International Conference Franz Liszt 2011
FRANZ LISZT: MIRROR OF A EUROPEAN SOCIETY IN EVOLUTION
(September 20-27, 2011)
Organized by the Universities of Rennes, Dijon and Strasbourg
As part of the bicentenary celebrations of Liszt’s birth, the universities
of Rennes, Dijon and Strasbourg organize a tribute to the most
representative European composer of the nineteenth century. Three symposia
in three different cities will give new insight into three different
aspects of Liszt’s artistic, literary and political personality and seek
to (re)define his status in the cultural world of his time.
Rennes – Liszt: A Musician in Society
Tuesday 20 – Wednesday 21 September 2011
Dijon – Liszt: Readings and Writings
Friday 23 – Saturday 24 September 2011
Strasbourg – 19th-century Topoi and the Music of Liszt
Monday 26 – Tuesday 27 September 2011
– Detlef Altenburg (Germany)
– Serge Gut (France)
– Leslie Howard (GB)
– Charles Rosen (USA)
– Alan Walker (USA)
– Florence Fix (University of Burgundy)
– Márta Grabócz (University of Strasbourg)
– Laurence Le Diagon-Jacquin (University of Rennes II)
– Georges Zaragoza (University of Burgundy)
CONGRESS N°1 – University of Rennes 2 (September 20-21, 2011)
– James Deaville (Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada)
– Rossana Dalmonte (Institute Franz Liszt, Italy)
– Zsuzsanna Domokos (Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum and Research Center,
-Cornelia Szabó-Knotik (Institute for Analysis, Theory and History of
Music, Vienna, Austria)
– Michael Saffle (Virginia Tech., USA)
LISZT, A MUSICIAN IN SOCIETY
Liszt was a polyglot and a cosmopolitan citizen travelling throughout
Europe and expressing his ideas on the progress of nations, political
systems and social change. Liszt, a European in a Europe under
construction is the main focus of this symposium which sets out to analyse
the connections between his music and the religious, political and
aesthetic transformations of his time (in continuity with an earlier
colloquium in Bellagio). In a political and religious sense he did indeed
meet the important people of his world, the monarchs and princes, the
revolutionaries, the pope and the clerics at odds with the dogma of the
day. In addition to considerations about Liszt himself—not only as a
virtuoso piano player, composer, teacher and also as a man of his
society—an examination of the characteristics of his music as they have
evolved over time (for instance at anniversaries or on stage and on
screen) might prove a promising approach.
The relations between Liszt’s music and society (religion, politics,
history) represent a whole socio-musicological field of research for the
symposium in Rennes.
CONGRESS N°2 – University of Burgundy (September 23-24, 2011)
– Jacqueline Bellas (University of Toulouse)
– Maria Eckhardt (Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum and Research Center, Hungary)
– Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger (Switzerland)
– Claude Knepper (CNRS, Paris)
– Danièle Pistone (Paris IV – Sorbonne)
– Alban Ramaut (University of Saint-Etienne)
LISZT, READINGS AND WRITINGS
As a music, literary and art critic, and a reader and an observer of his
time, Liszt also wrote many letters. These are widely studied today and
indeed one of the main avenues of research of this symposium will be to
examine the limits and mechanisms of Liszt’s writing, as a musician who
also marked his contemporaries by what he wrote.
Liszt is also the subject matter of various writings, biographies and
novels alike. As a character of fiction, of romanticized biographies, of
imaginings that transpose him into other realms representing him, say, as
a painter, Liszt is at the heart of a literary activity that sees him as
both subject matter and acting subject. The self-portrait that emanates
from his correspondence is also an interesting composition and the
concepts of self-figuration and self-fiction will be covered. By comparing
and contrasting all these fictional constructions the hope is to arrive at
a true typology of the literary characters inspired by Liszt.
Considerations of Liszt as a “reader” are welcome too. The material from
his Weimar library depicts him as a scrupulous reader, annotating and
commenting on his readings. This material needs to be examined to see what
Liszt gleaned from it for his own musical compositions.
It is this triple portrait of Liszt as writer, character and reader that
we seek to address in the literary part of the Dijon symposium.
CONGRESS N°3 – University of Strasbourg (September 26-27, 2011)
– Béatrice Didier (ENS, Paris)
– Françoise Escal (EHESS, Paris)
– Adrienne Kaczmarczyk (Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum and Research Center,
– Bertrand Ott (Angers)
– Mathieu Schneider (University of Strasbourg)
19TH-CENTURY TOPOI AND THE MUSIC OF FRANZ LISZT
Interest in the study of literary and musical topoï has been steadily
growing since the 1990s. Several scholarly societies and international
research groups are working on developing a methodology based on the
presentation of “commonplaces”, either in the sense of “models or
repertoires of general arguments” in rhetoric, or of the conventional
round of ideas and thoughts within a given time period. The literary and
“narrative topos” as a recurring narrative configuration of thematically
or formally relevant elements is defined on the website of SATOR (Society
of Analysis of the Novelistic Topoi).
In the field of musicology, the international research group on Musical
Signification (see ICMS publications) and American scholars have initiated
studies on topics and narratives. According to Leonard Ratner, the musical
topics are characteristic figures which can become subjects for musical
discourse. In classical music, topics appear as styles or as types. More
recently R. Monelle (2006) and K. Agawu (2009) have proposed other
definitions of the musical topos.
Research in 19th-century literature and semiotics has already brought to
light a great number of topics [topoi] of the Romantic period. In this
respect, the SATOR database (www.satorbase.org) and the works of Béatrice
Didier are fundamental (1966, 1985, 2006). As to the book of E.R. Curtius
(1947, 1956), it is the seminal milestone in the history of topos studies.
In the chapter “Indications” [= Index rerum] of his novel Oberman (1804),
Senancour lists the major Romantic themes of his generation : friendship;
love; the pastoral world; climate; spleen; Man (“romantic” or that “of
society”); ideals; religion; etc.
We see this forthcoming congress – which will focus on Franz Liszt’s ideas
and music – as an exceptional opportunity to broaden the scope of an
increasingly popular field of research.
Deadline for submission of paper proposals (20’ presentation + 10’
discussion): July 1st, 2010.
Please send an abstract (max. 1500 characters) together with a short
Résumé for Strasbourg (CV).
The list of accepted submissions will be released in October 2010.
Papers will be given in French, English, and German
Depending on your chosen topic, please send your submissions to one of the
1/ Congress in Rennes: à Laurence Le Diagon – email@example.com
2/ Congress in Strasbourg: à Márta Grabócz – firstname.lastname@example.org
3/ Congress in Dijon: email@example.com
Papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings in French and English.
Deadline for submission of papers for publication: November 1st, 2011. To
ensure publication, make sure your full texts reach us before that date.