Magyar Zene Music Quarterly
Vol. 49 , No. 3 - August 2011
Franz Liszt and the Legacy of the Classical Era
During his lifetime, Franz Liszt, whose symphonic poems established a
new genre for symphonic literature and prepared the way for Richard
Wagner’s music drama, was regarded by his comtemporaries as an innovator
who had broken with the tradition of Viennese classicism. Without any
doubt Liszt was one of the most important innovators of 19th century
music. But at the same time his innovations were deeply rooted in the
tradition. During his Weimar years as Court Conductor Extraordinary
(1848-1861) his activities reveal the nature of the enormous challenge
facing Liszt the composer, namely, that of laying claim to the Classical
legacies of both Weimar and Vienna.
Detlef Altenburg, Professor of Musicology and Head of the Department of Musicology at The Liszt School of Music Weimar and the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, has published extensively on Liszt, Wagner and the New German School. His other research topics include Music History 1500-1800, especially Trumpet music, Theatre music and Performance practice. He is the editor of the Weimarer Liszt Studien and the complete edition of Liszt’s writings (Liszt: Sämtliche Schriften). He just published the catalogue of the Weimar Liszt exhibition Franz Liszt – Ein Europäer in Weimar (Cologne 2011). From 1990-1998 he was President, and since 1999 has been Vicepresident of the German Liszt Society. From 2001-2009 he was President of the German Society of Musicology, and from 2003- 2009 he was a member of the Board (Präsidium) of the German Music Council. Since 2009 he has been President of the International Liszt Association. He is a member of several academies (Akademie Gemeinnütziger Wissenschaften zu Erfurt, Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften Leipzig and the Academia Europaea).
Liszt and the Search for the Tristan Chord
The Tristan chord has long been understood as an emblem of musical modernity; the hunt for Tristan references has long been a favorite pastime among musicologists and analysts. The case of Liszt’s song “Ich möchte hingehn” (on a text by Georg Herwegh) shows what is at stake in this search: Liszt’s song contains a prominent Tristan reference, and its composition appears to predate Wagner’s music drama. Should therefore Liszt, and not Wagner, count as the genuine musical innovator? I argue that the question of “who came first?” is ultimately not very enlightening, and develop a wide hermeneutic context in which the Tristan passage may unfold its meaning.
Alexander Rehding is Fanny Peabody Professor at Harvard University and chair of the Music Department. From 2006 to 2010 he was editor of Acta Musicologica (with Philippe Vendrix). His research interests span music history and music theory from Ancient Greece to the contemporary period, with a focus on the nineteenth century. His publications include Music Theory and Natural Order from the Renaissance to the Early Twentieth Century (2001, ed. with Suzannah Clark), Hugo Riemann and the Birth of Modern Musical Thought (2003), Music and Monumentality: Commemoration and Wonderment in Nineteenth- Century German Music (2009), and The Oxford Handbook of Neo- Riemannian Music Theories (2011, ed. with Edward Gollin).
ANNA HARWELL CELENZA
Death Transfigured: The Origins and Evolution of Franz Liszt’s Totentanz
Liszt looked to Holbein’s Totentanz woodcut series and Orcagna’s Trionfo della morte fresco as inspiration for his programmatic piano concerto Totentanz. This article presents a chronological overview of various first- hand accounts of Liszt’s creative process that reveals how a composite of the two artworks, and their reception in the 19th century, was reflected by Liszt in the structure and extramusical content of his composition.
Anna Harwell Celenza is the Thomas E. Caestecker Professor of Music at Georgetown University. She is the author of several scholarly books – the most recent being Hans Christian Andersen and Music: The Nightingale Revealed (2005). Her work has also appeared in The Hopkins Review, Journal of the American Liszt Society, Music and Politics, Musical Quarterly, Nineteenth- Century Music, Notes, The Cambridge Companion to Liszt (2005), and Franz Liszt and His World (2006). In addition to her scholarly work, she has authored a series of award- winning children’s books with Charlesbridge Publishing: The Farewell Symphony (2000), Pictures at an Exhibition (2003), The Heroic Symphony (2004), Bach’s Goldberg Variations (2005), and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (2006). Her next children’s book, Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite, will be released in October 2011.
The Generation of Composers Born in the 30s and the Turn to New Music (1957–1967)
Hungarian musicologists traditionally shared the view that it was easier for the composer- generation born in the 30s to break with Bartókian-Kodályian models than for older composers in the 60s. When scrutinizing the repertoire written by the young composers between 1957 and 1967, it became clear that different phases of the break with the national tradition can be distinguished: starting with the reevaluation of Bartók, Hungarian composers turned themselves towards Stravinsky’s and Prokofiev’s neo- classicism and to the compositional technique of Bach and Beethoven. Young composers however avoided serialism, and after some years created a special Hungarian post- serial style from 1964 on. The most characteristic compositions of this early phase – the works of Sándor Balassa (1935), Attila Bozay (1939–1999), Miklós Kocsár (1933), István Láng (1933) and József Soproni (1930) – show what kind of compositional problems stood at the centre of the composer’s interest: the possibilities of working with aleatory and unfixed musical processes, the creation of a melismatic melodic style and the producing of representative forms from the linking of short movements.
Anna Dalos (Budapest, 1973) studied musicology at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, from 1993 to 1998; between 1998 and 2002 she attended the Doctoral Program in Musicology of the same institution. She spent a year on a German exchange (DAAD) scholarship at the Humboldt University, Berlin (1999–2000). She is currently working at the Musicological Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She is a lecturer on the DLA Program of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music since 2007, and visiting lecturer at the International Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music, Kecskemét since 2010. Her research is focused on 20th century Hungarian music, the history of composition and musicology in Hungary. She has had journal articles published on these subjects, as well as short monographs on several Hungarian composers (Pál, Kadosa, György Kósa, Rudolf Maros). Her book on Zoltán Kodály’s poetics was published in 2007 in Budapest.
Articulation in Bach’s Six Suites for Solo Cello, Part 1