Inside Bluebeard's Castle: Music and Drama in Bela Bartok's by Carl S. Leafstedt

By Carl S. Leafstedt

This can be the 1st full-length exam of Bartok's 1911 opera Duke Bluebeard's fort, an authoritative research of 1 of the 20 th century's enduring operatic works. Leafstedt adopts a extensive method of the examine of opera by way of introducing, as well as the anticipated music-dramatic research, themes of a extra interdisciplinary nature which are new to the sector of Bartok experiences. those new parts of severe and scholarly terrain contain a close literary learn of the libretto and a gender-focused research of the opera's girl personality, Judith. exceptional by means of its reliance on unique Hungarian resource fabric as herein translated via Leafstedt and made on hand in English for the 1st time, this publication would definitely fascinate tune students and opera fans alike.

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Example text

That silence, that motionlessness locked up in those sullen castles, does it not undulate around me here as well? That invisible, all-ruling great mystery. For that is the hero of Maeterlinck's plays. Within that protracted silence where nothing happens, the invisible force is active which holds back this life, the silence which depicts its movements. And as for the vast Unknowable, within whose breast we live as if in a dark forest: its most visible, most dramatic manifestation is death. Death is the hero of these dramas.

The Maeterlinck influence, often acknowledged as a significant factor in the creation of Balazs's own dramatic style, has never been examined in detail. The Hebbel influence is proposed here for the first time. Examination of Balazs's own writings reveals that the intellectual disposition of this young Hungarian dramatist was conditioned as much by a deepseated attraction for German romantic drama as by the more immediate, and passing, influence of French symbolism. Bluebeard's dramatic style flows from multiple sources in the literary world Balazs enveloped himself in during his student years in Budapest.

It is lonely, dark and secretive: the castle of locked doors. . Into this castle, into his own soul, Bluebeard admits his beloved. And the castle (the stage) shudders, weeps and bleeds. "6 Befitting its central role in Balazs's conception, the castle was included on the list of dramatis personae in the first published version of the play, just after the names Judith and Bluebeard, as if it, too, were a participant in the drama. ) Dialogue between Judith and Bluebeard frequently alludes to the castle's human qualities.

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