Prometheus in Music: Representations of the Myth in the Romantic Era

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Ashgate, 2007 - Music - 369 pages
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The ancient Greek myth of Prometheus enjoyed unprecedented popularity during the Romantic era. An international coterie of writers engaged with the legend, while composers such as Beethoven, Reichardt, Schubert, Wolf, Liszt, Halévy, Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Parry, Goldmark and Bargiel based works of diverse genres on the fable. Paul Bertagnolli charts the progress of the myth during the nineteenth century, as it articulates an extraordinary variety of issues pertaining to culture, society, aesthetics and philosophy. Individual chapters demonstrate that the legend served as a vehicle to express opinions on diverse and remarkable subjects. Composers often resorted to varied and unorthodox musical techniques in order to reflect such subjects. These striking traits of musical compositions, their literary sources and the criticism that they inspired offer compelling testimony to the impact of the Prometheus myth on the Romantic imagination.

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Gesture and Convention in Beethovens Ballet daction
Three Settings of Goethes Transgressive Ode
Liszts Prometheus Music

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About the author (2007)

Paul Bertagnolli is Associate Professor of Musicology at the Moores School of Music, Univeristy of Houston, USA.

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