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Mozart and Beethoven: The Concept of Love in Their Operas Irving Singer

Mozart and Beethoven: The Concept of Love in Their Operas

Irving Singer

Published November 1st 1977
ISBN : 9780801819872
Hardcover
168 pages
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 About the Book 

Music, language, and drama come together in opera to make a whole thatconveys emotional reality. In this book, Irving Singer develops a new mode forunderstanding and experiencing the operas of Mozart and Beethoven, approaching themnot as a musicalMoreMusic, language, and drama come together in opera to make a whole thatconveys emotional reality. In this book, Irving Singer develops a new mode forunderstanding and experiencing the operas of Mozart and Beethoven, approaching themnot as a musical technician but as a philosopher concerned with their expressive andmythic elements. Using the distinction between the sensuous and the passionate(formulated in Singers earlier book The Goals of Human Sexuality) as framework forhis discussion, Singer explores not only the treatment of love in these operas butalso the emotional and intellectual orientation of these two great composers. Singercontrasts the cool sensuality of the Don in Mozarts Don Giovanni with Leonoraspassionate love for her husband in Beethovens Fidelio and compares the eroticplayfulness of some of Mozarts letters with Beethovens fervent (and unsent) letterto the immortal beloved. Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, Cos? FanTutte, and The Magic Flute all express the conflict between the sensuous and thepassionate, but it is only in The Magic Flute, says Singer, that this conflict isresolved. Beethoven, an admirer of The Magic Flute, emulated both its music and itsideology, and produced in Fidelio the greatest of all operas about married love.Written while Singer was also at work on the three-volume The Nature of Love, Mozartand Beethoven can be read as a companion volume to this masterful trilogy and as aforerunner to his later work on philosophy in film.