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FROM THE EROTIC TO THE DEMONICOn Critical Musicology$
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Derek B. Scott

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195151961

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195151961.001.0001

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Diabolus in Musica: LISZT AND THE DEMONIC

Diabolus in Musica: LISZT AND THE DEMONIC

Chapter:
(p.128) 6 Diabolus in Musica: LISZT AND THE DEMONIC
Source:
FROM THE EROTIC TO THE DEMONIC
Author(s):

Derek B. Scott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195151961.003.0007

This chapter presents a typology of the demonic in the music of Liszt, and seeks to answer the questions: what impact did his representations of the demonic have on his stylistic development as a composer? Do demonic elements appear even where Liszt has not chosen to indicate their presence by title? Liszt plays an important part in establishing particular demonic genres, such as the danse macabre and the demonic scherzo. He bequeathed a fertile legacy to the likes of Saint-Saëns, Dvorak, Mussorgsky, and others. The primary demonic technique for Liszt is that of negation: negation of the beautiful, the noble, the graceful, and so forth. The secondary technique is parody, though qualities are often negated and parodied (or mocked) at the same time. Liszt's strategies are discussed in the context of ideas of the demonic in the work of Goethe and Kierkegaard.

Keywords:   danse macabre, demonic scherzo, Goethe, Kierkegaard, tritone

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