Symphonic Metamorphoses: Subjectivity and Alienation in Mahler's Re-Cycled Songs

Overview

This revelatory new book takes readers far beyond most existing critical analyses of Mahler's work, escaping the tired traps of broad historical survey and formalist plot summary. Symphonic Metamorphoses considers Mahler’s early practice of basing his symphonies on pre-existing songs and elaborates how this practice informs the techniques and tropes of Mahler’s musico-cultural discourse, involving montage, social satire, subjectivity, autonomy, alienation, childhood, absolute music, time and cosmology. Raymond ...
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Overview

This revelatory new book takes readers far beyond most existing critical analyses of Mahler's work, escaping the tired traps of broad historical survey and formalist plot summary. Symphonic Metamorphoses considers Mahler’s early practice of basing his symphonies on pre-existing songs and elaborates how this practice informs the techniques and tropes of Mahler’s musico-cultural discourse, involving montage, social satire, subjectivity, autonomy, alienation, childhood, absolute music, time and cosmology. Raymond Knapp explores these themes with persuasive readings backed by impeccable scholarship, providing insights into the organic link between Mahler's music and his historo-cultural sphere. Knapp's look at Mahler is unique in terms of both the depth of its inquiry and the freshness of its approach. Symphonic Metamorphoses is a graceful and vital addition to Mahler studies and to musicological studies in general.
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What People Are Saying

Richard Leppert
“Symphonic Metamorphoses is a major contribution to the study of the late romantic symphony. Knapp is a superb writer: the arguments are focused, invariably clear and jargon-free, at the same time the analyses are penetrating.”
Tamara Levitz
“This is a highly significant book that contributes in a profound way to research on Mahler. All musicologists should read it. Symphonic Metamorphoses breaks new ground on many levels.”
Richard Leppert
"Symphonic Metamorphoses is a major contribution to the study of the late romantic symphony. Knapp is a superb writer: the arguments are focused, invariably clear and jargon-free, at the same time the analyses are penetrating."
Richard Leppert, Samuel Russell Distinguished Professor of Humanities, University of Minnesota
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819566362
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 7/31/2003
  • Series: Music Culture
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

RAYMOND KNAPP is Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of California at Los Angeles and the author of Brahms and the Challenge of the Symphony (1997).
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Table of Contents

MONTAGE AND CONTEXTURE - “Das Himmlische Leben” and the Third and Fourth Symphonies
The Kuleshov Effect
Lullaby
“Das irdsche Leben”
The Third Symphony
“Es sungen drei Engel”
The Motivic Design of the Extended Narrative
The Fourth Symphony
“Der hangt voll Geigen”

REPRESENTING ALIENATION: “ABSOLUTE MUSIC” AS A TOPIC - Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt” and the Second Symphony
Sybil: Classical Music and Alienation
Between Song and Program
“Des Antonious von Padua Fischpredigt”
“In ruhig fliessender Bewegung”
“As if Deformed by a Concave Mirror”
“Absolute Music” as a Topic
Representing alienation

THE AUTONOMY OF MUSICAL PRESENCE - “Ablosung im Sommer” and the Third Symphony
Songs into Symphonies
“Ablosung im Sommer”
“Der Postillion”
“What the creatured of thee Forest Tell me”
What the creatures of the forest hear
Incompatible Visions of the Forest
“Absolute Music” and narrative identity

SUBJECTIVITY AND SELFHOOD - Leidr cines fahrenden Geselen and the First Symphony
Subjectivity…
Song cycles into Symphony
“Spring and No End”
Commedia humana
… And Selfhood (Subjectivity Objectified)

BEYOND SELFHOOD: THE AUTONOMY OF MUSICAL PRESENCE

EPILOGUE: RECLAIMING CHIDHOOD IN THE FOURTH SYMPHONY
Why Childhood?
Sleigh Bells
The First Movement
Freund Hein
The Second Movement
Child Love, Child Death

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