Arved Ashby, Ohio State, presents "Mahler's Symphonic Modelings of Death."
Gustav Mahler (1860–1911) has become history's death-obsessed symphonist, in a fanciful convergence of historiography, biography and musical semantics. Ashby will address the last of these: the question of how Mahler's late music participated in instrumental-musical modelings of death as process and event, and how it related to late-Romantic idealizations of mortality. Specific musical passages will be related to Freud's notion of the uncanny (das Unheimliche), and to the dramaturgy of Wagner's "rapturous dying out" (das schwärmerisch Ersterben, as derived from the Christian Passion plays). As a counterexample, Ashby will also draw comparisons with death-related topics in Strauss' tone poems.
Arved Ashby is professor and area head of musicology at Ohio State, where he has taught since 1995. His most recent book is Popular Music and the New Auteur: Visionary Filmmakers after MTV (Oxford University Press), which focuses on recent directors who have given pop songs the central filmic role once given to script. Today's talk comes from Experiencing Mahler, an introductory, general-readership volume that is due out this fall from Rowman & Littlefield.
Lectures in Musicology is co-sponsored by The Ohio State University Libraries.
Lectures are held Mondays at 4 p.m. in the 18th Avenue Library, 175 W. 18th Ave. (Music/Dance Library, second floor, room 205). These events are free and open to the public.