Paper Session
Nov 12, 2021 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM(America/Chicago)
20211112T1700 20211112T1750 America/Chicago Women's Strategies in the 19th Century AMS 2021
Mlles Erard: Gender, Music Publishing, and Self-Dedication in Nineteenth-Century Paris
Individual Paper 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/12 23:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/12 23:50:00 UTC

The Erard family and their famous piano and harp company have been extensively researched (Adelson et al 2015), yet a successful musical venture undertaken by female members of the family--the publishing company Mlles Erard--has received little attention. Founded around 1800 and run by the Erard brothers' two nieces, Marie-Françoise Bonnemaison née Marcoux (1777-1851) and Catherine-Barbe Delahante née Marcoux (1779-1813), Mlles Erard was part of a rich legacy of women-run music publishing houses in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Paris. Save for foundational work by French scholars in the 1960s and '70s and passing mentions in studies of women and music (Milliot 1968; Devriès/Lesure 1979), not only Mlles Erard but also the broader role of women and gender in music publishing remains underexplored. My research addresses the erasure of gender in histories of music publishing and the Erard family by considering the contributions and strategies of Mlles Erard as women music publishers. This paper investigates the sisters' use of self-dedication in a collection of eight works from between 1801 and 1817 by composers including Daniel Steibelt and Johann Baptist Cramer. The title pages of these pieces inscribe "Mlles Erard" or the sisters' married names several times over, recording their roles as publishers and dedicatees. By accepting or eliciting dedicated pieces--many of which were scored for piano or harp, feminized instruments which the sisters themselves played--they appropriated connotations of the high-status woman dedicatee. I argue that this use of the paratextual space of the dedication serves both as a means of self-fashioning for the sisters as women music publishers and as a gendered promotional strategy for selling their products (Green 2019; Garritzen 2020). Self-dedication provides a doubled endorsement of a piece and elevates the dedicatee(s) to a position of authority. Unlike their male competitors, such as Ignace Pleyel, the Marcoux sisters could not draw on public, professional authority as musicians or composers to bolster their company's reputation. Self-dedication thus functioned as a means of asserting authority as women music publishers through an existing model of feminine power.

Hester Bell Jordan
McGill University
Performing Womanhood in the 19th and 21st Centuries: Responses to Robert Schumann's _Frauenliebe und -leben_
Individual Paper 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/12 23:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/12 23:50:00 UTC

Robert Schumann's song-cycle Frauenliebe und -leben maintains an undisputed place in the Austro-German musical canon, despite its troubling presentation of women as lovers, wives, mothers and widows. Adelbert von Chamisso's poetry has been historically contextualised by Muxfeldt 2001, and more recently by Hallmark 2014, but the unease of singing the text today, as expressed in Solie 1992, remains unresolved.

Drawing on Spivak's 1988 theory of the subaltern, this paper gives voice to a group which is usually overlooked: the performers of this music. I approach this in two steps. The first explores early performances of the cycle by Clara Schumann and her contemporaries. This reveals various creative approaches to the songs which were abandoned during the twentieth century, including fragmenting the cycle and building new combinations of songs to forge ephemeral cycles and alternative narratives in performance.

The second step draws on semi-structured interviews I conducted with three regular performers of the cycle, using a qualitative methodology to reveal their sense-making processes around the cycle today. The performers evince a range of personal characteristics relevant to the cycle, since they span a range of genders and sexualities, and include married/divorced parents and single people without children. The interviews reveal much about how canonical lyric song functions in performance: how performers choose repertoire, what permissions they allow themselves with canonical works, how they make sense of the poetry both onstage and in connection with their own lives, and what they would like audiences to draw from it.

In conclusion, I explore how a combination of historical and contemporary approaches to performing Frauenliebe und -leben may enable us to reconceive and reinvent it for the present day. I touch here on related works, including Cheryl Frances-Hoad and Sophie Hannah's 2011 cycle One Life Stand, composed in response to Schumann, as well as other performative approaches, arguing that a bolder, more critically alert approach to performing Frauenliebe und -leben can perhaps rescue it from its own limitations.

Presenters Natasha Loges
Royal College Of Music, London
Sophie Schröder’s Proximate Musicality
Individual Paper 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM (America/Chicago) 2021/11/12 23:00:00 UTC - 2021/11/12 23:50:00 UTC

Contemporaneous critics consistently designated nineteenth-century German actress Sophie Schröder (1781–1868) "the great Schröder" or "Germany's greatest tragic actress." The epithets invoke her substantial influence in popularizing post-Weimar-Classicist, "truthful" acting style on the high-prestige tragic stage. Her place in theater histories largely stems from this reputation. Yet, in music histories, generally she is consigned to footnotes, where she is identified as the wife of actor and baritone Friedrich Schröder, or mother of the famed soprano Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient. Though broadly influential in affecting new styles in spoken theater, Sophie's musical relevance has been reduced to shaping the acting and singing of Wilhelmine, one of Europe's "singing actresses" known for expressive acting more than vocal ability.

In this paper, I argue that Sophie Schröder's German Greatness derived, in part, from what I call her proximate musicality, that is, the framing of her life and work as inextricable from music. Reception history reveals a regular ascription of musicality to her spoken performances. Heinrich Laube, for one, elegized in 1868, "Her organ [voice] was sonorous…. She seeks the appropriate tone for every phrase." Many others labelled her delivery "declamation" rather than "recitation," with Goethe having distinguished the former as inherently more musical. Her deepest individual involvement in the world of music, though, was her declamation of poetry in concert, either without instrumental accompaniment or with, for unstaged _Konzertmelodram_ (Zelm 1998) or melodramatic ballad (Waeber 2005). By 1815, Schröder had developed a core repertoire of poetic texts for concert programs, including pieces laden with strong German nationalist associations, such as G. A. Bürger's "Lenore," Friedrich Klopstock's "Frühlingsfeier," and Friedrich Schiller's "Das Lied von der Glocke." This paper examines two such concerts that highlight her musical activities' historical significance: a November 26, 1842 presentation at Leipzig's Gewandhaus, involving Schröder-Devrient, Josef Tichatscshek, Felix Mendelssohn and Richard Wagner, and attended by the Schumanns; and her final stage appearance in Munich's Schiller centennial celebrations in 1859. Ultimately, I argue that her proximate musicality was crucial to her constructed German Greatness, epitomized by such performances.

Jacques Dupuis
Framingham State University
McGill University
Framingham State University
Royal College of Music, London
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