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Out of TimeMusic and the Making of Modernity$
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Julian Johnson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190233273

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190233273.001.0001

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Being Late

Being Late

(p.13) Chapter 1 Being Late
Out of Time

Julian Johnson

Oxford University Press

Contrary to the dominant view of modernity as future-oriented, defined by the new and the progressive, this chapter explores musical modernity as shaped around a prevailing sense of lateness. This idea is enacted in operas based on the myth of Orpheus, from Monteverdi’s Orfeo (1607) to Birtwistle’s The Mask of Orpheus (1986), but also in Wagner whose music dramas are structured by their compulsion to retell the past and which foreground a failure to actualize the new. More broadly, the pastoral, from Monteverdi’s madrigals and the Lieder of Schubert and Schumann to musical Modernism, provides the site of a musical re-membering, piecing back together the brokenness of the past in the re-enchantment of the world through the singing voice.

Keywords:   Orpheus, pastoral, opera, madrigal, Lieder, remembering, Monteverdi, Wagner, Birtwistle, brokenness

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