Music Theater as Musiktheater

Eric Salzman and Thomas Desi

in The New Music Theater

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780195099362
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199864737 | DOI:
Music Theater as Musiktheater

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Music theater is a coinage taken from the German musiktheater, originally applied to the chamber opera or zeitoper of the '20s and '30s. After World War II, new music in Germany became experimental, almost exclusively instrumental and highly abstract (non-theatrical) as a reaction to fascism and the devastation of the war. This movement was focused on the Darmstadt Summer Courses. The return of the human voice and the influence of Cage can be noted in the works of Stockhausen, Ligeti, Schnebel, and others. Darmstadt began to lose its influence; the events of 1968 and the subsequent collapse of the East German regime created new concerns. Popular and social subjects began to influence younger German and Austrian composers. New technologies, multi-media and cross-over works began to appear. The founding of the Munich Biennale (by Henze) and the establishment of festivals and smaller companies provided platforms for new works of opera and music theater.

Keywords: Musiktheater; Darmstadt Summer Courses; Hans Werner Henze; human voice; Stockhausen; Schnebel; Ligeti; East Germany; Munich Biennale

Chapter.  14734 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Opera

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