The present paper attempts to highlight the link between Christoph Willibald Gluck and two other major composers of the Romantic period, Franz Liszt and Hector Berlioz. The research focuses on the particular influence of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice upon the two composers. Each of them has undertaken a different approach of the myth in their own outputs, taking as model both the Ancient myth and the famous work of Gluck. The Romantic cultural context is also taken into account. The two composers had opposite ways of referring to Gluck’s masterpiece as they had been put in a similar situation, particularly that of reviving Gluckian Orfeo ed Euridice, almost a century after its premiere, in two major European cultural cities: Weimar and Paris.
The study starts from the outline of possible answers to difficult questions such as: “is there inner beauty in music?”; “if so, its origin is of aesthetic or extra esthetic nature?”; “can we rank works of art by applying extra esthetic criteria?”; “does the old relationship Good-Truth-Beautiful remain an ideal without reverberations in reality?” Then, significant aspects of Enescu’s life and creation are discussed and assessed from the perspective of these answers. The resulted decantation (the relation “existence-destiny”, “authenticity as offerings of “truth” in creation”; “love and responsibility for the other as duty of consciousness”; “affirming the convergence of values beyond time”) emphasizes the profound significance of Enescu’ music, being also the key to a better perception and, implicitly, understanding of his music.
Toshio Hosokawa is a contemporary Japanese composer (born 1955) with a clear sense of responsibility to the spiritual and musical traditions of his heritage, but at the same time he is a European avant-garde composer on equal footing with his most influential European peers. The article describes the genesis and structural innovations of a new composition of Hosokawa which was premiered on October 2nd by Kent Nagano and the Mahler Chamber Orchester in Baden-Baden, Germany: Sternlose Nacht (Starless Night) for two Sopranos, Speakers, Choir and Orchestra. This Oratorio is composed to commemorate the victims of the air attacks on the city of Dresden in February 1945 and the victims of the atom bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945. The compositional idea is to represent the natural cycle of seasons which is dramatically interrupted by human hatred and cruelty.
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