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Carl S.Leafstedt, Inside Bluebeard’s Castle: Music and Drama in Béla Bartók’s Opera

Carl S.Leafstedt, Inside Bluebeard’s Castle: Music and Drama in Béla Bartók’s Opera ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd. 2002. Published by Blackwell Publishers, 108 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1JF, UK CRITICAL FORUM simultaneous with his marriage to Marta Ziegler, its dedicatee, is suggestive of  a private autobiographical context. Bela Balazs, the author of the play that forms the basis of the opera's   libretto, would later establish himself as an influential film theorist. As a critic, and particularly as a film-maker, he became highly enthusiastic about montage, the central technique of cinema by which the cutting together of fragments can generate the illusion of continuity: only `by means of unaccustomed and unexpected methods produced by striking set-ups can old, familiar and therefore never-seen things hit our eyes with new impressions'.5 In Duke Bluebeard's Castle, the use of coloured lighting and the rapid changes of scene certainly anticipate Balazs's `striking cinematic set-ups', but the internalised  nature of the drama makes the opera seem closer to a radio play than a film. This latter aspect has proved a difficulty for opera-house managers and producers alike for, with only one short act, two singers and a minimal stage set involving little more than the seven doors from which shafts of coloured light http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

Carl S.Leafstedt, Inside Bluebeard’s Castle: Music and Drama in Béla Bartók’s Opera

Music Analysis , Volume 21 (1) – Mar 1, 2002

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/1468-2249.00152
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ß Blackwell Publishers Ltd. 2002. Published by Blackwell Publishers, 108 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1JF, UK CRITICAL FORUM simultaneous with his marriage to Marta Ziegler, its dedicatee, is suggestive of  a private autobiographical context. Bela Balazs, the author of the play that forms the basis of the opera's   libretto, would later establish himself as an influential film theorist. As a critic, and particularly as a film-maker, he became highly enthusiastic about montage, the central technique of cinema by which the cutting together of fragments can generate the illusion of continuity: only `by means of unaccustomed and unexpected methods produced by striking set-ups can old, familiar and therefore never-seen things hit our eyes with new impressions'.5 In Duke Bluebeard's Castle, the use of coloured lighting and the rapid changes of scene certainly anticipate Balazs's `striking cinematic set-ups', but the internalised  nature of the drama makes the opera seem closer to a radio play than a film. This latter aspect has proved a difficulty for opera-house managers and producers alike for, with only one short act, two singers and a minimal stage set involving little more than the seven doors from which shafts of coloured light

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2002

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