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Title: Aesthetic and ideological trends in the reception of Mendelssohn's music in nineteenth-century Germany
Author: Dempsey, Sinead
ISNI:       0000 0004 2678 8019
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2008
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This dissertation investigates trends in the critical reception of the music of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in the second and third quarters of the nineteenth century; more precisely, from the earliest reviews ofhis works to appear in the German musical press (1824) up to the controversy provoked by Wagner's 'Judaism in Music' (1869). The reasons for this fifty-year span are twofold: first, to consider the changing dynamics in critical reactions towards the composer in greater detail than a broader time frame would afford; and second, to avoid the historical determinism present in our existing picture, which assumes a direct link between the anti-Semitic dimension of Mendelssohn reception in the 185Os and the composer's treatment in the Third Reich. In identifying and explaining changes in the reception ofMendelssohn's output, this . study explores some ofthe aesthetic and ideological issues shaping its evaluation. As such, it touches on many aspects ofnineteenth-century thought and culture. In'addition to revising and clarifying the existing picture ofMendelssohri's reception, secondary outcomes of this study include an elucidation of the aesthetic stances and competing agendas of a diverse selection ofpolemicists and critics such as Adolf Bernhard Marx, Eduard Hanslick, Eduard KrUger, Heinrich Heine, Robert Schumann, Franz Brendel, Richard Wagner, Richard Pohl, Peter Cornelius, Franz Liszt, Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl, Emil Naumann and Felix Draeseke. Thus, this dissertation aims to contribute to our broader understanding of music criticism and aesthetic discourse in this period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available