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Death and Resurrection Motifs in Narratives of Berlioz's and Liszt's Lives: D'Ortigue, Ramann, and Berlioz's Mémoires

Cormac, Joanne

Authors

Joanne Cormac



Abstract

The ways in which biographers mythologize their subjects’ lives (and the way they mythologize their own lives) have long been a topic of research in life-writing. Even though several musicologists have identified mythologizing “motifs,” the mythologizing function of “death” and “resurrection” remains under-theorized in relation to musical biography. Such motifs appear in biographies of Berlioz and Liszt written during their lifetimes, beginning with the earliest biographies of the composers, which were written by a friend, the music critic Joseph d’Ortigue. The meanings of these episodes changed when they appeared in auto/biographies written towards the end of their lives: Berlioz’s Mémoires and Lina Ramann’s Franz Liszt als Künstler und Mensch (the first “official” biography of Liszt, written partly under his guidance). In both of d’Ortigue’s biographical sketches, “resurrection” is associated with the broader social regeneration taking place in Paris in the wake of the July 1830 Revolution, thereby magnifying the composers’ importance. The ability to understand and conquer death is also positioned as an integral part of the composers’ apprenticeships, further inflating and mythologizing their status as artists.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jul 26, 2019
Journal Journal of Musicological Research
Print ISSN 0141-1896
Electronic ISSN 1547-7304
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Issue 3-4
Pages 216-232
Institution Citation Cormac, J. (2019). Death and Resurrection Motifs in Narratives of Berlioz's and Liszt's Lives: D'Ortigue, Ramann, and Berlioz's Mémoires. Journal of Musicological Research, 38(3-4), 216-232 . https://doi.org/10.1080/01411896.2019.1634474
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/01411896.2019.1634474
Publisher URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01411896.2019.1634474
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Musicological Research on 26.07.2019, available online: http://www.tandfonline....0/01411896.2019.1634474

This file is under embargo due to copyright reasons.




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