Anent the fracas in these pages on The Classical Style: were there musicologist-nerds before What's Up, Doc? (1972)?
LUMIÈRE, aîné & cadet
|Batman 149 (1962)|
|Stephanie Friedman, mezzo-soprano, in the|
teenaged terrorist Omar's act II aria (1991)
NOTE: Singing Jeremiah: Music and Meaning in Holy Week (Indiana UP) appeared in April 2014. Here is an excerpt.
NOTE: The librettist of The Classical Style—an Opera of Sorts here responds to Kristi Brown-Montesano's post just below, adding “I felt it was necessary to respond, even if only to allay the sense that I was attacking musicology as a discipline—seeing as I count a good number of musicologists as among the most inspiring people I have ever met.”I was saddened, and not a little astonished, to see this response to The Classical Style. After having written a libretto based on Charles Rosen’s music-analytical tome, arguably the nerdiest opera ever written, to be accused of “American anti-intellectualism” in the comments is … strange?
Snibblesworth’s self-serving definition of classical music (“It’s music so beautiful that it has to be explained”) is played for laughs, but it’s hard to see how The Classical Style—both Rosen’s book and the opera—aren’t equally implicated.Agh! How humorlessly this poor laugh line is treated. (I can’t believe we’re having an academic discussion of the voice of Snibblesworth, but here we go!) When Snibs says this, it is a followup to a moment in the first scene, a moment when the same question is uttered by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven: “What’s Classical Music?” It’s a running gag, if you will, about the undefinability of the unavoidable term. Barthes observes that certain lines in prose float free of any particular voice, and become the sort of generalized voice of the author, or even author-less—this is what I had in mind here, I suppose. And of course the opera and this librettist and Rosen’s book are implicated! That’s the whole point. We’re all implicated. Snibblesworth is one of the least self-serving characters in this opera, anyway.
MORE NOTE: Brown-Montesano reponds: “Well, not that funny." Meanwhile, more press (from the Ojai North performance, Berkeley):
NOTE: Kendrick's Franke Forum at the University of Chicago occurred on October 13, 2013. The free lectures of the Chicago Humanities Forum seek to allow a larger audience exposure to the work of that university's leading scholars. Read more about the Franke Institute for the Humanities (named for supporters Barbara E. and Richard J. Franke) HERE.
NOTE: This article originally appeared on the OUP blog on 13 May 2014 and is reposted here by kind permission.
NOTE: Di goldene kale (The Golden Bride), a 1923 Yiddish-American operetta by Joseph Rumshinsky (1881–1956), was presented in a concert version with piano by the National Yiddish Theater–Folksbiene on 27 May 2014 at the Baruch Performing Arts Center on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. The performance, in Yiddish with English and Russian supertitles, used a score prepared by Michael Ochs in conjunction with his critical edition forthcoming in Music of the United States of America (MUSA). The MUSA volume will include the full score, lyrics, and libretto in transliterated Yiddish, together with an English translation. This work will be the first from the entire Yiddish-American musical stage to appear in print in any form other than vocal scores of individual songs.
photo Ivan Busatt
Museum of the City of New York
|Le Russe prenant une Leçon de Grace à Paris|
Paris: Paul André Basset, 1815
Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University Library
|Hans Ruckers the Elder|
Double Virginal, 1581
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
|Orpheus among the Thracians|
Terra-cotta crater, c. 440 BC
the great baritone Jean-Baptiste Faure (1830–1914),
c. 1882–83—among Manet's last works
Leopold Mozart (1719–87)
Etching by Jacob Andreas Fridrich after a painting by G. Eichler, 1756.
Photo by Imagno/Getty Images.