Interdisciplinary Studies in Musicology, 2013

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    ‘Looking out for the Horizon’. The music of Gustav Mahler in the light of the theory of the aesthetic of reception by Hans Robert Jauss
    (Katedra Muzykologii, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PTPN, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 2013) Mika, Bogumiła
    The theory of the aesthetic of reception proposed by Jauss in the fi eld of literature can be applied to research into the reception of the music of Gustav Mahler. In creating his symphonies ‘with every means of accessible technique’, the composer achieved what might be described as a reinterpretation of the conception of selected genres. In this way he disturbed the traditional ‘horizon of expectations’ of the potential audience, and signifi cantly distanced himself from it. The most important consequence of this was the lack of understanding of his music by a section of his contemporary audience. Mahler justifi ed the rightness of his own creative intuition with the famous sentence ‘my time will come’. In her article the author presents the fundamental theses of Jauss’s aesthetic of reception relating to his understanding of the ‘horizon of expectations’. She also indicates the manner in which Mahler distanced himself from that ‘horizon’, and how in individual symphonies he contributed to the expansion and reinterpretation of conceptions of genres which had previously been based on knowledge shared by the composer and the listener.
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    Slash. Uri Caine’s Mahler
    (Katedra Muzykologii, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PTPN, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 2013) Poprawa, Adam
    In recent years, artistic projects combining a wide array of musical styles, such as jazz interpretations of classical music or orchestral arrangements of rock songs, have enjoyed considerable popularity. As their authors were focused mainly on sales profi ts, the artistic value of their works was often highly disputable. Nevertheless, some outstanding achievements in that fi eld have also been made, among them reinterpretations of classical repertoire – Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Schumann, and, above all, Mahler – by American pianist Uri Caine. He recorded several CDs containing new versions of Mahler’s entire works or their excerpts. Sometimes Caine’s music moves far away from the originals, though such artistic experiments are always well-grounded and aesthetically convincing. Caine’s reinterpretations of Mahler have also some (auto)biographical overtones.
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    Liszt and Mahler in the postmodern fi lmic visions of Ken Russell
    (Katedra Muzykologii, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PTPN, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 2013) Golianek, Ryszard Daniel
    The British fi lm and television director Ken Russell is esteemed principally for creating fi lmic biographies of composers of classical music. In the 70s, he shot his most original fi lms on musical subjects: fi ctionalised, highly individual composer biographies of Mahler (Mahler) and Liszt (Lisztomania), which are the subject of the article. Neither of the fi lms is in the least a realistic documentary biography, since Russell’s principal intention was to place historical biographical facts in cultural contexts that were diff erent from the times in which Mahler and Liszt lived and worked. This gave rise to a characteristically postmodern collision of diff erent narrative and expressive categories. Russell’s pictures remain quite specifi c commercial works, exceptional tragifarces, in which the depiction of serious problems is at once accompanied by their subjection to grotesque deformation and the demonstration of their absurdities or denaturalisation. The approach proposed by this British director, in which serious issues are accompanied by elements of triteness, is a hallmark of his style. The director’s musical interests are refl ected by the fundamental role of music in the structure of his cinematographic works. The choice of musical works also denotes a kind of aesthetic choice on the director’s part, especially when the composers’ biography comes into play.
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    Józef Wieniawski – Ferenc Liszt. Concert etude examined from the perspective of the genre
    (Katedra Muzykologii, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PTPN, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 2013) Tatarska, Janina
    The cycle 24 Etudes in All Major and Minor Keys op. 44 by Józef Wieniawski (1837-1912) demonstrates the essential unity of the virtuoso and the composer in a dynamic process of transforming the genre. This played an important part in providing innovative solutions not only in relation to piano-playing, but also in its signifi cant infl uence on the development of texture, diversifi cation of the instrumental sound and the expansion of means of musical expression in nineteenth-century piano music. Wieniawski, following Transcendental etudes or Concert etudes by Liszt, whose pupil he was in Weimar, blurs the boundaries between improvisation and composition; he draws attention to the unique nature of interpretation, its singularity and the specifi city of the moment in time when the work is performed. Continuing the tradition of the grand cyclic form as a special kind of universum, he implements the concept of diversity in unity. The 24 characteristic miniatures reveal contextual links, intra-musical relationships, and the quest for individual solutions. This problematic concerns issues such as symbolic references, which lead one to an extensive catalogue of expressive qualities.
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    Gaetano Donizetti by Franz Liszt, the piano in the service of the opera
    (Katedra Muzykologii, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PTPN, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 2013) Krzywoszyński, Przemysław
    The aim of the paper is to analyze Franz Liszt`s piano interpretations that constitute excellent operatic transcriptions and reminiscences from the operas of Gaetano Donizetti. There are seven piano works based on six of Donizetti’s operas, among them bar-for-bar transcriptions of particular fragments as well as masterly syntheses of many musical themes. We try to argue that Donizetti was an inspiration for Liszt and that the Hungarian composer was not only an eminent connoisseur and admirer of bel canto, but also made an important contribution to the rediscovery of Italian opera. These transcriptions are an excellent example of a sincere tribute from one great composer to another; they highlight some of the treasures among Donizetti’s compositions, as well as the talent of the author of the transcriptions.
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    Liszt and the issue of so called Gypsy music
    (Katedra Muzykologii, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PTPN, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 2013) Piotrowska, Anna G.
    The article attempts to shed light on Liszt’s connections with so called Gypsy music, with particular emphasis on the sources and manifestations of the composer’s interest in the subject. The paper also shows the eff ects of Liszt’s thought on his academic successors. Liszt’s fascination with Gypsy music and culture is discussed by outlining his childhood memories as well as indicating numerous personal contacts he had with renowned Gypsy musicians. The author of the paper also links Liszt’s enchantment with Gypsy culture with his readiness to identify his travelling virtuoso status with that of a Gypsy-wanderer. Special attention in the article is put on Liszt’s book Des Bohémiens et de leur musique en Hongrie (1859). The author of the article claims that Liszt’s cosmopolitanism may be a key factor while explaining the composer’s predilection to Gypsy culture and music. While focusing on the reception of Liszt’s views on so called Gypsy music by the posterity Bartók’s interpretation of Liszt’s ideas is reminded. Discussed are also their repercussions in the second half of the twentieth century and early twenty fi rst century.
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    Liszt’s experiments with literature
    (Katedra Muzykologii, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PTPN, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 2013) Gamrat, Małgorzata
    Liszt’s aspiration to create his own musical language and to fi nd new tools of musical expression was unusually strong almost from the very beginning of his artistic career. Not only did the artist gladly spend his time among writers and read numerous texts, but he also turned to the technical and expressive means originating in literature. Among the most important attempts to work out new musical means on the basis of literary devices we may list: a strong emphasis on the sound factor, formal freedom and mixing of genres, composing a musical cycle on the basis of a poetic one (a narrative whole, leitmotifs), appealing to emotions by means of the appropriate selection of an oeuvre’s parameters, in particular articulation and dynamics, poetic quotations preceding the score, transposition of literary genres into the fi eld of music, or synthesis of poetry and music in songs, symphony choruses, and piano transcriptions of songs. Album d’un voyageur is an excellent example of Liszt’s borrowings from literature and a very individual cycle with literary value. It is a story of a voyage across a small part of Europe in search of self-understanding; it is also a history of rebellion and the doubts which come as its consequence, as well as fi nding peace through contact with nature and through searching for God. Liszt created here an unusual oeuvre that combines poetic images and sounds. In 1884 Liszt declared that the most perfect form of synthesis of poetry and music is transcription of songs. It is here that music interprets poetry with its own means, which are often invented for the purposes of this synthesis. On the basis of the transcription of the song Ich liebe dich from 1860 we may observe how music becomes a language capable of imitating the intonation of the human voice, expressing emotions and, symbolically, relying on a programme, also expressing ideas.
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    Liszt and the French literary avant-garde of the 1830s
    (Katedra Muzykologii, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PTPN, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 2013) Gamrat, Małgorzata
    In France the 1820s and 1830s brought about enormous changes in the perception of literature and art as a whole. Young poets, encouraged by the success and novelty of Méditations poétiques by Alphonse de Lamartine, started seeking new possibilities of expression and ways of breaking with the several-centuries-old tradition. They met with a strong protest from conservative milieu, especially those linked to Académie française, and this made them fi ght for a new paradigm in literature. They eagerly experimented with language as sound (Lamartine, Sainte-Beuve) and graphic (Nodier) matter. They published their texts in the press (Le Globe) and presented them during meetings in artistic salons, which functioned as a kind of laboratory. Thanks to the support of Charles Nodier they could publish their poems in the best publishing houses, which largely contributed to their success. The fi nal victory of the romantics was the premiere of Hernani by Victor Hugo in February 1830. Franz Liszt, who came to Paris in 1823, was an active participant in the artistic and intellectual life there. Moreover, he was also a friend of many prominent artists of the epoch, which can be seen in his letters, writings, and piano music from the early 1830s. A particular example of the relationship between the composer’s music and literary avant-garde is the piece Harmonies poétiques et religieuses of 1835. We fi nd there the domination of the sound element, formal freedom, the intertwining of poetical techniques, experiments with structure, and a strong stress on the word aspect of the oeuvre, for example through very precise notation of tempo markings.
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    A Polish saint. Historical-national themes in Franz Liszt’s oratorio ‘St Stanislaus’
    (Katedra Muzykologii, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PTPN, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 2013) Golianek, Ryszard Daniel
    Saint Stanislaus, a Polish bishop murdered in 1079 by King Boleslaus the Bold, is the title character of Franz Liszt’s oratorio St Stanislaus. The libretto of St Stanislaus has several authors – the fi rst author was the Cracow man of letters and folklore scholar Lucjan Siemieński, whom Liszt asked to write a text for his oratorio. The libretto, completed in 1869, was translated by Peter Cornelius, who made certain changes to the order of events. Not until 1874 did Liszt set about writing the music for his oratorio in earnest, and that was when he asked Cornelius to revise the libretto. The author’s premature death thwarted that intention, and so Liszt was forced to seek other authors. The version prepared several years later by Karl Erdmann Edler fi nally met the composer’s expectations. In its fi nal version, the libretto comprises four scenes, which form a logical sequence of events and at the same time serve to emphasise Stanislaus’ spiritual strength and the causative power of his actions. Liszt did not succeed in setting the whole text of the libretto; the extant material covers only scenes 1 and 4. The musical style of St Stanislaus indicates that the composer drew on various types of musical inspiration and technique. Hence the work is characterised by a certain heterogeneity – a synthetic character that encapsulates a nineteenth-century aesthetics. Nevertheless, the oratorio is undoubtedly one of the most distinctive manifestations of Liszt’s interest in Polish subjects. The presence of quotations from the Polish songs ‘Boże, coś Polskę’ and ‘Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła’ lends the work a distinct national colouring and evokes a mood of solemnity and religious contemplation, as well as the aura of triumph, victory and domination. Such an attitude may be symptomatic of the typically nineteenth-century perception of Poland as a tormented nation deprived of its statehood, which thanks to its valour and resilience will ultimately regain its independence.
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    Theatrical drama and Franciscan simplicity in oratorios by Ferenc Liszt
    (Katedra Muzykologii, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PTPN, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 2013) Subel, Joanna
    The works of Ferenc Liszt are both infl uenced by the romantic mood and various opposing trends of the church music of his era. In his oratorios Die Legende von der heiligen Elisabeth and Christus, as well as in the unfi nished St Stanislaus, one may discern such features as drama, mysticism, universalism, and national elements. In these vocal-instrumental works the composer makes use of two languages, German and Latin, as well as of various types of the archaisms such as quotations from Gregorian melodies. In Liszt’s compositions, choral monodies become ‘motifs’ – the recurring themes which appear frequently and in a variety of versions. Dramatic expression and lyricism are particularly dominant in St Elisabeth. The Christus oratorio, which resembles a misterium, because of the absence of a libretto and the use of liturgical texts, is characterised by the abundance of harmonic solutions. The oratorios reveal both the composer’s uncommon piety and his striving to reform the church music of his times.
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    Between opera and the Lied – ‘Tre sonetti di Petrarca’ by Franz Liszt
    (Katedra Muzykologii, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PTPN, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 2013) Wojtczak, Ziemowit
    Franz Liszt composed his songs in the time when Europe was at the peak of the development of the Romantic form – das Lied. However, it seems that not all of Liszt’s songs should be discussed from this perspective, pointing at least at signifi cant infl uences of the 19th century Italian opera. The second version of a set of Tre sonetti di Petrarca refl ects not only some changes in the composer’s technique or style, but above all, constitutes an evidence of certain tendencies in perceiving vocal technique and the development of Italian and European vocal aesthetics. It might be assumed that, even though the music construction of the second version of the Sonnets – particularly in the layer of melody of the vocal part – brings to mind the Italian operatic aria in its almost purest form, the deeply emotional musical interpretation of Petrarch’s most beautiful love lyrics seems to strongly derive from the already shaped German Romantic song. On the whole, the masterpiece is a bit eclectic, which in the light of Liszt’s reference to the past (belcanto form of an Italian aria, Renaissance lyrics) constitutes – as it could be called today – the author’s postmodern reinterpretation.
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    ‘Petrarch's Sonnets’ by Liszt
    (Katedra Muzykologii, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PTPN, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 2013) Nowik, Wojciech
    The article ‘Petrarch’s Sonnets’ by Liszt revolves around the phenomenon of transformation, which dominated F. Liszt’s works. His impressive composing achievements made Liszt an unequalled author of all types of elaborations, paraphrases, adaptations, transcripts of both his own and other composer’s works, representing various styles and epochs. What is more, the transformation techniques employed by Liszt, diff erent from the commonly applied evolutionary ones, coupled with extended tonality and harmony as well as new textures, resulted in an extremely broad scale of expression and subtly diverse expressive eff ects. Three of Petrarch’s Sonnets from the Rerum vulgarium fragmenta collection are dedicated to Laura and represent this article’s major area of interest. The Hungarian composer worked on them three times: twice he composed them as songs and once as a piano triptych included in the Années de Pèlerinage. Dèuxieme Année: Italie series. His interpretation of the Sonnets, as well as the remaining works in the series, was inspired by the art of the old Italian masters married with the Romantic idea of correspondence des artes. While it is a part of artistic tradition to turn poetic works into songs (resulting in the vocal lyrics so typical of Romanticism), adding a musical dimension to a sonnet, a piece of poetry with a specifi c organisation of its content, a unique form and verse discipline, seems risky. It is extremely diffi cult to successfully transfer equivalent themes and structures onto a diff erent medium i.e. piano music. By turning to Petrarch’s Sonnets, Liszt created congenial palimpsests, refl ecting the syntactical and formal rudiments of the verse but, fi rst and foremost, managing to portray Laura in new incarnations, subtly changing in the eternal search for the ideal of femininity, the so-called “Ewig-weibliche”. Especially in the piano version, Liszt seems to have accomplished the esoteric subtlety of the “Sprache über Sprache” available to and understood solely by poets and those in the know.
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    From the reprise overture to Liszt’s B minor Sonata. Romantic creations in an eighteenth century formal ‘corset’?
    (Katedra Muzykologii, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PTPN, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 2013) Ryszka-Komarnicka, Anna
    The present paper summarises the general affi nities that link the great romantic piano fantasies (Schubert’s Op. 15, Schumann’s Op. 17, Chopin’s Op. 49 and Liszt’s B minor Sonata) by means of the presence of dual structures of various kinds, including the tonal, formal and an extramusical, interpretational ‘false bottom’, the latest often of autobiographical nature. One of the most prominent dual structures present in all the above mentioned fantasies is a so-called ‘duble-function form’ (apart from far-reaching individualism in detailed solutions) which have no roots in the tradition of keyboard fantasia written by predecessors. As possible source of inspiration some oeuvres of Beethoven are often evoked. However, the paper juxtaposes them with the tradition of the so-called reprise-overture, a particular kind of sonata form (called also ‘interpolated sonata form’ as its key element consists in an intrusion of slow movement within the course of sonata form) that emerged in the circles of Italian 18th century opera, widespread often in conjunction with the scope to link an operatic sinfonia with the rest of the drama. Examples by Salieri, Mozart and Haydn are briefl y analyzed to show the variety of solutions and posing the hypothesis that reprise overture might be (as transferred well into the 19th century by many operatic composers and ‘kleine Meisters’ that used it in purely instrumental pieces) one of the possible – and unexpected – roots of the formal design of the greatest oeuvres in piano literature ever composed.
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    The ‘Faust’ or ’Lucifer’ Sonata? On Liszt’s idea of programme music as exemplifi ed by his Piano Sonata in B minor
    (Katedra Muzykologii, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PTPN, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, 2013) Polony, Leszek
    The musicological tradition places Liszt’s Sonata in B minor within the sphere of compositions inspired by the Faustian myth. Its musical material, its structure and its narrative exhibit certain similarities to the ‘Faust’ Symphony. Yet there has appeared a diff erent and, one may say, a rival interpretation of Sonata in B minor. What is more, it is well-documented from both a musical and a historical point of view. It has been presented by Hungarian pianist and musicologist Tibor Szász. He proposes the thesis that the Sonata in B minor has been in fact inspired by Milton’s Paradise Lost, with its three protagonists: Adam, Satan and Christ. He fi nds their illustrations and even some key elements of the plot in the Sonata’s narrative. But yet Milton’s Paradise Lost and Goethe’s Faust are both stories of the Fall and Salvation, of the cosmic struggle between good and evil. The triads of their protagonists – Adam and Eve, Satan, and Christ; Faust, Mephisto and Gretchen – are homological. Thus both interpretations of the Sonata, the Goethean and the Miltonian, or, in other words, the Faustian and the Luciferian, are parallel and complementary rather than rival. It is also highly probable that both have had their impact on the genesis of the Sonata in B minor.
Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego