Niveau : UnderGraduate
Langue du cours : Anglais
Période : Printemps
Nombre d'heures : 30
Crédits ECTS : 3
Normally when you talk about music, you think of Germany or Italy, or even France, but not of England or the USA. And yet, if you pause and try and remember some tunes, you might very well start humming the “Halleluiah!” from Handel's Messiah or Dowland's “Come again” as sung by Sting on his Songs from the Labyrinth album. You may also have heard a great soprano sing “When I am laid in earth” from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, or be familiar with Klaus Nomi's rendition of “The Cold Song” from King Arthur. And did you know that “Summertime” is actually the opening number of an opera written in 1935?
English and American composers have always loved fun: parody and irony are present in the repertoire, from John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1728), the model for Brecht and Weill's Threepenny opera (L'opéra de quat'sous) to Gershwin, Bernstein or Sondheim's musicals. And luckily for us, West Side Story and Sweeney Todd have become films that combine visual flair with musical excellence, while most of Gershwin's songs have become jazz standards, including the ones from his opera Porgy and Bess.
This course is an invitation to discover some music of the past that was created in England (from William Byrd to Benjamin Britten) or took its subjects from English literature and theatre (including works by Weber, Mendelssohn or Verdi). But it will also cover the 20th century's contribution through musicals and rock operas like Hair or Tommy.
We will use film and video whenever this is available, and some context will be provided Students will be asked to give short presentations about musicians and/or one of their works. Recorded music/videos will be made available for listening on the Intranet. Above all I hope to make you discover and discuss works that you had never encountered and to realize that there's more to “English” music than meets the eye!
Suggested list of works:
8. Britten: The Turn of the Screw (Opera,1954) - based on a novel by Henry James
9. Kurt Weill: Street Scene (1947); the Mahagonny songs
10. Gershwin: An American in Paris and its standards (1951 MGM musical film) / Porgy and Bess (opera, 1935)
11. Musicals from Jerome Kern (1885–1945) and Showboat to Frederick Loewe (1901 - 1988) and My Fair Lady.
12. Bernstein: West Side Story (musical, 1957: film 1961), Candide (1956, new libretto in 1973, revised in 1989)
13. Sondheim: Sweeney Todd (musical, 1979; film, 2007); A Little Night Music (musical, 1973)
14. Rock operas: Hair . Tommy.
15. 20th century opera: Oliver Knussen : Where the Wild things are (1983) based on the book by Maurice Sendak
Dernière mise à jour : mercredi 28 mars 2012
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