Carl Maria von Weber and the Search for a German Opera (Hardback)Stephen C. Meyer (author)
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Stephen C. Meyer details the intricate relationships between the operas Der Freischutz and Euryanthe, and contemporary discourse on both the "Germany of the imagination" and the new nation itself. In so doing, he presents excerpts from a wide range of philosophical, political, and musical writings, many of which are little known and otherwise unavailable in English. Individual chapters trace the multidimensional concept of German and "foreign" opera through the 19th century. Meyer's study of Der Freischutz places the work within the context of emerging German nationalism, and a chapter on Euryanthe addresses the opera's stylistic and topical shifts in light of changing cultural and aesthetic circumstances. As a result, Meyer argues that the search for a new German opera was not merely an aesthetic movement, but a political and social critique as well.
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 590 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 26 mm
German national, political, social, and musical spirit grew aggressively in the late-18th and early, 19th centuries, contesting Italian domination of opera. Because the singspiel, with its folk origins, could not serve as equal competitor with either Italian opera buffa or opera seria, German composers searched for formulas that might yield a viable national opera. Weber's Der Freischutz (Freischutz) provided impetus. Euryanthe was a further step in the reconfiguration and transformation of German opera. Meyer details the nature of the conflict that led to new institutions, aesthetics, and opera genre after Weber's death and the compromises that eventually produced the German romantic opera. Thoroughly researched, copiously footnoted, and including an extensive bibliography, this volume is a logical companion to Michael Tusa's Euryanthe and Carl Maria von Weber's Dramaturgy of German Opera (CH, Feb'92). Summing Up: Recommended. Scholars and opera historians.July 2003-- R. Miller * Oberlin College *
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