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'Hence, base intruder, hence': Rejection and Assimilation in the Early English Reception of Mozart's Requiem

Cowgill, Rachel (2006) 'Hence, base intruder, hence': Rejection and Assimilation in the Early English Reception of Mozart's Requiem. In: Europe, Empire, and Spectacle in Nineteenth-Century British Music. Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain . Ashgate, Aldershot, pp. 9-30. ISBN 9780754652083

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Contribution to international peer-reviewed volume co-edited with Rushton. (i) Originality: scholarly discourse on Mozart’s Requiem since the composer’s death has concentrated almost exclusively on authenticity – the extent of his creative involvement in the first 'completed' score published by Breitkopf (1800). In so focusing, however, we have neglected the Requiem as a cultural phenomenon – how the work has been experienced ‘on the ground’ by different communities at different times, and how these lived experiences have shaped our understanding of it and its composer (Bauman). This article presents a case study of such an approach – the reception of Mozart’s Requiem in late Georgian London, and particularly the impact of anti-Catholicism on the forms and contexts in which it was presented. Also explored is the significance of the Requiem for early nineteenth-century English constructions of Mozart - as an historical figure, idea, and musical persona. (ii) Significance: this article broadens the agenda of scholarly engagement with Mozart’s Requiem, but also highlights the importance of religious identity and doctrine in the reception of sacred music in nineteenth-century Britain. Recent work on the catholic/protestant divide in British culture (Paz, Wheeler) has not considered music, but the author demonstrates this is potentially an illuminating area of enquiry. (iii) Rigour: the article is based on exhaustive searches through newspapers and periodicals for details of performances, publication, and critical commentary on Mozart’s Requiem. Private papers and archives have also been consulted to enrich the findings, which are thoroughly contextualised within the progress of the ‘Catholic question’ in English politics in the years before Emancipation (1829). The essay has been described as 'outstanding' (Nicholas Temperley, NABMSA Newsletter, Spring 2007), and 'particularly excellent' (Charles McGuire, Journal of British Studies 46 (2007), p.978). This research will be developed further in a forthcoming monograph (Boydell & Brewer, 2009).

Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: See also Editors' Introduction, authored with Julian Rushton, pp. 1-5
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Rachel Cowgill
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2014 15:07
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2014 15:07


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