Boulez and Mallarme: A Study in Poetic Influence

Boulez and Mallarme: A Study in Poetic Influence

by Mary Breatnach
     
 

Mallarme died in 1898, but his centrality to the aesthetic thinking of the twentieth century is firmly established. Of this there exists no more striking affirmation than the association of his name with that of Boulez, a musician renowned for his commitment to the new. In the late 1950s, at a crucial point in his development, the composer chose the poet as his guide.… See more details below

Overview

Mallarme died in 1898, but his centrality to the aesthetic thinking of the twentieth century is firmly established. Of this there exists no more striking affirmation than the association of his name with that of Boulez, a musician renowned for his commitment to the new. In the late 1950s, at a crucial point in his development, the composer chose the poet as his guide. In this study, Mary Breatnach looks at a fascinating irony in Boulez's choice. Mallarme's work is shown to be a special kind of 'music', set against the art of sounds with which we are familiar, in part a result of his avowed intention to take back from that art an allusiveness and structural complexity which, he believed, belonged to poetry. The central chapter focuses on Pli selon pli, Boulez's 'portrait of Mallarme'. Arguing that the originality and significance of the piece are inseparable from the poetry and, more particularly, from the literary thinking which inspired it, Dr. Breatnach shows that knowledge of that background serves as a heuristic aid to an understanding of the very nature of the music. The book concludes by defining the special place occupied by Pli selon pli in musical and aesthetic history.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781859281208
Publisher:
Ashgate Publishing, Limited
Publication date:
02/01/1995
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.49(h) x 0.87(d)

Table of Contents

Note on the text
Acknowledgements
Prologue
1Boulez and Literature1
2Music and Mallarme's Aesthetic20
3The Creation of a Language70
4Pli selon pli78
5From Beethoven and Wagner to Boulez141
Epilogue146
Bibliography149
Index157

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