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Title: Liszt and 'The Musical Times' : a study of reception in Victorian England
Author: Widén, Anne Kristiina
ISNI:       0000 0001 3567 8602
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2006
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This dissertation explores Franz Liszt's (1811-1886) reception in nineteenth-century England as revealed by Victorian issues of 'The Musical Times' and 'Singing Class Circular'. This journal was one of the most significant British music periodicals of the time, whose texts on Liszt - often written by eminent scholars - merit careful research. The study concentrates on the years between 1865 and 1901, a period defined by the start of Walter Bache's (1842-1888) regular London concerts promoting Liszt's music, and by the death of Queen Victoria. I examine the content and contexts of nineteenth-century texts that dealt with Liszt and his music, thus enhancing the understanding of the pianist-composer's early English reception and also shedding light on his position in the country in later times, as many Victorian views had a persistent effect on his reception. The thesis centres on the reception of Liszt's mature works composed after his virtuoso performing career and the challenges that the performers of his music faced in English musical society. In order to enrich the thus formed picture, other publications are also investigated; however, texts in The Musical Times remain the main point of reference. In Chapter 1,1 examine the assumptions and agendas that underlie such writings by paying attention to questions of language and rhetoric. In the following chapters, I consider Liszt's reception in the light of the historical, aesthetic and other contexts in which texts describing his life and output were produced, and in which performances of his compositions took place. The late Victorian era also saw a growing interest in musical nationalism. This process had a significant bearing on the evaluation of Liszt by the Victorians, and it is particularly for this reason that ultimately I focus on how the virtuoso was received by a musical culture espousing ideals of `Englishness'.
Supervisor: Rink, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available