Synopses & Reviews
When Nietzsche dubbed Richard Wagner "the most enthusiastic mimomaniac" ever to exist, he was objecting to a hollowness he felt in the music, a crowding out of any true dramatic impulse by extravagant poses and constant nervous movements. Mary Ann Smart suspects that Nietzsche may have seen and heard more than he realized. In Mimomania
she takes his accusation as an invitation to listen to Wagner's musicand#151;and that of several of his near-contemporariesand#151;for the way it serves to intensify the visible and the enacted. As Smart demonstrates, this productive fusion of music and movement often arises when music forsakes the autonomy so prized by the Romantics to function mimetically, underlining the sighs of a Bellini heroine, for instance, or the authoritarian footsteps of a Verdi baritone. Mimomania
tracks such effects through readings of operas by Auber, Bellini, Meyerbeer, Verdi, and Wagner.
Listening for gestural music, we find resemblance in unexpected places: between the overwrought scenes of supplication in French melodrama of the 1820s and a cluster of late Verdi arias that end with the soprano falling to her knees, or between the mute heroine of Auberand#8217;s La Muette de Portici and the solemn, almost theological pantomimic tableaux Wagner builds around characters such as Sieglinde or Kundry. Mimomania shows how attention to gesture suggests a new approach to the representation of gender in this repertoire, replacing aural analogies for voyeurism and objectification with a more specifically musical sense of how music can surround, propel, and animate the body on stage.
"Head's contribution is most welcome . . . for the light that it sheds on a cultural field that was every bit as significant as literature and art."
and#8220;[A] tautly constructed and thought-provoking new study.and#8221;
and#8220;Exceptionally interesting and full of insights.and#8221;
and#8220;[A] formidably learned and wittily expressed book.and#8221;
and#8220;Rich tapestry of cultural history.and#8221;
and#8220;As an explanation of the tenets of modern musicand#8217;s reception . . . Bergerand#8217;s thesis may be accepted as hard music historical fact.and#8221;
"A significant book, which usefully applies gender studies to a previously neglected period of music history."
"Well-written and engaging . . . a significant contribution to the musicological discourse on gender."
andldquo;A work filled with wisdom about the andldquo;strangeness of the pastandrdquo; . . . [a] splendid book.andrdquo;
This pathbreaking study of Italian stage works reconsiders a crucial period of music history: the late eighteenth century through the early nineteenth century. In her interdisciplinary examination of the statue animated by music, Ellen Lockhart deftly shows how Enlightenment ideas influenced Italian theater and music and vice versa. As Lockhart concludes, the animated statue became a fundamental figure within aesthetic theory and musical practice during the years spanning 1770 1830. Animation, Plasticity, and Music in Italy, 1770 1830 begins with an exploration of a repertoire of Italian ballets, melodramas, and operas from around 1800, then traces and connects a set of core ideas between science, philosophy, theories of language, itinerant performance traditions, the epistemology of sensing, and music criticism."
This path-breaking study of stage works in Italian musical performances reconsiders a crucial period of music history. Through an interdisciplinary examination of the statue animated by music, Ellen Lockhart deftly shows how Enlightenment ideas influenced Italian theater and music, and vice versa. As Lockhart reveals, the animated statue became a fundamental figure within aesthetic theory and musical practice during the years spanning 1770-1830. Taking as its point of departure a repertoire of Italian ballets, melodramas, and operas from this period, Animation, Plasticity, and Music in Italy traces its core ideas between science, philosophy, theories of language, itinerant performance traditions, the epistemology of sensing, and music criticism.
In the German states in the late eighteenth century, women flourished as musical performers and composers, their achievements measuring the progress of culture and society from barbarism to civilization. Female excellence, and related feminocentric values, were celebrated by forward-looking critics who argued for music as a fine art, a component of modern, polite, and commercial culture, rather than a symbol of institutional power. In the eyes of such critics, femininityand#151;a newly emerging and primarily bourgeois idealand#151;linked women and music under the valorized signs of refinement, sensibility, virtue, patriotism, luxury, and, above all, beauty. This moment in musical history was eclipsed in the first decades of the nineteenth century, and ultimately erased from the music-historical record, by now familiar developments: the formation of musical canons, a musical history based on technical progress, the idea of masterworks, authorial autonomy, the musical sublime, and aggressively essentializing ideas about the relationship between sex, gender and art. In Sovereign Feminine, Matthew Head restores this earlier musical history and explores the role that women played in the development of classical music.
"In Sovereign Feminine
, Matthew Head presents a compelling model for how to consider the music authored by women. In doing so, he brings to light aspects of eighteenth-century music, ideology, and aesthetics that have been neglected by musicology's excessive emphasis on the Big Five: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven. An important book that takes gender studies in musicology to the next stage."and#151;Susan McClary, author of Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality
and#147;This subtle and empathetic exploration of German musical culture [brings] to life a world of feminine idealization where to compose, to write or to perform as a woman is to offer potential models of civilizing behavior. With refreshing honesty about his own changing attitudes, Head ably navigates the tightrope of this transitional era. His collection of finely-judged analyses will cause many a reader to reconsider assumptions of feminist scholarship.and#8221;and#151;Katharine Ellis, Stanley Hugh Badock Professor of Music, University of Bristol, UK
and#147;Through its exploration of womanand#8217;s role as the civilized and civilizing center of late 18th-century German music culture, this important book provokes and rewards in equal measure. Ranging from influential women composers to young ladies at the keyboard, this subtle and brilliant study argues for the positive status of the feminine, challenging narratives of female exclusion with the radiant concept of female sovereignty.and#8221;and#151;Annette Richards, author of The Free Fantasia and the Musical Picturesque
"Mimomania is a thoughtful meditation on the persistence and transformation of the musical mimicry of bodily gesture in nineteenth-century opera. Incorporating and reacting to feminist critique, film studies, and recent, new-wave opera studies, Smart shows that this ostensibly straightforward relation of music and action hides unexpected complexities. From these she rethinks important works from the period and indeed the relation of its two giants, Verdi and Wagner."and#151;Gary Tomlinson, author of Metaphysical Song: An Essay on Opera
"Mary Ann Smart's important and timely book documents--deftly and in rich musical detail--the ways that nineteenth-century operas reflect a character's emotive state in the music and in sometimes closely coordinated physical gestures. Opera lovers will delight in applying Smart's insights to yet other works: ones that they know, love, and sometimes puzzle over."and#151;Ralph P. Locke, Professor of Musicology, Eastman School of Music
"An outstanding contribution to the study of nineteenth-century opera. Its focus on the relationship between music and gesture provides a new perspective that yields a dazzling array of exciting insights. Not only musicologists, but also cultural historians, theatre historians, feminist theorists and anybody interested in the study of performance will benefit from reading this book. Opera enthusiasts will also enjoy Smart's sometimes irreverent, but always illuminating interpretations of both canonized works and less frequently performed titles."and#151;Emanuele Senici, University of Oxford
The tonadilla, a type of satiric musical skit popular on the public stages of Madrid during the late Enlightenment, has played a significant role in the history of music in Spain. This book, the first major study of the tonadilla in English, examines the musical, theatrical, and social worlds that the tonadilla brought together and traces the lasting influence this genre has had on the historiography of Spanish music. The tonadillas' careful constructions of musical populism provide a window onto the tensions among Enlightenment modernity, folkloric nationalism, and the politics of representation; their diverse, engaging, and cosmopolitan music is an invitation to reexamine tired old ideas of musical "Spanishness." Perhaps most radically of all, their satirical stance urges us to embrace the labile, paratextual nature of comic performance as central to the construction of history.
"There is far too much in this amazing book to describe in a blurb. Suffice it to say that Elisabeth Le Guin has immersed herself in the little-known world of the late eighteenth-century tonadilla and honors it by giving us a wonderfully rich picture of place, genre, and period that encompasses questions of comedy, song, historiography, nationalism, gender, the practicalities of performance, and the disadvantages of an overarching theory." and#151;Mary Hunter
, author ofand#160;The Culture of Opera Buffa in Mozart's Vienna
"This book attests to a true love for musical theatre. Elisabeth Le Guin achieves whatand#160;no modern scholar has so far: she makes the tonadillas hers. The Tonadilla inand#160;Performance offers a sound understanding of Spanish culture and a rare insightand#160;into this repertoire." and#151;Germand#225;n Labrador Land#243;pez de Azcona, Professor of Music at the Universidad Autand#243;noma de Madrid
In this erudite and elegantly composed argument, Karol Berger uses the works of Monteverdi, Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven to support two groundbreaking claims: first, that it was only in the later eighteenth century that music began to take the flow of time from the past to the future seriously; second, that this change in the structure of musical time was an aspect of a larger transformation in the way educated Europeans began to imagine and think about time with the onset of modernity, a part of a shift from the premodern Christian outlook to the modern post-Christian worldview. Until this historical moment, as Berger illustrates in his analysis of Bach's St. Matthew Passion, music was simply "in time." Its successive events unfolded one after another, but the distinction between past and future, earlier and later, was not central to the way the music was experienced and understood. But after the shift, as he finds in looking at Mozart's Don Giovanni, the experience of linear time is transformed into music's essential subject matter; the cycle of time unbends and becomes an arrow. Berger complements these musical case studies with a rich survey of the philosophical, theological, and literary trends influencing artists during this period.
"Karol Berger may have gone further than any other scholar before himand#151;and very successfully soand#151;in teasing out the historicity of music in a way that makes his discoveries convergent with the historicity of other media and art forms. In its argumentative brilliance, Berger's approach enhances our aesthetic pleasure in listening to music."and#151;Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Albert Guand#233;rard Professor in Literature, Stanford University
"This is a major work by a major scholar. Berger is unique; there is something uncanny about his powers of synthesis and his quality of insight. No one else can relate, as he does, the closest technical analysis of music to the broadest questions of philosophy."and#151;Richard Taruskin, author of The Oxford History of Western Music
"This book is an event. The musical styles of Bach and Mozart are admirably contrasted to illustrate an epochal shift in the cultural construction of time occurring around 1750. Berger combines careful musical analysis with grand perspectives on the plane of cultural theory and the history of ideas. The intellectual world has long been waiting for musicology to open up to the "cultural turn" that other disciplines of the humanities took long ago: here is a book which can serve as a model."and#151;Jan Assmann author of Die Zauberfland#246;te: Oper und Mysterium
About the Author
Mary Ann Smart is Associate Professor in the Music Department at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the editor of Siren Songs: Representations of Gender and Sexuality in Opera (2000) and coeditor of Reading Critics Reading: Opera and Ballet Criticism in France from the Revolution to 1848 (2001).
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
A Note on Editions and Translations
Introduction: Indispensable Ornaments
The Matter at Handand#151;and#147;A Horrible Stormand#8221;: Nationalist Historiography and the Tonadillasand#151;The Nature and Purpose of This Bookand#151;Kom/oide
1. An Evening at the Theater: An Imaginary Re/creation
The First Act (Which Here They Call and#147;Jornadaand#8221;)and#151;Sainete: El Simple Discretoand#151;Tonadilla: El Pintor y la Viejaand#151;La Niteti: Second Jornadaand#151;Sainete (Entremand#233;s): La Verdad Desnudaand#151;Tonadilla: La Avellanera y Dos Franceses, by Pablo Esteve
The Companiesand#151;Training in Actingand#151;Women in the Theaterand#151;Blas de Laserna, La Compositora (1777and#150;1778)and#151;Rehearsalsand#151;Players and Literacyand#151;Oral and Aural Learning and Actingand#151;Actor-Players and Musician-Playersand#151;The First Violin for Dances and Tonadillasand#151;The Music Masterand#151;The Copyistand#151;The Apuntador (and#147;Apunteand#8221;)and#151;Singing Styleand#151;Improvisationand#151;Pablo Esteve, La Desdicha de las Tonadillas (1782)
Three Italian Stylesand#151;The Mediterranean Roots of Galant Styleand#151;Coplas and Paired Phrasingand#151;Luis Misand#243;n, La Chinesca (1761)and#151;Blas de Laserna, La Cand#243;mica y la Operista (1783)and#151;The Italian and and#147;el Ytalianoand#8221;and#151;The Galant as the Unmarkedand#151;Training in Compositionand#151;The Seguidilla(s)and#151;Boleras in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitungand#151;Minguet e Yrol, Arte de Danzar a la Francesa (1758)and#151;Dancing the Seguidillasand#151;Seguidillas as Populist Symboland#151;Ramand#243;n de la Cruz, El Pueblo Quejoso (1765)and#151;Paradox of the Seguidillasand#151;Seguidillas in the Tonadillasand#151;Blas de Laserna, La Fuga de la Pulpillo (1784)and#151;Blas de Laserna, La Lecciand#243;n de Mand#250;sica y de Bolero (1803)
Intermedio: On the Stage of the Metropolis
Metropolitan Solipsismand#151;Enter la Mandingaand#151;The Manguindoyand#151;Historical Sketchand#151;Treacherous Mirrors: Symbols of an Unfinished Conquestand#151;The Spanish Rejection of Musical Mimesisand#151;Exit la Mandingaand#151;Cadence but Not Closure
Jand#225;caras, Jaques, and Social Historyand#151;Bandoleros and Early Andalucismoand#151;Majismo and Bandolerismoand#151;Marand#237;a Ladvenantand#151;Chinita (Gabriel Land#243;pez)and#151;Jovellanos Is Incensedand#151;Anonymous, El Guapo (Bocanegra) (ca. 1767)and#151;Resistance, Rebellion, Revolutionand#151;Anonymous, La Jand#225;cara (1767)and#151;Improvised Playing and Written Compositionand#151;Thirty Years Laterand#151;Blas de Laserna, Los Contrabandistas (between 1794 and 1803)and#151;Manuel Garcand#237;a, and#147;Yo Que Soy Contrabandistaand#8221; (1805)
5. Late Tonadillas
and#147;The Grand Tragedy: Historical Sketch, 1793and#150;1813and#151;Between the Acts: The Madrid Theaters, 1793and#150;1813and#151;History as Dramatic Materialand#151;General Features of Late Tonadillasand#151;Tonadilla Canonicityand#151; Blas de Laserna, El Ensayo (1805)and#151;Another Afternoon at the Theater: Teatro del Prand#237;ncipe, 25 August 1806and#151;Isidoro Mand#225;iquez and Antonia Pradoand#151;Manuel Quintana, Pelayo (1805)and#151;Ramand#243;n de la Cruz, El Triunfo del Interand#233;s (1777)and#151;Pablo del Moral, El Page Tonto (1799and#150;1809)
Fin de Fiesta: Las Mand#250;sicas
La Rabosoand#151;Blas de Laserna, Las Mand#250;sicas (1779)and#151;The Limits of Re/creation
Appendix. Longer Music Examples