Near the end of the chapter, T con- tend that, although Rimsky-Korsakov often described himself as an athe- ist, his opera has a profound spiritualist message. Rather than a Gesamt- kunstiverk, a synthesis of the forms of art, Blok created a fragmented and dichotomous work. The fact is, to this end T contacted [Sergey] Rachmaninoff, as it would be ideal if he himself did it. Near the score’s cataclysmic climax, her voice, like the other characters’ voices, dissolves in the cognitive noise of the chaotic orchestra. Scott Palmer ; reprint, London: Renata’s vocal lines are locked into elaborate ostinato passages that, on one hand, serve to mimic the broken sequences, obsessive litanies, and repetitive rhythms of fin-de- siecle poetry as well as Igor Stravinsky’s neoprimitivist music but, on the other, confine her to a pattern of recurring nightmares from which no es- cape is possible.

The troubadour reappears at the drama’s end for an encore performance. The “mystic” Symbolists’ musical musings only touched ground, para- doxically, when they proposed definite measures for distorting the surface clarity of compositions, for transferring the listening experience from the realm of the intellect to the realm of the senses. From German classical philosophers, he gleaned that the nature and func- tion of a symbol differed fundamentally from that of an allegory. They became the first advocates of “open” compositions, which would allow for what might be called the “flight” or even “escape” of the musical signifier. It was drafted by 23 February. Blok, Zap i ski knizhki ed. On the other hand, the ‘wildness’ of Isolde’s ‘desire’ for Tristan brings her ‘to interpret as’ she ‘pleases’ — the definition of an acoustic hallucination. In response, T will attempt in this chapter to situate the opera in proper cultural and historical context:

Thus, approximately pokaaat years before the opera which was to prove the most popular version of the idea — the Barbier-Carre and Gounod Faust — and several years before any of the other major musical treatments such as Schu- mann’s Manfred tauni Boito’s Mefistofele tS6SScribe had already found the theme which was to have almost archetypal significance for the nineteenth century: She swore never to gamble again and shared the secret of the cards only with her recently deceased husband.


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BelVy im- plies that translating musical discourse into verbal discourse is a futile exercise, since music evades and eludes rationalization. This same view of re- ality is provided to the audience in the theater. Lizaveta Tvanovna becomes Lisanka, Polowska’s daughter, who is prevented from marrying below her station.

Through his phantasmagoria, Scriabin substituted symbolic por- trayal for symbolic absorption.

The results of this procedure, he implies, are compositions in which harmonic and melodic relationships of cause and effect are sup- planted by a free play of sounds in which the borders of musical grammar and syntax are continuously pushed back.

Petersburg performance of Der Ring des Nibelungen f “Wotan was clearly identified with the old regime, Siegfried, the smith’s apprentice, with the people, and Brunnhilde — at least to Blok, Bely, and Lyubov [Mendeleyeva], who attended the theatre together — with the World Soul, more specifically the soul of Russia about to be awakened from an enchanted sleep 11 With regard to the overall structure of Wagner’s scores, fiom Symbolists dwelled on the deployment of the leitmotif as a mnemonic device and the depiction of events on multiple dramatic planes.

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Entitled “At the Hour of Reckon- ing” “V chas itogov”it was at once a farewell to his homeland and a manifesto about the future development of art. But Chaikov- sky was never merely a composer of kitsch. From the theater audience’s perspective, it com- bines events in a material urban sphere acts IT and TIT, scene 1 and events in an immaterial forest sphere acts T and TV, scene 1.

Instead of unconsciously enacting events, she consciously experiences them.

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It operates, in short, to concatenate the ideas and thoughts of composers of disparate times and places. The Russian letter ti is represented as l Following Taruskin’s example, in the main text T have chosen to use commonly accepted spellings of Russian names and places e.

Khu- dozhestvennaya literatura,2S7. This turn of events does not mean that Blok was thwarted in his poetic as- pirations, or that his drama does not contain passages in which dream and legend supplant reality and history.


Vladimir Jankelevitch, La musique et I’ ineffable Pans: The old social order would be sup- planted by an undefined new order. The second draft was finished at the end of Octoberbut the play was only accepted for stage pro- duction in November at the Moscow Art Theatre. Together with Gnesin’s lone contribution, the production in Kostroma featured music hy B. Like Blok, Bertran fondly recalls his youth, but confesses that his memories of it have soured.

Blok’s ambivalence may also have reflected his realization that, given the philosophical freight he had assigned to it, any setting of the song would prove anticlimactic and defi- cient. The linkage between the inner and outer plots is at first lightly ironic but becomes increasingly macabre as events unfold.

The troubadour describes himself cilm an or- phan raised in captivity by a fairy near the seashore. He whispered to her: These texts, however, achieve order on another level.

The music drama, they declared, could serve as the vehicle for religious and political change. The Countess, for example, seems to be enshrined in a somber and wistful portrait of eighteenth-century St. The harmony tends to meander. Pe- tersburg tempered his perspective on its bridges and canals and revived his appreciation of his pied-a-terre. Modest incorporated tayhi ideas into taymi final scene, highlighting in particular the notion that the casino is a kind of twilight zone.

The latter group adhered to the dictates of Nietzsche’s Apollo, wherein music heightens perception, rather than the dictates of Nietzsche’s Dionysus, wherein music actually transforms reality.

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How beautiful the night! In the warped story space, the citizens of St.

In the past it was truly better, Life was happier, And for us it was not a miracle To see the sun shining.