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"Franz Liszt & The Case of the Other: Exoticism in Classical Music" By Payman Akhlaghi, UCLA 2006, Graduate Paper

"Franz Liszt & The Case of the Other: Exoticism in Classical Music" By Payman Akhlaghi, UCLA 2006, Graduate Paper

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Published by PAComposer
"Franz Liszt & The Case of the Other: Toward a Study of Aspects of Exoticism in Western Classical Music Tradition"
Author: Payman Akhlaghi |
Graduate Independent Research Paper Toward Degree of PhD in Composition |
UCLA, 2006, 26 pages |
Supervising Professor: Ian Krouse |
© Copyright: 2006, 2011, Payman Akhlaghi. All rights reserved for the author.
[To print, please disable the HTML viewing, under your settings, or use the full-screen link, right side, under "embed". This is due to a technical issue with Scribd.com. Thank you.]
(*) Includes discussions of Nuages Gris, La Lugubre Gondola, Mephisto Waltz (Liszt); Dance of the Dervishes from Consecration of the House (Beethoven); In a Persian Market (Ketèlby); etc.
Excerpt:
"...Liszt: Three Late Short Pieces
Nuages Gris
Hardly anything in the myth—and the spectacular works—of the extroverted ‎performer of virtuosic piano pieces could prepare the listener for the intimate world of ‎this short work of 1881, Nuages Gris, i.e. “Gray Clouds”, or “Somber Clouds”. Liszt was ‎the consummate romantic composer for whom the semantic context of the music would ‎be an essential element to justify its existence. Judging from the titles of his works, from ‎symphonic poems to the shorter piano pieces, it appears is that his musical imagination ‎would be stirred more readily by the exotic or surreal sense of a poem or a story, although ‎he also has enough ‘purely musical’ works to his credit: Faust Symphony, Dante ‎Symphony, Prometheus, etc., along with two Concertos and numerous Etudes, among ‎others. For such a compositional mind, the most inventive of harmonic departures would ‎inevitably be intertwined with some form of expressive need.‎
‎[In comparison, Schumann’s affection for suggestive poetic titles also reflects a ‎similar sensitivity: Carnival, Papillons and Albumblätter can readily be recalled. But in ‎contrast, Chopin appears strongly oriented towards the ideals of the classical period and ‎the idea of absolute music. With very few exceptions, Berceuse and Fantasia in Fm ‎among them, Chopin’s works are invariably titled according to the form or genre of the ‎piece, such as Prelude, Mazurka, Sonata, Polonaise, Waltz or Concerto. In some cases, ‎e.g. Nocturnes and Ballades, the title of the genre has indeed a certain poetical and ‎imaginative connotation to it, but it still doesn’t make any direct reference to a specific ‎image. This observation is in accordance with the ‎..."
"Franz Liszt & The Case of the Other: Toward a Study of Aspects of Exoticism in Western Classical Music Tradition"
Author: Payman Akhlaghi |
Graduate Independent Research Paper Toward Degree of PhD in Composition |
UCLA, 2006, 26 pages |
Supervising Professor: Ian Krouse |
© Copyright: 2006, 2011, Payman Akhlaghi. All rights reserved for the author.
[To print, please disable the HTML viewing, under your settings, or use the full-screen link, right side, under "embed". This is due to a technical issue with Scribd.com. Thank you.]
(*) Includes discussions of Nuages Gris, La Lugubre Gondola, Mephisto Waltz (Liszt); Dance of the Dervishes from Consecration of the House (Beethoven); In a Persian Market (Ketèlby); etc.
Excerpt:
"...Liszt: Three Late Short Pieces
Nuages Gris
Hardly anything in the myth—and the spectacular works—of the extroverted ‎performer of virtuosic piano pieces could prepare the listener for the intimate world of ‎this short work of 1881, Nuages Gris, i.e. “Gray Clouds”, or “Somber Clouds”. Liszt was ‎the consummate romantic composer for whom the semantic context of the music would ‎be an essential element to justify its existence. Judging from the titles of his works, from ‎symphonic poems to the shorter piano pieces, it appears is that his musical imagination ‎would be stirred more readily by the exotic or surreal sense of a poem or a story, although ‎he also has enough ‘purely musical’ works to his credit: Faust Symphony, Dante ‎Symphony, Prometheus, etc., along with two Concertos and numerous Etudes, among ‎others. For such a compositional mind, the most inventive of harmonic departures would ‎inevitably be intertwined with some form of expressive need.‎
‎[In comparison, Schumann’s affection for suggestive poetic titles also reflects a ‎similar sensitivity: Carnival, Papillons and Albumblätter can readily be recalled. But in ‎contrast, Chopin appears strongly oriented towards the ideals of the classical period and ‎the idea of absolute music. With very few exceptions, Berceuse and Fantasia in Fm ‎among them, Chopin’s works are invariably titled according to the form or genre of the ‎piece, such as Prelude, Mazurka, Sonata, Polonaise, Waltz or Concerto. In some cases, ‎e.g. Nocturnes and Ballades, the title of the genre has indeed a certain poetical and ‎imaginative connotation to it, but it still doesn’t make any direct reference to a specific ‎image. This observation is in accordance with the ‎..."

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01/07/2013

 
FranzLiszt & The Case of the Other:
Toward a Stud o Aspects o
 Exoticism in We tern Cla ical Music Tradition
 A Graduate Level Independent Research Pa er Submitted Toward Degree o PhD in Composition Author: Payman Akhlaghi June 15
th
2006 UCLA
 Page 1 of 26 
© 2006, 2011, Payman Akhlaghi. All rights reserved.www.ComposerPA.com
Classical Music and The Case of theOther
Toward a Study of 
Aspects of Exoticism inWestern Classical Music Tradition
 Alternate Title:
Franz Liszt and the Case of the Other
Toward a Study of 
Aspects of Exoticism inWestern Classical Music TraditionBy: Payman Akhlaghi
M597Prof. Ian KrouseUCLASpring 2006(June 15, 2006)
 
FranzLiszt & The Case of the Other:
Toward a Stud o Aspects o
 Exoticism in We tern Cla ical Music Tradition
 A Graduate Level Independent Research Pa er Submitted Toward Degree o PhD in Composition Author: Payman Akhlaghi June 15
th
2006 UCLA
 Page 2 of 26 
© 2006, 2011, Payman Akhlaghi. All rights reserved.www.ComposerPA.com
Preface
The lure and the fear of the unknown parallel the history of mankind, and theywidely contribute to the genesis of art in general as a safe context towards theisimultaneous satisfaction. While this could be more apparent from a survey of visual,literary and performing arts, it also holds true in the case of music, notwithstanding theless ostensible nature of its referential aspects. Cross-cultural influences in music areamong the direct results of such desire for experiencing safely something new andhitherto unknown, feared or otherwise inaccessible, a desire that is inherent to the natureof the art itself. Such influences can typically range from simple compositional or stylistic imports to genuine paradigmatic shifts in the musical
Zeitgeist 
of a period,changes that affect the course of musical progress by influencing the very way composersthink. Thus, these influences are inevitably bound to, and challenge, an implicit sense of obligation toward the progress of the art form and the artistic tradition with which thecreative individual identifies.Particularly, the developments in the music of the past four centuries in manyways reflect the increasingly unprecedented rate of cultural exchange and populationtransfer across the borders. Such cross-cultural influences in music were furthefacilitated in the twentieth century with the advent and proliferation of the means for  preservation and distribution of sound–and sight–along with a general economic growthand the prevalence of more efficient means of transportation. This vast background,however, should not push into neglect the role of the creative individual: As our subject
 
FranzLiszt & The Case of the Other:
Toward a Stud o Aspects o
 Exoticism in We tern Cla ical Music Tradition
 A Graduate Level Independent Research Pa er Submitted Toward Degree o PhD in Composition Author: Payman Akhlaghi June 15
th
2006 UCLA
 Page 3 of 26 
© 2006, 2011, Payman Akhlaghi. All rights reserved.www.ComposerPA.com
involves a human creative activity, its outcome would ultimately rely on the dialectics of the individual versus his environment.The most obvious and at times undeservedly discounted manifestations of suchmusical exchanges can be seen when the music has aspired to evoke a far away,extraordinary or simply unusual entity, one which belongs to a distant place, time or culture, an abstract concept or something that simply cannot exist but in our imagination.Thus, broadly defined,
exoticism
in music could be as much a shortcut to naïve andsimplistic novelty as it can be a fertile ground for sheer genuine originality. While themere fact of offering ‘something otherly’, or even as it was often the case for transplantedcomposers, solely ‘being the other’, could give an artist an effortless opportunity for  presenting something new to an audience, it is only when such uniqueness of ideas and/or origin was combined with true individual genius that enduring results have been produced. Quite often, quantum leaps along the smooth evolutionary path of the classicaltradition can be attributed to the introduction of such ‘exotic’ elements.Undoubtedly, the classical music tradition has offered much more to the worldmusic than itself could have been possibly presented with. Yet, the richness of thistradition has been in part a result of the constant flow of such ‘exotic’ elements into itsmainstream. A better understanding of such interactions could have many ramifications beyond the scope of this paper, while some of which, given the origins of the presentauthor, might appear comically self-serving. Instead, this paper is conceived only as anintroduction to a possibly larger study of exotic influences on the mainstream classicalmusic of the relatively recent past. Hence, after a short examination of samplecompositions, for reasons that will be explained later, we’ll bring a prime representative

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