The understanding of signifying acts is conditioned by the journey between the reading of the signs and their interpretation:
- knowing the topic components used by the composer, with its musical correspondent, stylistics;
- connecting the information on the birth, the program and the source inspiring the analyzed work (historical thinking);
- rhetoric-aesthetic analysis of the musical quotation (which becomes here a symbol in Peirce’s understanding of return to the original meaning);
- hermeneutic interpretation of the metamorphosis of the allusive quotation.
Adopting the perspective of this methodology in four steps, the present study aims to uncover the multiplicity of symbolic meanings which motivated Tchaikovsky to quote, in Lenski’s aria in Yevgeny Onegin, the main theme from Liszt’s Vallée d’Obermann.
Poet, essayist, translator, and composer Wolf von Aichelburg (1912-1994), of German descent, faced serious difficulties in Romania’s post-1945 totalitarian world. Because he had worked as a translator in the Ministry of Propaganda during the World War II, when Romania was an ally of Nazi Germany, Aichelburg became a target after the establishment of the communist regime in Romania. His attempt at fleeing the country in 1948 resulted in a conviction of imprisonment (1949-1951) and house arrest (1952-1956). He was again sentenced to prison time (1959-1962) in the so-called “trial of the German writers” for his literary work, which was considered “reactionary”. Following his imprisonment, he served two more years of house arrest. He was afterwards harassed by the Securitate, for his alleged homosexuality. After countless endeavors, he managed to attain the passport needed for his emigration in 1980, with foreign aid.
This paper proposes to place Aichelburg’s musical endeavors – both as a composer and as a musicologist – within the context of his biography. Although he is almost unknown today in Romania, his work – which was awarded the Stamitz Prize in 1976 – constituted Aichelburg’s main method of escape, of attaining a kind of freedom which was otherwise impossible to imagine through words.
In my capacity as a practitioner of music in all its acknowledged forms, I tried to figure out a few things in a series of previous studies. As regards the musical work, analysis will help establish a clear dichotomy between the musical fragments that sing and those that do not. All of them sound, but not in the same way. In the old series of the Muzica journal I have published a study titled A Dialectic of Formativity, in which I was looking into this issue with reference to the classical repertoire, particularly Beethoven’s music, where this dichotomy appears clearly. In the current text I am developing this idea, from a transdisciplinary perspective.
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