Cherubinos Leap : In Search of the Enlightenment Moment - Kramer, Richard

Cherubino's Leap : In Search of the Enlightenment Moment

Richard Kramer

Yayınevi: Chicago University Press

Yayın tarihi: 12/2016

ISBN: 9780226377896

Ciltli | İngilizce | 224 Sayfa | 16,51x23,11x2,54 cm.

Tür: Müzik

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The Germans have a word for it: Augenblick--the blink of an eye.  There are such moments in the musical works explored in this book, subtle moments that, by their nature, do not announce themselves, do not pound the table for attention.  And yet, in Richard Kramer’s argument, these are the prismatic moments which seem to contain within themselves the essence of the work, as problems to be examined and as symptoms of a cast of mind that embodies Enlightenment sensibility. In the German and Austrian Enlightenment of the 1770s and 1780s these moments hold special appeal: writers and philosophers from Moses Mendelssohn to Johann Gottfried Herder speak of “the swift sentiment with which beauty surprises our senses” and describe the “stunned surprise” (Überraschung) that excites our sensibilities when something in the work of art, music, or literature brings about sudden revelation and recognition. In nine short chapters, Kramer takes us through some beloved musical works in search of such moments. There is the unexpected chromatic dissonance that lingers at a critical turn of phrase in a sonata or chamber ensemble, from Emanuel Bach’s keyboard sonatas to Mozart’s Quintet for Strings and Beethoven’s Razumovsky Quartets. Or the stretched syntax and singular rhetorical imagery in the odes by Klopstock for which Beethoven left unfinished musical settings in his sketchbooks. There are Cherubino’s mercurial changes of heart in Mozart’sFigaro and Konstanze’s outburst of tears in his Abduction from the Seraglio. And finally, there is the literal and fearful moment of recognition in the fourth act of Gluck’sIphigenie en Tauride, when the long-lost siblings recognize one another just as Iphigenia’s knife is about to sacrifice Orestes to the gods. Through it all, we learn with Kramer to take pleasure in the irreconcilable and exquisite tension between reason and the irrational that is at the core of the Enlightenment mind.

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