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Form, Narrative and Intertextuality in W agner's Overture to D er fliegende H olländer

Form, Narrative and Intertextuality in W agner's Overture to D er fliegende H olländer In this essay I analyse the form of Wagner's overture to Der fliegende Holländer (1841) as part of a constellation that also includes the composer's published programme for the overture as well as the stage action and a few key musical events in the opera. To that end, I use analytical tools inspired by the ‘new Formenlehre’ (William Caplin's theory of formal functions and James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy's theory of sonata form) in conjunction with aspects of narrative and intertextuality. I argue that Wagner's innovative use of musical form in the overture functions as a background against which events in the opera are thrown into relief, so that both can be understood as two essentially different versions of the same narrative. In the overture, sophisticated manipulation of the conventions of musical form generates a symphonic narrative, while changes to the narrative in the opera are articulated by the reworking of aspects of that same musical form at crucial moments in the drama. Both the overture's form and the opera's dramaturgical design gain in significance through an intertextual dialogue that Wagner sets up between his opera and the model of Weber's Der Freischütz (1821). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

Form, Narrative and Intertextuality in W agner's Overture to D er fliegende H olländer

Music Analysis , Volume 32 (1) – Mar 1, 2013

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Music Analysis © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/musa.12007
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In this essay I analyse the form of Wagner's overture to Der fliegende Holländer (1841) as part of a constellation that also includes the composer's published programme for the overture as well as the stage action and a few key musical events in the opera. To that end, I use analytical tools inspired by the ‘new Formenlehre’ (William Caplin's theory of formal functions and James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy's theory of sonata form) in conjunction with aspects of narrative and intertextuality. I argue that Wagner's innovative use of musical form in the overture functions as a background against which events in the opera are thrown into relief, so that both can be understood as two essentially different versions of the same narrative. In the overture, sophisticated manipulation of the conventions of musical form generates a symphonic narrative, while changes to the narrative in the opera are articulated by the reworking of aspects of that same musical form at crucial moments in the drama. Both the overture's form and the opera's dramaturgical design gain in significance through an intertextual dialogue that Wagner sets up between his opera and the model of Weber's Der Freischütz (1821).

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2013

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