Opera and Modern Culture
Wagner and Strauss
By (author) Lawrence Kramer
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Opera and Modern Culture by Lawrence Kramer
Book DescriptionIn this enlightening and entertaining book, one of the most original and sophisticated musicologists writing today turns his attention to music's most dramatic genre. Extending his ongoing project of clarifying music's various roles in Western society, Kramer brings to opera his distinctive and pioneering blend of historical concreteness and theoretical awareness. Opera is legendary for going to extremes, a tendency that has earned it a reputation for unreality. Opera and Modern Culture shows the reverse to be true. Kramer argues that for the past two centuries the preoccupation of a group of famous operas with the limits of supremacy and debasement helped to define a normality that seems the very opposite of the operatic. Exemplified in a series of beloved examples, a certain idea of opera--a fiction of opera--has contributed in key ways to the modern era's characterizations of desire, identity, and social order. Opera and Modern Culture exposes this process at work in operas by Richard Wagner, who put modernity on the agenda in ways no one after him could ignore, and by the young Richard Strauss. The book continues the initiative of much recent writing in treating opera as a multimedia rather than a primarily musical form. From Lohengrin and The Ring of the Niebelung to Salome and Elektra, it traces the rich interplay of operatic visions and voices and their contexts in the birth pangs of modern life.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780520251601
(229mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 24-Sep-2004
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Lawrence Kramer
Thought of Music, Paperback (February 2016)
What, exactly, is knowledge of music? And what does it tell us about humanistic knowledge in general? This book grapples directly with these fundamental questions - questions especially compelling at a time when humanistic knowledge is enmeshed in debates about its character and future.
Drum-Taps, Paperback (June 2015)
As soon as the war ended in 1865, Whitman published the book, which includes some of his tenderest and most haunting poems. This book introduces readers to one of Whitman's achievements, a profoundly moving work of witness, courage, and lament.
Expression and Truth, Paperback (September 2012)» View all books by Lawrence Kramer
Expression and truth are traditional opposites in Western thought: expression supposedly refers to states of mind, truth to states of affairs. This title features five theses that connect expression to description, cognition, the presence and absence of speech, and the conjunction of address and reply.
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Author Biography - Lawrence Kramer
Lawrence Kramer is Professor of English and Music at Fordham University and coeditor of 19th-Century Music. His many books include Why Classical Music Still Matters (2007), Classical Music and Postmodern Knowledge (1995), After the Lovedeath: Sexual Violence and the Making of Culture (1997), and Musical Meaning: Toward a Critical History (2002), all from the University of California Press.
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