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Changing views on nationalism in late 18th century German opera
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
2014 (English)In: Musikforskning idag: Växjö, 11-13 juni 2014, 2014Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the second half of the 18th century a German middle class began to emerge. Seeking to validate their social status through the acquirement of cultural capital, they began to show an interest in music. This gave German composers and librettists a new audience to address; an audience with other values and interests than the old audience of the courts. One such interest was the emerging question of nationalism, taking shape for instance in the writings of Johann Gottfried Herder (1744–1803). This was a particularly pertinent question in the German lands, given that they at the time were fragmented into count-less disparate pieces, lacking a common nation as well as a common culture. In this paper I will look at two operas by the Prussian composer and court Kapellmeis-ter Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1752–1814): the opera seria Brenno of 1789 and the Singspiel Die Geisterinsel of 1798. Both composed for royal celebrations, a comparison between them shows a change in view on nationalism (among other aspects) taking place in Germany at the end of the 18th century. I aim to show how this changed view was part of an incipient transformation of the cultural sphere at the time; a transformation indicated also by Reichardt’s change in chosen genre from the first occasion to the latter, from opera seria to Singspiel.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
National Category
Musicology
Research subject
Musicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-114917OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-114917DiVA: diva2:795173
Conference
Konferensen Musikforskning idag, Växjö, Sverige, juni 11-13, 2014
Available from: 2015-03-14 Created: 2015-03-14 Last updated: 2017-06-12Bibliographically approved

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