflecting the ideas of Gustav Fechner and Mahler’s
close friend Siegfried Lipiner. (Keller, 2011) Their holistic and panpsychist worldview connects preEnlightenment religious mysticism and fin-de-siècle natural sciences, destabilising the Romantic
idealization of Nature. Das Lied can therefore be heard, with dark ecological overtones, as Mahler’s
critique of modern society’s treatment of Nature.
SESSION 30: Jewish Identity
“Music by Enemy Composers”: Exploring the Politics of
Mahler Reception in Early Twentieth-Century England
Hilary Donaldson (University of Toronto)
This paper examines the identity politics of Mahler reception in England in the first half of the twentieth
century. English audiences and critics were hostile to the programming of Mahler’s music in the decades
following his death, arguably more hostile than were audiences in other cultural contexts. I contend that
politically charged identities ascribed to Mahler in the prewar and wartime era contributed to the
reticence of the English public to accept his works into the canon of concert performance. This
perception included ascriptions of a marginalized identity on the one hand—that is, his position as a Jew
against the backdrop of Anglo-Jewry in the early twentieth century—and the impulse to censor his music
because of his supposed “Germanness” on the other. These political identities are both in tension with
one another generally, and problematic when ascribed to Mahler in particular. I probe these conflicting
signifiers by examining contemporary concert reviews, the Proms and the wartime programming
position of the BBC, and by tracing the trope, in English popular media, of the outsider Jew. While it is
not my intention to suggest that politics of identity were the sole factor in Mahler’s belated acceptance
in England, I argue that an examination of these issues can offer a sharpened understanding of the
reaction to Mahler’s music during a critical period in both English and Anglo-Jewish cultural history, and
contribute to the ongoing “disentangl[ing of] the historical Mahler from the massive overlay of
posthumous reception” (Botstein, 2002).
Friday 20 June
Eduard Hanslick and the German Liberal Quid Pro Quo
David Brodbeck (University of California, Irvine)
In 1869 Richard Wagner republished under his own name the essay Jewry in Music, first published in
1850 under the pseudonym “K. Freigedank.” Whereas Giacomo Meyerbeer and Felix Mendelssohn had
been the original objects of Wagner’s infamous rant against the Jews, now, with the inclusion of a
lengthy afterword, it was Eduard Hanslick who stood squarely in the composer’s sights. By “outing” his
critical bête noire as a Jew, Wagner sought to marginalize him by placing him alongside the equally
“discredited” Meyerbeer and Mendelssohn.
Hanslick deplored Wagner’s bigoted sentiments but overtly denied that he was a Jew, despite his
matrilineal Jewish descent. A key to understanding this denial is found in a political essay from two
decades earlier. In “On religious difference” (1848), Hanslick affirms an idea that was widely accepted
within the rising liberal middle class to which he belonged, what David Sorkin has described as a quid pro
quo: Jews could become Germans but only by giving up their distinctive Jewish ways, in effect, by ceasing
to be Jews at all. In this view, it was only by attaining Bildung, the formation of the mind, body, and soul
in harmonious ways, that the Jews might be integrated into German society. I argue that Hanslick’s
account speaks forcefully to his honest self-perception and identity, not as Jew, but as a liberal and a
German (which for him meant pretty much the same thing). This was, of course, precisely what Wagner
and his racist, antisemitic followers could never accept.