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Paper Session
Nov 11, 2021 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM(America/Chicago)
20211111T1700 20211111T1750 America/Chicago Reception Histories AMS 2021 ams@amsmusicology.org
A Yom Kippur with Anton Rubinstein: Remembering a Musician, Rewriting Jewishness
Individual Paper 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/11 23:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/11 23:50:00 UTC

At the end of the nineteenth century, the most popular Russian-Jewish periodical, _Voskhod_, printed a commemorative article on Anton Rubinstein,written by the Riga-born Russian-Jewish journalist Robert Iljisch. In the compelling story, which was reprinted in both German-Jewish periodical _Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums_ as well as one of the first English-language Jewish magazines, _The Menorah Monthly_, Iljisch recounted a gathering the Hotel Bellevue in St. Petersburg with Rubinstein, Russian cellist Karl Davidov, and German pianist Sophie Menter. Iljisch, who had just left the synagogue following the conclusion of the holiday's closing service, described how Rubinstein sat at the piano as the evening waned and improvised on the melodies of the _Kol Nidre_ prayer, perhaps the most famous and iconic of tunes in Ashkenazi Jewish liturgical practice, and recalled fond memories of hearing cantorial music in Odessa and elsewhere throughout his life.


This paper examines the scene described by Iljisch while placing Rubinstein within the broader context of assimilated Jewish practice in an increasing emancipated Europe. Despite his baptism in early childhood, for Rubinstein, Jewishness was intertwined with Russianness as well as his German cultural self-identification, and these all affected his patterns of composition and performance. Building on the scholarship of James Loeffler and Richard Taruskin, I examine Rubinstein's Jewish engagement through the recollections made in Jewishly-focused periodicals of the period. Furthermore, I look to interactions between Rubinstein and leading voices of the reformed cantorial tradition of nineteenth century German-speaking Europe, showing how that hisenduring identity as a Jew was complicated and evolving throughout his life. Such reminiscences reveal a densely woven tapestry of more obvious musical examples of Jewishness, such as those that can be heard in the _geistliche Oper_ [sacred opera], _Die Maccabäer_, but also more abstract and inspired glimpses of Judaism buried within layers of remembrance and recollection.

Presenters
AS
Amanda Stein
Carroll University
Historical Aspects of Webern Reception at Darmstadt and Princeton
Individual Paper 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/11 23:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/11 23:50:00 UTC

Anne C. Shreffler has called for studies of European and American post-War composition in comparative context. One way to study the two is to examine their respective receptions of the Second Viennese School. For more than a decade Gianmario Borio has been carrying out a reception history of the Darmstadt School's analyses of modernist compositions. Thus far, however, the nearly contemporaneous reception of the Viennese modernists by the Princeton School, arguably as ramified and complex, has failed to capture a comparable place in the musicological imagination.

Princeton composer-theorist David Lewin's unpublished 1958 chamber orchestra composition, Essay on a Subject by Webern, utilizes the canonic theme from Webern's String Quartet op. 28, mvt. 2 (1938), but unlike Webern, Lewin explores the derived row's hexachordal combinatorial properties. Lewin seeks to synthesize the compositional techniques of Schoenberg and Webern, a move found in his teacher Milton Babbitt's theories and compositions. In the same year Lewin's piece was composed, he, Godfrey Winham, and J. K. Randall graduated with MFA degrees under Babbitt at Princeton University, and Karlheinz Stockhausen's analysis of the same Webern movement appeared in the English translation of Die Reihe. Soon thereafter Randall penned an unpublished critique of Stockhausen's analysis. Stockhausen analyzes Webern's movement as problematizing time in the new music by enlisting the listener's experience of temporality as lying outside an objective analysis of the score. Randall, however, insists structure must be understood accurately before listening can be considered. This confluence of responses to Webern's movement shows it served as a tense site of negotiation, one against which we may understand Cold War Webern reception analytically and compositionally.

After discussing these receptions of Webern's movement, I analyze Lewin's piece for what he learned, compositionally, from Schoenberg, Webern, Babbitt, and perhaps even Stockhausen and Randall. Lastly, I situate the composing and theorizing occurring post-War at Darmstadt and Princeton as the principal competitors for the serial legacy, arguing that total serialism was far less important for the Americans than it was for the Europeans, which is partially responsible for the subsequent historiographical imbalance, one which prioritizes a cumulative approach to historical change.

Presenters
SG
Scott Gleason
Grove Music Online
Gossip, Collegiality, and the Problem of Salieri in Nineteenth-Century Biographical Fiction
Individual Paper 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/11 23:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/11 23:50:00 UTC

Throughout the nineteenth century, composers and performers became popular subjects for both biography and biographical fiction. One early example is Albert Lortzing's _Szenen aus Mozarts Leben_ (1833), a curious blend of meta-opera and dramatized biography that opens with a group of musicians in 1790 toasting Antonio Salieri's continued operatic successes with the ironic chorus "Lasset hoch den Meister leben." The chorus (set to a rearrangement of the Act 2 finale to _Così fan tutte_) appears to celebrate Salieri while establishing him as the opera's antagonist. While Lortzing's plot is loosely drawn from Georg Nikolaus von Nissen's Mozart biography, this scene was wholly invented. Given the subject matter, it was probably inspired by the reports of Salieri's retirement and illnesses, rumors about his alleged rivalry with Mozart, and eventual obituaries published in various musical newspapers across Europe during the 1820s.


This presentation takes "Lasset hoch…" as a starting point for examining Salieri's presence in multiple genres of nineteenth-century musical literature, with a focus on how commentators reframed his later life and teaching career through gossip, unsourced anecdotes, and speculation about the nature of his relationships with students and colleagues. As Gibbs (2003), Wiley (2008), and Herrmann (2019) observe, German nationalist undertones in Salieri's scholarly reception history tended to downplay or attribute ulterior motives to any possible influences on his Romantic pupils, including Schubert, Beethoven, and Liszt. These narratives spread internationally, feeding into shifting conceptions of the musical genius as wholly independent. The image of Salieri's nineteenth-century collegiality as a kind of atonement for rumored eighteenth-century intrigues becomes especially apparent in two English depictions of Salieri published during the 1860s and 1870s: the chapter on Salieri in Edward Wilberforce's 1866 "condensed" version of Kreissle's Schubert biography and an 1873 piece of sensation fiction by Walter Thornbury. While these works are not representative of the more scholarly nineteenth-century approaches to Salieri put forth by the likes of Thayer and Jahn, they raise questions about how musicologists should deal with the popular literary reception of figures better known through their presence in the lives of more canonical composers.


Presenters
KF
Kristin Franseen
Concordia University
Carroll University
Concordia University
Grove Music Online
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