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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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Sunsets, Sunrises, and Decadent Oceanics

Sunsets, Sunrises, and Decadent Oceanics

(p.53) Chapter 3 Sunsets, Sunrises, and Decadent Oceanics
Reclaiming Late-Romantic Music

Peter Franklin

University of California Press

Liszt's Mountain Symphony is considered as a key example of his new form in the mid-nineteenth century, the “symphonic poem” accompanied by a literary “program.” It mediates, for a lay public, the experience of musical “greatness” as a manifestation of conflicting voices: that of mankind on the one hand and nature on the other. A consideration of the cultural politics of variously admitting and denying “programmaticism” and of the administering of idealist aesthetics as a dominant discourse of music criticism leads to a consideration of Debussy's music of nature and the sea and a discussion of Sibelius as a symphonist whose investment in idealism was in constant tension with his ability to speak directly to a mass audience.

Keywords:   Liszt, symphonic poem, programmaticism, musical greatness, nature, Debussy, Sibelius

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