Music and Letters

Music and Letters
Volume 86, Number 3, 2005

CONTENTS

    Harmon, Roger.
  • Plato, Aristotle, and Women Musicians
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    Subject Headings:
    • Plato.
    • Aristotle.
    • Women musicians -- Greece.
    Abstract:
      Plato and Aristotle allude to women musicians available for hire for services renderable at symposia (the drinking parties that followed banquets). These allusions have been misunderstood in recent scholarship, culminating in the incorrect assertion that 'Plato and Aristotle differentiated respectable domestic female musicians from entertainer- musicians' (New Grove II, 'Women in music'). The same scholarship tends to refer to such persons, furthermore, as 'flute-girls' and the like; auletris would be a philologically and politically correct alternative.
    Cardamone, Donna G.
  • Erotic Jest and Gesture in Roman Anthologies of Neapolitan Dialect Songs
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    Subject Headings:
    • Villanelle (Part songs) -- 16th century -- History and criticism.
    • Erotic poetry, Italian -- 16th century -- History and criticism.
    Abstract:
      This study calls attention to the vital role that the villanesca played in the erotic comic culture of the Cinquecento. Neapolitan songwriters, influenced by the equivocal language of burlesque poets, appropriated their copious lexicon of sexual euphemisms to raise laughter through erotic jesting. Given the considerable amount of semiotic and linguistic research devoted to literary erotica in the past decades, the villanesca can now be fully served by new interpretative approaches and theories of reception that address the production of multiple meanings. Erotic humour worked effectively in Roman villanesche because the prime targets of jests are figures who occupied prominent places in Rome's cultural identity—courtesans, clerics, and noblemen in the service of the Church. Readings of villanesche, selected from three extant Roman anthologies, demonstrate the ways in which songwriters eroticized licit and illicit sexual encounters, thereby motivating singers to clarify equivocal terms with performative gestures or vocal nuances.
    Fader, Don.
  • The 'Cabale du Dauphin', Campra, and Italian Comedy: The Courtly Politics of French Musical Patronage around 1700
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    Subject Headings:
    • Music patronage -- Political aspects -- France.
    • Music -- France -- Italian influences.
    • Campra, André, 1660-1744.
    • Louis XIV, King of France, 1638-1715.
    Abstract:
      Beginning in the late 1680s, opposition to the conservative cultural politics of Louis XIV coalesced in an influential court clique around Louis XIV's son, Louis (1661–1711). In contrast to the king's anti-theatrical moralizing and heritage of supporting classicism, the Dauphin and his Cabale embraced aspects of the arts that Louis XIV had rejected: the Comédie-Italienne, Italian music, and the operas of André Campra. The Dauphin not only supported the Opéra and encouraged Louis XIV to reinstitute the Comédie-Italienne, but his cabale also staged entertainments at court in which commedia dell'arte and Italian music featured. The group's support for Campra during the early phase of his operatic career is reflected by three fêtes commissioned from him in 1697–8 by nobles seeking to cultivate members of the cabale as political patrons. The Dauphin's importance as a protector of the theatre was publicly acknowledged in the prologue to Campra's Le Carnaval de Venise (1699) and in other works of the period. The activities of the cabale and its extended political clientele thus played a significant role in the French fad for Italian music and comedy of the late 1690s, and demonstrate the influence of courtly politics in the musical life of the era.
    Kroll, Mark.
  • Two Important New Sources for the Music of Charles Avison
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    Subject Headings:
    • Avison, Charles, 1710-1770 -- Notebooks, sketchbooks, etc.
    • Music -- England -- 18th century -- Archival resources.
    Abstract:
      Two workbooks by Charles Avison, the leading English concerto composer of the eighteenth century, have recently been discovered. Consisting of more than 600 pages that have been unknown and unavailable to scholars for over two centuries, the workbooks contain a wealth of fascinating material, including autograph manuscripts for a number of Avison's best-known works, revisions and variant readings for other pieces by the composer, compositions for which the workbooks represent the unique source, copies of music by other composers (particularly Francesco Geminiani), and even drawings by children. The workbooks offer new perspectives on Avison's compositional process and his role in the development of the orchestral concerto in the eighteenth century, add a number of new compositions to the Avison repertory, provide graphic confirmation of the influence of the Italian style on his music, and significantly enhance our understanding of Avison's contributions to instrumental composition in England during the latter part of the eighteenth century.
    Wilson, Alexandra.
  • Modernism and the Machine Woman in Puccini's 'Turandot'
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    Subject Headings:
    • Puccini, Giacomo, 1858-1924. Turandot [music]
    • Puccini, Giacomo, 1858-1924 -- Characters -- Women.
    • Women in opera.
    • Modernism (Aesthetics) -- Italy.
    Abstract:
      Giacomo Puccini was hailed as a national hero at his death in 1924, and again seventeen months later at the posthumous premiere of Turandot. However, close scrutiny of the Turandot reviews reveals complex subtexts underpinning the patriotic encomiums. Of particular concern to the early critics was the opera's eponymous heroine, who seemed symbolic of an emotionally sterile modernism. The implications of the perception of Turandot as a 'machine woman' are considered here against the backdrop of contemporary developments in the Italian avant-garde spoken theatre.

      This article posits Turandot as a highly self-interrogatory work, in which Puccini experimented with new approaches to operatic character and dramaturgy, and reflected upon his oeuvre past and present. Turandot and Liù were presented by critics as representing Puccini's late and early compositional manners, leading to concern about an apparent dichotomy in his style that was unwelcome in a final work. Discussions of the two heroines were used to articulate debates about Puccini's compositional sincerity; about changing attitudes towards operatic sentimentality; and about how the challenges posed by modernism were to be confronted within an Italian context.

Review-Article

    Fairclough, Pauline, 1970-
  • Facts, Fantasies, and Fictions: Recent Shostakovich Studies
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    Subject Headings:
    • Brown, Malcolm Hamrick, ed. Shostakovich casebook.
    • Fay, Laurel E., ed. Shostakovich and his world.
    • Volkov, Solomon. Shostakovich and Stalin: the extraordinary relationship between the great composer and the brutal dictator.
    • Bouis, Antonina W., tr.
    • Shostakovich, Dmitrii Dmitrievich, 1906-1975.

Reviews of Books

    Banks, Jon.
  • Improvisation in the Arts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • McGee, Timothy J. (Timothy James), 1936-, ed. Improvisation in the arts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
    • Improvisation (Music)
    Morehen, John.
  • Thomas East and Music Publishing in Renaissance England (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Smith, Jeremy L., 1962- Thomas East and music publishing in Renaissance England.
    • East, Thomas, 1540?-1608?
    Rees, Owen.
  • Música vocal profana en el Madrid de Felipe IV: El Libro de Tonos Humanos (1656)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Vera, Alejandro. Música vocal profana en el Madrid de Felipe IV: El Libro de Tonos Humanos (1656)
    • Libro de tonos humanos.
    Marshall, Kimberly.
  • The Keyboard in Baroque Europe (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hogwood, Christopher, ed. Keyboard in Baroque Europe.
    • Keyboard instrument music -- 17th century -- History and criticism.
    Olleson, Philip.
  • Concert Life in Eighteenth-Century Britain (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Wollenberg, Susan, ed. Concert life in eighteenth-century Britain.
    • McVeigh, Simon, ed.
    • Music -- Great Britain -- 18th century -- History and criticism.
    Stowell, Robin.
  • Stradivarius: Five Violins, One Cello and a Genius (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Faber, Toby, 1965- Stradivarius: five violins, one cello and a genius.
    • Stradivari, Antonio, d. 1737.
    Sutcliffe, W. Dean.
  • Internationales Musikwissenschaftliches Symopsium 'Haydn & das Streichquartett' im Rahmen des 'Haydn Streichquartett Weekend': Eisenstadt, 1.-5. Mai 2002; Referate und Diskussionen (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Feder, Georg, ed. Internationales Musikwissenschaftliches Symopsium 'Haydn & das Streichquartett' im Rahmen des 'Haydn Streichquartett Weekend': Eisenstadt, 1.-5. Mai 2002; Referate und Diskussionen.
    • Reicher, Walter, ed.
    • Haydn, Joseph, 1732-1809. Quartets, strings -- Congresses.
    Morris, Christopher, 1966-
  • Words on Music: Essays in Honor of Andrew Porter on the Occasion of his 75th Birthday (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Rosen, David, 1938-, ed. Words on music: essays in honor of Andrew Porter on the occasion of his 75th birthday.
    • Brook, Claire, ed.
    • Porter, Andrew, 1928-
    Stowell, Robin.
  • Les Frères Wieniawski: Documents conservés dans les collections de la Bibliothèque Royal de Belgique (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Appelmans, Marc, ed. Frères Wieniawski: documents conservés dans les collections de la Bibliothèque Royal de Belgique.
    • Servais, Christine, ed.
    • Wieniawski, Henri, 1835-1880 -- Catalogs.
    Parsons, John.
  • Theory and Practice in Late Nineteenth-Century Violin Performance: An Examination of Style in Performance, 1850-1900 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Milsom, David, 1974- Theory and practice in late nineteenth-century violin performance: an examination of style in performance, 1850-1900.
    • Violin -- Performance.
    Morgan, Robert P.
  • The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century Music (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Cook, Nicholas, 1950-, ed. Cambridge history of twentieth-century music.
    • Pople, Anthony, ed.
    • Music -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Antokoletz, Elliott.
  • Bartók's Viola Concerto: The Remarkable Story of his Swansong (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Maurice, Donald. Bartók's viola concerto: the remarkable story of his Swansong.
    • Bartók, Béla, 1881-1945. Concertos, viola, orchestra.
    Howell, Tim.
  • The Cambridge Companion to Stravinsky (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Cross, Jonathan, 1961-, ed. Cambridge companion to Stravinsky.
    • Stravinsky, Igor, 1882-1971 -- Criticism and interpretation.
    Wilson, Charles.
  • Varèse: Astronomer in Sound (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • MacDonald, Malcolm, 1948- Varèse: astronomer in sound.
    • Varèse, Edgard, 1883-1965 -- Criticism and interpretation.
    Crist, Elizabeth Bergman.
  • The Dickinson Songs of Aaron Copland (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Starr, Larry. Dickinson songs of Aaron Copland.
    • Budds, Michael J., 1947-, ed.
    • Copland, Aaron, 1900- Poems of Emily Dickinson.
    Fanning, David (David J.)
  • Soviet Music and Society under Lenin and Stalin: The Baton and the Sickle (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Edmunds, Neil, 1966-, ed. Soviet music and society under Lenin and Stalin: the baton and the sickle.
    • Music -- Soviet Union -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Whittall, Arnold.
  • The Operas of Benjamin Britten: Expression and Evasion (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Seymour, Claire, 1970- Operas of Benjamin Britten: expression and evasion.
    • Britten, Benjamin, 1913-1976. Operas.
    Adams, Martin.
  • The Life and Music of Brian Boydell (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Cox, Gareth, 1958-, ed. Life and music of Brian Boydell.
    • Klein, Axel, ed.
    • Taylor, Michael, 1949-, ed.
    • Boydell, Brian.
    Whittall, Arnold.
  • Pli selon pli de Pierre Boulez: Entretien et études (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Pli selon pli de Pierre Boulez: entretien et études.
    • Boulez, Pierre, 1925- Pli selon pli.
    Agawu, V. Kofi (Victor Kofi)
  • Music in West Africa: Expressing Music, Expressing Culture (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Stone, Ruth M. Music in West Africa: expressing music, expressing culture.
    • Music -- Africa, West -- History and criticism.
    Lee, Tong Soon.
  • Huju: Traditional Opera in Modern Shanghai (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Stock, Jonathan P. J., 1963- Huju: traditional opera in modern Shanghai.
    • Opera -- China -- Shanghai.
    Whitesell, Lloyd.
  • Elvis Costello, Joni Mitchell, and the Torch Song Tradition (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Smith, Larry David. Elvis Costello, Joni Mitchell, and the torch song tradition.
    • Costello, Elvis -- Criticism and interpretation.

The Westrup Prize

Recipients of 'Music & Letters' Awards

'Music & Letters' Awards

Contributors

Books Received




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