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Feminist Revolutionary Music Criticism and Wagner Reception

Feminist Revolutionary Music Criticism and Wagner Reception Abstract Histories of progressive musical politics in mid-nineteenth-century Germany often center on the writings of Richard Wagner and Franz Brendel, relegating contributors such as the feminist and author Louise Otto (1819–95) to the periphery. However, Otto's lifelong engagement with music, including her two librettos, two essay collections on the arts, and numerous articles and feuilletons, demonstrates how one contemporary woman considered the progressive movements in music and in women's rights to be interrelated. A staunch advocate of Wagner, Otto contributed to numerous music journals, as well as her own women's journal, advising her female readers to engage with the music of the New German School. In the context of the middle-class women's movement, she saw music as a space for female advancement through both performance and the portrayals of women onstage. Her writings offer us a glimpse into the complex network of Wagner proponents who also supported women's rights, at the same time providing evidence for what some contemporary conservative critics saw as a concomitant social threat from both Wagnerian musical radicalism and the emancipated woman. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png 19th-Century Music University of California Press

Feminist Revolutionary Music Criticism and Wagner Reception

19th-Century Music , Volume 37 (3) – Apr 1, 2014

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Publisher
University of California Press
Copyright
© 2014 by the Regents of the University of California
ISSN
0148-2076
eISSN
1533-8606
DOI
10.1525/ncm.2014.37.3.161
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Histories of progressive musical politics in mid-nineteenth-century Germany often center on the writings of Richard Wagner and Franz Brendel, relegating contributors such as the feminist and author Louise Otto (1819–95) to the periphery. However, Otto's lifelong engagement with music, including her two librettos, two essay collections on the arts, and numerous articles and feuilletons, demonstrates how one contemporary woman considered the progressive movements in music and in women's rights to be interrelated. A staunch advocate of Wagner, Otto contributed to numerous music journals, as well as her own women's journal, advising her female readers to engage with the music of the New German School. In the context of the middle-class women's movement, she saw music as a space for female advancement through both performance and the portrayals of women onstage. Her writings offer us a glimpse into the complex network of Wagner proponents who also supported women's rights, at the same time providing evidence for what some contemporary conservative critics saw as a concomitant social threat from both Wagnerian musical radicalism and the emancipated woman.

Journal

19th-Century MusicUniversity of California Press

Published: Apr 1, 2014

Keywords: Keywords music criticism , gender , feminism , Richard Wagner , Germany

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