Romantic Anatomies of Performance

Romantic Anatomies of Performance

by James Q. Davies

Hardcover(First Edition, 1)

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Romantic Anatomies of Performance is concerned with the very matter of musical expression: the hands and voices of virtuosic musicians. Rubini, Chopin, Nourrit, Liszt, Donzelli, Thalberg, Velluti, Sontag, and Malibran were prominent celebrity pianists and singers who plied their trade between London and Paris, the most dynamic musical centers of nineteenth-century Europe. In their day, performers such as these provoked an avalanche of commentary and analysis, inspiring debates over the nature of mind and body, emotion and materiality, spirituality and mechanism, artistry and skill. J. Q. Davies revisits these debates, examining how key musicians and their contemporaries made sense of extraordinary musical and physical abilities. This is a history told as much from scientific and medical writings as traditionally musicological ones. Davies describes competing notions of vocal and pianistic health, contrasts techniques of training, and explores the ways in which music acts in the cultivation of bodies..

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520279391
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 04/04/2014
Edition description: First Edition, 1
Pages: 280
Sales rank: 913,314
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

J.Q. Davies is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of California, Berkeley.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Musical Examples



1. “Veluti in Speculum”: The Twilight of the Castrato

2. Reflecting on Reflex: A Touching New Fact about Chopin

3. The Sontag-Malibran Stereotype

4. Boneless Hands{ths}/{ths}Thalberg’s Ready-Made Soul{ths}/{ths}Velvet Fingers

5. In Search of Voice: Nourrit’s Voix Mixte, Donzelli’s Bari-Tenor

6. Franz Liszt, Metapianism, and the Cultural History of the Hand




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