Domesticating Difference? <i>Carmen</i> and the “French” Canon in the 1920s

Samuel Llano

in Whose Spain?

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199858460
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979905 | DOI:

Series: Currents in Latin American and Iberian Music

Domesticating Difference? Carmen and the “French” Canon in the 1920s

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This chapter analyses the conceptions of Spain and “Spanish music” that underpinned perceptions of Carmen in the 1920s. While Carmen was already well established in the repertoire, the celebration of its fiftieth anniversary in 1925 further contributed to situating this opera at the centre of debates on French musical traditions. The impact that this process exerted on notions of “Spanish music” are relevant. While Carmen's long-standing success was to a great extent based on Bizet's ability to represent “difference,” its “new” aesthetic import was grounded on its capacity to stimulate consensus over the nature of the collective Self. This chapter analyses how critics and musicologists dealt with that “difference,” through attitudes which ranged from accommodating it into personal or collective notions of French identity, to dispensing with it altogether.

Keywords: Carmen; France; tradition; nationalism; difference; Spanish music; canon; Opéra-Comique

Chapter.  15509 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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