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«Seiner Leidenschaften Meister sein» - «In control of the passions»

Zur Reflexion des Gefühls im Musikdenken - Emotion as reflected in musical thinking

Joachim Noller

Was heißt es, wenn Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach vom ausführenden Musiker fordert, er müsse selbst gerührt sein, bevor er seine Zuhörer in Rührung versetzen könne? Der Autor schreibt über die Idee der Emotion, über ihre Rolle im Szenario sogenannter Musikanschauung (von ca. 1750 bis heute). Von Interesse ist dabei weniger die Gefühlshaltigkeit der Musik selbst, als vielmehr die Art, wie das Musikdenken dieselbe be- und verhandelt; nicht Emotionen in tatsächlicher Wirkung, sondern wie sie, als Denkfigur, in musikalischen Zusammenhängen theoretisch bewältigt werden.
What does it mean when Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach demands that a performing musician must himself be moved before he can move his listeners? The author writes about the idea of emotions and their role in the scenario of what is called music appreciation (from about 1750 till the present day). His focus is not primarily on the emotional content of music as such, but rather the way in which it is treated in thinking about music; not on the actual impact of emotions, but the way in which they have been thought about in a musical context, as concepts around which a theoretical discourse crystallizes.
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X Paths into the Modern era: The crisis of singing

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Paths into the Modern Era The Crisis of Singing

The nineteenth century is very often presented as that of supercharged emotion, the twentieth as that of the denial of emotion. In reality these blanket generalizations need to be approached in a more differentiated way: emotional matter is successfully conveyed in both periods, but is associated with, that is, exemplified or positioned as a paradigm in different expressive forms. If emotions are seen in the Classical-Romantic era, i.e., from the mid-eighteenth to early twentieth centuries, above all as the articulation of the psychic reality of a subjective human individual, such ideas seem to be embodied in the paradigm of human singing, and where this articulation of the psyche is transferred to instruments, it is instruments played in a "singing" manner, cantabile. At the close of the epoch it is Gustav Mahler who with matchless perfection provides a summing-up of such songfulness in his orchestral songs and symphonies in which the character of song is all-pervasive. Das Lied von der Erde for tenor and contralto soloists and orchestra, written in 1908-09, in which the relationship between "happiness and unhappiness, hope and disappointment, bliss and damnation, life and death"546 is the matter of debate in the music, where lamentation and grief are proclaimed, but also the will to overcome them in a cathartic process, is exemplary in this respect.

Of course, there is one art form, opera, in which singing is the...

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