By Peter Franklin
Why are one of the most cherished and often played works of the late-romantic period—Mahler, Delius, Debussy, Sibelius, Puccini—regarded by means of many critics as probably now not fairly of the 1st rank? Why has modernist discourse persisted to model those works as overly sentimental and emotionally self-indulgent? Peter Franklin takes a detailed and even-handed examine how and why late-romantic symphonies and operas suggested a posh path among modernism and mass tradition within the interval best as much as the second one global battle. The style’s carrying on with reputation and its domination of the movie track idiom (via paintings through composers comparable to Max Steiner, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and their successors) convey late-romantic tune to hundreds of thousands of listeners who've by no means set foot in a live performance corridor. Reclaiming Late-Romantic tune sheds new mild on those usually unfairly disparaged works and explores the historic size in their carrying on with position within the modern sound global.
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Extra info for Reclaiming Late-Romantic Music: Singing Devils and Distant Sounds (Ernest Bloch Lectures)
32 We are pitched into the domain of the singing devil. As was Joseph Berglinger, the closing phase of whose fate must, however, be carefully noted. Setting the Scene | 13 He is disillusioned by the strictures of the musical technique that he has to master, longing, like some precocious Debussy, to access more immediately the mysterious realms of musical affect. In the end he succeeds most fully by expressing his disillusionment musically in an Easter oratorio filled with the sounds of suffering.
I never went back. .
As in Wackenroder, the experience of art, specifically music, remains numinous, revelatory, and idealized, while its practice is materialized and problematized. ”38 Later that year Mahler wrote in a similar vein after conducting his First Symphony: “That is— what it is like while I am conducting! Afterwards it is all instantly blotted out (otherwise one just could not go on living). ”39 One might put it that it was part of Mahler’s birthright as a bourgeois intellectual artist—whose aspiration to “soar” had been heightened, “maximalized” even, by his status as a Jew in Catholic Habsburg Vienna—to take art way too seriously: at least by the lights of those still powerful and ostensibly “philistine” aristocrats he would have encountered in the corridors of power as Director of the Imperial and Royal Court Opera.