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Fictional Cantatas

Fictional Cantatas

Douglas Cowling wrote (August 29, 2009):
If you get a chance, read the vastly entertaining article, "Imaginary Concerts: The music of fictional composers" in the Aug 31 issue of the New Yorker. The writer looks at fictional composers and their imaginary music in novels by such authors as Proust, Hoffmann and Balzac. Schumann was evidently a compulsive reader of Hoffmann's novels with their descriptions of fictional pieces of music.

Sometime we should take the Bach cantatas for which we have the librettos but not the music, and each write a fictional description of the non-existent music we "hear".

Ed Myskowski wrote (August 29, 2009):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Schumann was evidently a compulsive reader of Hoffmann's novels with their descriptions of fictional pieces of music. >
Are there any Schumann compositions which match up with the fictional descriptions?

DC:
< Sometime we should take the Bach cantatas for which we have the librettos but not the music, and each write a fictional description of the non-existent music we "hear". >
EM:
I would be happy to collaborate with Julian on any details appropriate to a *buffo* Satan. Any mentions of the Pope available?

Russell Telfer wrote (August 30, 2009):
[To Douglas Cowling] Nice one, Doug. (English colloquial expression.) I shall do just that.

New Yorker: NOTE to self. Find. Read. Pref by Aug 30th.

You missed out the wonderful Adrian Leverkuhn whose music (Romain Rolland suggested) would melt butter in the mouth.

Would it not be better, so much much better, to have the music for one of these much loved libretti provided by a respected modernist, Pousseur perhaps, Barraqué, Schwertzig, Harrison Worsthorne (Who he?) or perhaps another wunderkind from the School of Stockhausen? Yes, have the score in front of you, listen hard, and study the programme notes. I can imagine the beautiful 13-part polyphony, accompanied by obbligato glockenspiel, crumhorn and tin whistle. And you have the composer's own beautiful explanation of how the music intermeshes with the superb beauty of the text. You already love the text. You love the intention. You follow the score, taking it with you as you go up to the bathroom,

William Hoffman wrote (August 30, 2009):
[To Douglas Cowling] William Hoffman replies: Great idea. In fact, we are half way there: Many of the cantatas with texts only do have movements later parodied, as well as chorale tunes and settings. These give us a sense of the general affect. Then we have the guesstimates like BWV Anh. 14 for a 1725 sacred wedding which may have contributed as many as three contrafacted arias in the MBM, BWV 232, according to William Scheide. The most intriguing could be BWV Anh. 13 for the Royal Saxon Visit in 1738, which had progressive music in response to Scheibe, with no parodies but two numbers, the first and last, in 3/8 dance time, according to the poetic meter, text by Gottsched.

William Hoffman wrote (August 30, 2009):
Russell Telfer wrote:
< Would it not be better, so much much better, to have the music for one of these much loved libretti provided by a respected modernist, Pousseur perhaps, Barraqué, Schwertzig, Harrison Worsthorne (Who he?) or perhaps another wunderkind from the School of Stockhausen? Yes, have the score in front of you, listen hard, and study the programme notes. I can imagine the beautiful 13-part polyphony, accompanied by obbligato glockenspiel, crumhorn and tin whistle. And you have the composer's own beautiful explanation of how the music intermeshes with the superb beauty of the text. You already love the text. You love the intention. You follow the score, taking it with you as you go up to the bathroom. >
William Hoffman replies: We have this with Bach's St. Mark Passion in adaptations of the "lost" narrative by contemporary composers Volker Brautigam and Otto Buesing. And don't forget Mauricio Kagel's "Sankt Bach Passion."

Ed Myskowski wrote (August 30, 2009):
William Hoffman wrote:
< the first and last, in 3/8 dance time, according to the poetic meter, text by Gottsched. >
Among the many fine aspects of the Kuijken cantata series is the discussion of the relations between poetic and musical rhythm and rhyme.

Neil Mason wrote (August 30, 2009):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< If you get a chance, read the vastly entertaining article, "Imaginary Concerts: The music of fictional composers" in the Aug 31 issue of the New Yorker. The writer looks at fictional composers and their imaginary music in novels by such authors as Proust, Hoffmann and Balzac. Schumann was evidently a compulsive reader of Hoffmann's novels with their descriptions of fictional pieces of music. >
Alex Ross, the writer of this article, has a great blog on: www.therestisnoise.com

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (August 30, 2009):
[To Neil Mason] Yes, he recently filed a Freedom of Information Act brief against the FBI for the release of its file on Leonard Bernstein.

 

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Last update: żAugust 31, 2009 ż01:08:41