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HUMANITIES 259 In 'Backgrounds' the selections themselves are almost all abridged, and mistakes like Michael Peterman's callingJohn Lovell of the Literary Garland 'Robert' have not been noted. Still, this 'critical setting,' with its examples of Susanna Moodie's other life writings and reviews, criticisms, and a checklist of material relevant to Roughing It, is the most successful aspect of this volume. The paragraphs from D.M.R. Bentley's 1991 article ITrees and Forest: Variety and Unity in Early Canadian Writing' are particularly satisfying because of their grounding of Roughing It and its editions in a broad literary context. The criticism as a whole demonstrates the extent to which Susanna Moodie and her major work have become cultural icons. It is just too bad that Thompson does not reproduce the 'reliable' version of this Canadian classic that she invites the reader to expect. (MARY JANE EDWARDS) Michael Saffle and James Deaville, editors. New Light on-Uszt and His Music: Essays in Honor ofAlan Walker's Sixty-Fifth Birthday Pendragon Press 1997- xix, 338. $83ยท45 The book under review is 'a must' for Liszt scholars, but it may also interest other musicologists and scholars in other fields, since it touches on broader nineteenth-century cultural issues, such as the relationship between Wagner and Liszt, between music biography and art, between music and Jungian psychology, or the rise of the virtuoso star. Generally, the fourteen essays do not modify the current views on Liszt's life and ceuvre; rather, they enrich our understanding ofthe composer by providing many minute details heretofore unavailable, and thus expanding previous knowledge. Aside from many typographic errors, the volume is nicely presented, with numerous illustrations, and also has a valuable extensive bibliography of the work of the pre-eminent Liszt scholar Alan Walker, to whom the essays are dedicated. For the sake of clarity the editors have divided the essays into three sections entitled, respectively, 1. Liszt's Life and Relationships; 2. Documentary and Reception Studies; and 3. Liszt's Compositions and Musical Influence; yet there is some overlapping, especially between sections 1 and 2, as they both deal as much with 'life and relationships' as they do with 'documentary sources.' Among the documentary studies, 'Liszt in Hungary, 1848-1867' by the Hungarian musicologist Dezs6 Legany accounts for Liszfs visits to' his native country during those years, documenting in detail his successful performances, such as that of the Legend of Saint Elisabeth, but also the humiliations Liszt suffered because ofbadperformances ofhis 'Gran' Mass, and the Coronation Mass for Franz Joseph 1. Charles Suttoni's perceptive research on Liszt's involvement in the trials and tribulations that led to 260 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 three performances of Wagner's Tannhtiuser in Weimar (February 1849), Berlin (January 1856), and Paris (March 1861) sheds light on the precarious relationship of dependence between the two composers, in which Wagner took advantage of Liszt's willingness to promote his music just as much as Liszt used his own 'commitment to the new in music' as a means to increase his own publicity. Anne Troisier de Diaz's selections from the letters of Blandine, Liszt's daughter, some of which have never been published, and Pauline Pocknell's 'Clandestine Portraits: Liszt in the Art of His Age' throw light on personalities closely associated with Liszt. In 'Clandestine Portraits,' the documentary as well as the pictorial evidence supporting the claims that Liszt was the model for some of the paintings is shaky; nevertheless, the disclosure (based on hints from Haraszti) that Henri LehmaIU1's 1842-43 fresco in a chapel at Saint-Merry immortalizes a triangular drama between Liszt, Marie d'Agoult, and the princess Be1giojoso is both believable and interesting in the ciphered messages it conveys. I left the most 'interpretive' and therefore, to my taste, the most interesting essays for the end. James Deaville's 'The Making of a Myth: Liszt, the Press, and Virtuosity' is the most daring, and the only one in the book attempting to practise 'new musicology.' Following a parallel made by Susan McClary between Liszt and Elvis Presley as virtuoso stars with similar techniques of manipulating the audiences 'through '" enactments of sexual power and desire...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 259-260
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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