Post-Wagnerian composers in Vienna actively explored the kind of mental dissociation described in Freud and Breuer's Studies on Hysteria. Employing vast orchestras to create swirling psychodramas, their operas offer a beguiling artistic response to Anna O's idea of 'private theatre'. A few decades later many of those composers, exiled by the Nazis, employed the same soundworld to accompany the ultimate dissociative narratives of Hollywood's Silver Screen. Writer and musicologist Gavin Plumley looks at operas by Schreker, Korngold and their contemporaries through a Freudian lens.
Gavin Plumley is a writer and broadcaster, specialising in the music and culture of Central Europe. He has appeared on BBC Radio 3 and has recently spoken at the Royal Opera House, ENO, the CBSO, V&A and the Neue Galerie New York. He has given a number of talks at the Southbank Centre’s ‘The Rest is Noise’ festival this year and was recently appointed commissioning editor for the English language programmes at the Salzburg Festival. www.entartetemusik.blogspot.com
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