Melody Chapin (Tufts University)
Opera and Modernity in Brazil: Camargo Guarnieri and Mário de Andrade's Pedro Malazarte
The ethnomusicologist Gerard Béhague defined Brazilian modernism as coinciding with Brazilian nationalism whereby a musical brasilidade was developed by shedding European influences and legacies. Yet a modernist work such as the one-act comic opera Pedro Malazarte (1932) offers a different account of early twentieth-century Brazilian national style. This paper argues that the composer Camargo Guarnieri and the librettist Mário de Andrade hybridized, rather than rejected, European heritage with national musical traditions. Their one-act comic opera aspires to bring the traditional character of Malazarte out into an international avant-garde.
This paper focuses on three musical moments crucial to understanding Pedro Malazarte’s cultural project, corresponding to three musical genres firmly rooted in the Brazilian tradition which are inserted into the dramatic texture of the opera. First, Baiana sings a modinha, the traditional art song; then Malazarte, a character related to commedia dell’arte types, sings an embolada; and then the townspeople sing a ciranda in the town square, voicing and enacting vox populi by way of a playful collective circular dance.
Lastly I argue that a close look at Pedro Malazarte affords a new way of discussing Brazilian modernism in relation to issues of Brazilian national identity. In turn this work undoubtedly offers new perspectives on the history and historiography of twentieth-century opera.
Melody Chapin is an MA candidate in Musicology at Tufts and a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a BM in Voice Performance. She has also studied at the University of São Paulo, Brazil with a US Student Fulbright Grant (2012) and with a research grant from the University of New Hampshire (IROP, 2009). Her prior research concerned the performance and diction technique of Brazilian art song. Melody's Master thesis focuses on aspects of brasilidade in M. Camargo Guarnieri's opera Pedro Malazarte. She is also interested in issues of accessibility of Latin American and Iberian art music and in English poetic translation from the Spanish and Portuguese languages.
Heather De Savage (University of Connecticut)
Before and After Debussy: Gabriel Fauré's Pelléas et Mélisande in New York and Boston, 1902 - 1912
Maurice Maeterlinck’s play, Pelléas et Mélisande, inspired diverse musical settings following its French premiere in 1893, including those by Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, Arnold Schoenberg, and Jean Sibelius. Today, Debussy’s opera is by far the most familiar of these, particularly in the U.S., where it gained steady popularity following its New York premiere in 1908. However, it was actually Fauré’s setting with which American audiences first became acquainted in the early- twentieth century, in both its original context as incidental music, and as a suite for orchestra. Audiences in New York and Boston first heard the score in 1902 as part of an English staging of Pelléas by the famed actress, Mrs. Patrick Campbell, for whom Fauré had composed the music four years earlier. It was particularly appreciated in Boston, a Francophile city that had embraced Fauré’s music since the 1890s. The Boston Symphony Orchestra performed the suite for the first time in 1904, and in the following years included it on numerous programs, at home and on tour. This offered critics various opportunities to discuss Fauré’s approach to Maeterlinck’s text, eventually in comparison to Debussy’s opera, and to express a clear preference between the two.
This paper considers the reception of Fauré’s Pelléas music in the U.S., with a focus on New York and Boston, 1902–1912. Critical writings illustrate the response to Fauré’s setting as it was first heard in Campbell’s production, and extracted as concert music, as well as the gravitation toward Debussy’s opera in the following years. The ten-year anniversary performance of Maeterlinck’s play in Boston (1912) offers a unique point of comparison, as his wife, Georgette Leblanc- Maeterlinck, performed in both Debussy’s opera and in the play (featuring Fauré’s score), at the Boston Opera House that year.
Heather de Savage recently completed a Ph.D. in music history and theory at the University of Connecticut; she holds a master’s degree in music history from the University of New Hampshire, and a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music. Her doctoral dissertation examines Gabriel Fauré’s American reception, with a particular focus on Boston, 1892−1945. She recently presented a portion of this research at the conference Effable and Ineffable: Gabriel Fauré and the Limits of Criticism, and at the North American Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music. She has also presented on the topic of embedded elements in the late motets of Heinrich Schütz, at the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, and AMS-NE. Publications include a contribution to the Cambridge Companion to Vaughan Williams, and co- authored articles on harmonic text painting in the lieder of Franz Liszt (Gamut: Online Journal of the Music Theory Society, with Richard Bass and Patricia Grimm), and historical performance practice in fifteenth-century Franco-Flemish chanson repertoire (Early Music, with Peter Urquhart). She is currently assisting on the Oxford critical edition of Vaughan Williams’ Ninth Symphony (ed. Alain Frogley). In addition to her research activities, Heather teaches a variety of courses at UConn’s Storrs, Avery Point, and Greater Hartford campuses.
David Ferrandino (University of Buffalo, SUNY)
Getting "Satisfaction" from Others: Cover Songs, Irony, and The Rolling Stones
After being released as a single in the U.S. in June 1965, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" quickly established The Rolling Stones as the archetypical rock stars by succinctly articulating the sense of irreverent rebellion crucial to the rock discourse. For this reason, "Satisfaction" remains one of the most frequently recorded songs in rock history, though not all of these covers are faithful recreations. "Satisfaction" has been covered by a number of artists, from Otis Redding to Britney Spears, but this paper will focus on two versions that challenge the legacy of the Stones: one by the avant-garde collective the Residents from 1975 and one by new-wave band Devo from 1978. The Residents obsess over the iconic guitar riff, layering it with inversions and harmonization while obligerating the singer's vocal timbre with heavy distortion and compression effects. Devo takes an opposite approach, preserving the lyrics verbatim, while drastically altering the musical setting. These two groups are both indebted to and repulsed by their rock and roll predecessors and their versions of "Satisfaction" demonstrate that cover songs can be the perfect vehicle for ironic critique.
Cover songs are necessarily intertextual artifacts, with the reproduction both borrowing from and bringing additional meaning to the original. Though normally associated with homage or nostalgia, a cover song can also critique, drawing attention to defects or excesses in the previous version or insinuating things about the performer or their audience. Using Deena Weinstein's concept of "stereophony," I aruge that the way we listen to a pop song is greatly impacted by our knowledge of its creation, familiarity with the original, and our own previous listening experiences. A song as influential as "Satisfaction" will have accrued many layers of signifcation and many different interpretations are not only possible, but unavoidable.
David Ferrandino recently received his Ph.D. in musicology from the University at Buffalo, SUNY where he studied post-1945 American music under Dr. Stephanie Vander Wel. Ferrandino's research interest focus on the socio-political implications of popular music in American culture, the performance of musical identity, and musical minimalism. His dissertation, entitled "Irony, Mimicry, and Mockery: American Popular Music of the Late Twentieth Century" discusses the ways in which irony has become a driving creative force in popular culture at the end of the twentieth century and explores methodologies for using irony in the analysis of popular music created during this time.
Erinn Knyt (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
"A History of Man and His Desire": Ferrucio Busoni and Faust
Relying on knowledge of Karl Engel’s edition of the Volksschauspiel, Karl Simrock’s version of the puppet play, Gotthold Lessing’s Faust fragments, and versions of the Faust legend by Christopher Marlowe and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, among others, Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924) crafted his own hybrid libretto for Doktor Faust that depicts a mystical and broad-minded Faust. Busoni’s music corresponds to the richness of Faust’s mind, combining heterogeneous timbres, forms, and styles, including a Gregorian Credo, Palestrina-style choral settings, a Reformation hymn, a Baroque dance suite, an organ fantasia, operatic recitatives, impressionistic symphonic writing, and experimental passages. At the same time, Busoni sought to write “a history of man and his desire” rather than of a man and the devil. It is Faust’s own dark side, rather than the devil, that distracts him and prevents him from completing his greatest work. With Kaspar removed from the plot, Mephistopheles, who as spirit, is not always distinct from Faust the man, becomes Faust’s alter ego. This duality is expressed musically when Faust assumes Mephistopheles’ characteristic intervals.
Although Doktor Faust has already been studied by several scholars, including Antony Beaumont, Nancy Chamness, and Susan Fontaine, there is still no detailed analysis of Busoni’s treatment of Faust. Through analyses of autobiographical connections, Busoni’s early settings of Faustian characters, and the text and music in Doktor Faust, with special attention on the Wittenberg Tavern Scene that has no precedent among the versions of the Faust legend, this paper reveals Busoni’s vision of Faust as a broad-minded, and yet conflicted character, shaped idiosyncratically to convey Busoni’s personal artistic ideals. In this way, the essay not only contributes to ongoing discourse about Doktor Faust, Busoni’s chef d’oeuvre, but also expands knowledge about ways the Faust legend was interpreted in the early twentieth century.
Knyt specializes in 19th and 20th century music, aesthetics, and performance studies and has written extensively about Ferruccio Busoni. She has articles in the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, American Music, the Journal of Musicology, the Journal of Music History Pedagogy, and Twentieth Century Music, and has presented papers at conferences throughout the U.S. and abroad. Her book, which is under contract with Indiana University Press, explores Busoni's relationship with early and mid-career composition mentees, including Jean Sibelius, Edgard Varèse, Otto Luening, Louis Gruenberg, and Philipp Jarnach. She received a Faculty Research Grant for archival research related to her book.
Nona Monahin (Five College Early Music Program, Mount Holyoke College)
A Tale of Three Sciolte: Triple Meters in the Danced Suites of Fabritio Caroso
My paper concerns tempo relationships between the movements of danced suites in two treatises by the distinguished Italian dancing master Fabritio Caroso: Il Ballarino (1581) and Nobiltà di Dame (1600).
Caroso’s suites—most of which are labelled balletto—consist of an unnamed movement in either duple or triple meter followed by one or more sciolte. In Caroso’s usage the term sciolta refers to a triple-meter rendition of musical material initially presented in the opening movement. Although the sciolte are often based on dance types, and are labelled accordingly (sciolta in gagliarda, sciolta in saltarello), it is clear that Caroso uses the term to refer to the music only. In fact the choreography that accompanies such a sciolta need not necessarily contain any of the steps normally associated with the dance type on which it is based. At times the different sciolte appear to have been selected for purely musical reasons, in particular for the temporal and rhythmic contrasts they provide, rather than for the wish to display a particular dance attribute.
The question of tempo relationships between different meters is one of the thorniest areas of Renaissance music research, yet it is of crucial importance for performance practice. Musicological studies dealing with this topic have tended to focus on the writings of music theorists, composers, and practitioners. The theoretical portions of dance treatises should also be considered as many of them address questions of relative tempo, meter, and tactus (albeit somewhat indirectly or using specialized terminology) in ways that correlate with the writings of music theorists such as Martin Agricola and Adriano Banchieri.
In my paper I apply such combined information to a choreomusical analysis of a mock tournament dance named Barriera, which employs three different sciolte—grave, saltarello, and gagliarda—that appear to have been selected for their contrasting tempos in order to underscore the choreographer’s particular dramaturgical vision.
Nona Monahin teaches early dance in the Five College Early Music Program at Mount Holyoke College, and works in the Robert Frost Library at Amherst College. Originally from Australia, she received her Ph.D. in Musicology (with a focus on 16th-century Italian dance suites) from Monash University in 2014. Nona has given presentations at meetings of the Society of Dance History Scholars, the Shakespeare Association of America, the International Shakespeare Association, the Symposium of the International Musicological Society, and the New England Chapter of the American Musicological Society, and has taught workshops on historical dance and music-dance interactions in Australia, Europe, and North America. In addition to Renaissance music and dance theory, Nona's interests include dance in Shakespeare. She has choreographed for many theater productions and will co-teach a dance workshop at the upcoming World Shakespeare Congress in Stratford-upon-Avon in August of this year. She has a chapter in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Dance (expected 2017), and is currently working on a project focusing on music and dance relationships in ballets choreographed to Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet score.
Sean Parr (Saint Anselm College)
Vestiges of Virtuosity: Origins of the French Coloratura Soprano
From the origins of opera, singers were expected to have the vocal facility to sing melismas, a tradition especially prominent during the so-called “bel canto” period of the early nineteenth century. By the end of the nineteenth century, however, coloratura had become a rare feature in Franco-Italian operatic vocal writing. I focus on the end of this transition, when the coloratura soprano had become an established dramaturgical “type” in French opera. My paper proposes that the role pairings in Meyerbeer’s nineteenth-century repertory operas serve as precursors to the marking of the virtuosic soprano as a type in late nineteenth-century operas by Offenbach, Delibes, and Massenet. As observed by Mary Ann Smart (2003), Meyerbeerian role pairings and musical characterization manifest in Les Huguenots (1836). This very popular nineteenth-century repertory opera serves as a starting-point for understanding the transition from coloratura as a normative singing style to one that functions as an uncommon and conspicuous gesture in late nineteenth-century operas: Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann (1881), Delibes’ Lakmé (1883), and Massenet’s Manon (1884). The soprano roles in these operas hark back to the zenith of coloratura singing at mid-century, when high notes and melismas were a kind of aural analogue to the ornamental decadence of Second Empire Paris. In building on previous studies (2011 and 2012) of mid-century coloratura and on a pivotal créatrice, Caroline Carvalho, I argue that coloratura became gendered feminine and became identified with a particular tradition of French voice typing. This argument is supported by an exploration of the original soprano creators of the roles and their reception history, as well as the musical evidence. Coloratura arias in these operas are the late-century exceptions that prove the rule; they are echoes of the virtuosic vocalism so prominent earlier in the century.
Sean M. Parr is Associate Professor of Musicology at Saint Anselm College where he teaches music history and voice performance, as well as humanities courses in the core curriculum. With a PhD in Historical Musicology from Columbia University, his research interests focus on nineteenth-century French and Italian opera, dance, the operatic voice, and gender. His work on coloratura and the female singer in Second Empire Paris has been published in the Cambridge Opera Journal and 19th-Century Music. He is currently completing a monograph on the history of the coloratura soprano. He is also founder of Morningside Opera, a New York City company dedicated to challenging the boundaries of opera, and acclaimed by the New York Times for its "bold imagination and musical diligence" and for having a "serious foundation in rigorous musicology."
David Schulenberg (Wagner College)
Between Frescobaldi and Froberger: From Virtuosity to Expression
The discovery of new sources and the re-evaluation of previously known ones has led to revised work-lists for Frescobaldi and Froberger, two of the most original composers of keyboard music in the early Baroque. Toccatas and contrapuntal compositions which Frescobaldi published in a series of widely influential volumes are now supplemented by many additional works preserved in manuscript. Comparable works by Froberger, although not published during his lifetime, were gathered by the composer in several authoritative manuscripts whose contents are now also joined by further works. The quadricentennial of Froberger, born in 1616, is a fitting time to reconsider the music of both compsoers.
The “new” compositions are preserved in relatively unauthoritative sources, and their chronology as well as their attribution is accordingly less certain. Especially problematical are three toccatas, transmitted anonymously in the Roman manuscript Chigi 25, which have long been considered transitional between Frescobaldi and his pupil Froberger.
This presentation supports a proposed attribution of these toccatas as late works of Frescobaldi. It argues further that they hint at an ongoing transition also also evident in other late works of Frescobaldi from early-Baroque virtuosity to a style that placed greater emphasis on subjectivity or expressivity. This trend was crucial for the even more personal style of Froberger, Frescobaldi’s pupil, whose early development is tentatively traced through a number of works that possibly preceded his first securely dated compositions (in an autograph of 1649). Yet Froberger also cultivated an ostentatiously learned type of contrapuntal writing modeled on that of Frescobaldi, at times going beyond the latter in the use of chromatic subjects and newly invented modes. The juxtaposition in Froberger’s autographs of subjective music to be played “à discrétion” with abstruse “scientific” experiments in counterpoint made explicit the shattered subjectivity characteristic of the European Baroque, which is only implicit in the music of the previous generation.
David Schulenberg is the author of The Keyboard Music of J. S. Bach and The Music of C. P. E. Bach as well as the textbook and anthology Music of the Baroque, now in its third edition. He has also edited keyboard sonatas and concertos by C. P. E. Bach and is a contributor to the new Breitkopf & Härtel edition of the organ works of J. S. Bach. A performer on harpsichord and other early keyboard instruments since his college days at Harvard, he has been heard as a soloist across North America and on chamber music CDs on the Naxos, Hungaroton, and Albany Records labels. He chairs the music department at Wagner College in New York City and is, additionally, a faculty member in the Historical Performance program at The Juilliard School. He has also taught at Boston University. Further writings, editions, and recordings are online at faculty.wagner.edu/david-schulenberg.