Carl Maria von Weber and the Search for a German Opera by Stephen C. Meyer

By Stephen C. Meyer

Stephen C. Meyer info the elaborate relationships among the operas Der Freischütz and Euryanthe, and modern discourse on either the "Germany of the mind's eye" and the hot country itself. In so doing, he offers excerpts from quite a lot of philosophical, political, and musical writings, a lot of that are little recognized and in a different way unavailable in English. person chapters hint the multidimensional notion of German and "foreign" opera in the course of the nineteenth century. Meyer’s research of Der Freischütz locations the paintings in the context of rising German nationalism, and a bankruptcy on Euryanthe addresses the opera’s stylistic and topical shifts in gentle of fixing cultural and aesthetic situations. for this reason, Meyer argues that the quest for a brand new German opera was once no longer in simple terms a classy stream, yet a political and social critique as well.

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German philosophers, historians, and critics from the early nineteenth century differentiated the deep, spiritual, and inward nature of their national culture from what they viewed as the super¤cial culture of France and Italy, driven by fashion (Mode) and vanity. German cultural identity was increasingly bound up with the inward gaze. The Mittelstand used their “shared moral virtues” to differentiate themselves not only from other European cultures, but also from the aristocracy, a process that began as early as the 1760s.

Since the late eighteenth century the court had intermittently given subsidies to itinerant companies such as Seconda’s, but Vitzthum envisioned a permanent company that would be a separate division of the court theater. In order to garner support for his idea from the king and court, Vitzthum does not seem to have employed the nationalistic aesthetic and artistic arguments that were to become so strident in the next decade, but focused instead on the economic bene¤ts that the new institution could bring.

Die Bürgschaft (2 times), a drama in two acts, after Schiller’s Ballade, put to music by Herr Mayer . . [and] Abu Hassan (2 times)[,] an opera in one act by Hiemer, with music by Herr Kapellmeister von Weber. . 5 This emphasis on the operatic text makes perfect sense when we remember the extent to which early-nineteenth-century writers de¤ned “Germany” as a Sprachraum (language space) rather than as a political or cultural entity. The existence of many bilingual librettos for Italian operas, with the original Italian text and a German translation on facing pages, seems to imply that a large proportion of early-nineteenth-century opera audiences had dif¤culty understanding Italian.

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