Chapter

<i>Diabolus in Musica:</i> LISZT AND THE DEMONIC

Derek B. Scott

in FROM THE EROTIC TO THE DEMONIC

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780195151961
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199870394 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195151961.003.0007
Diabolus in Musica: LISZT AND THE DEMONIC

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This chapter presents a typology of the demonic in the music of Liszt, and seeks to answer the questions: what impact did his representations of the demonic have on his stylistic development as a composer? Do demonic elements appear even where Liszt has not chosen to indicate their presence by title? Liszt plays an important part in establishing particular demonic genres, such as the danse macabre and the demonic scherzo. He bequeathed a fertile legacy to the likes of Saint-Saëns, Dvorak, Mussorgsky, and others. The primary demonic technique for Liszt is that of negation: negation of the beautiful, the noble, the graceful, and so forth. The secondary technique is parody, though qualities are often negated and parodied (or mocked) at the same time. Liszt's strategies are discussed in the context of ideas of the demonic in the work of Goethe and Kierkegaard.

Keywords: danse macabre; demonic scherzo; Goethe; Kierkegaard; tritone

Chapter.  9149 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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