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Reclaiming Late-Romantic MusicSinging Devils and Distant Sounds$
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Peter Franklin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520280397

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520280397.001.0001

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Pessimism, Ecstasy, and Distant Voices

Pessimism, Ecstasy, and Distant Voices

Listening to Late-Romanticism

Chapter:
(p.23) Chapter 2 Pessimism, Ecstasy, and Distant Voices
Source:
Reclaiming Late-Romantic Music
Author(s):

Peter Franklin

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520280397.003.0002

Wackenroder's tale “Joseph Berglinger” is used to model the cultural practice of Schumann and his circle, fashioning idealistic notions about Beethoven's Ninth Symphony while scorning bourgeois concert goers and their untutored figurative language of adulation. This separation of “elite” comprehension from social class and power proves to have helped generate creative energies that both commoditized and explored grand orchestral music as an inner, subjective experience. It also conditioned the “decadence” affected by the haughtily expressed idealism of some composers and their critics. Rachmaninoff and Delius are considered as exemplars of Seidl's “New Musical Lyric” style, caught between the cultural character of the symphony concert and the exploration of musical expression at its most refined.

Keywords:   Schumann, Beethoven, bourgeois concert goers, decadence, Rachmaninoff, Delius

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