Speaker: Dr Shay Loya, City, University of London
Since the 1950s, Liszt’s late works caught the imagination of academics, performers and the wider public.
The prevailing narrative of works that were ahead of their time, especially in harmonic terms, combined powerfully with the high modernism of the mid-twentieth century, post-tonal theoretical research (Morgan, 1976; Forte, 1987; Baker 1990), and narratives of lateness that describe artists as somehow existing beyond history.
Meanwhile, the question of how such works may have existed in their own time after all – though recently addressed in historical research (Pesce, 2014) – did not receive much musical-analytical attention.
My paper will offer one solution by combining historical and formal perspectives of genre.
Drawing on Kallberg (1988), Samson (1989 and 2001) and others, I will briefly critique the modernist idea of the genre dissolution that tacitly underpin ahistorical approaches to Liszt's music.
This will lead to an analysis of expectations encoded in historically resonant musical materials. The generic aspect of harmony will form the focal point of this analysis, with representative examples from Liszt’s late Mephisto and ‘forgotten’ (oubliée) waltzes.
About the Speaker:
Dr Shay Loya is a Senior Lecturer of Music at City, University of London, where he directs the BMus undergraduate programme and teaches music theory and analysis. He is also a board member of the journal Music Analysis.
His research combines music analysis with issues of nineteenth-century nationalism, cosmopolitanism, exoticism and transculturation, with a particular focus on the music of Franz Liszt.
Previous publications include Liszt’s Transcultural Modernism and the Hungarian-Gypsy Tradition (University of Rochester Press, 2011), which won the Alan Walker Prize (2014), and ‘Recomposing National Identity: Four Transcultural Readings of Liszt’s Marche hongroise d’après Schubert’ (Journal of the American Musicological Society, 69:2, 2016).
He is currently working on a new monograph provisionally entitled Liszt’s Late Styles, which offers new and diverse aesthetic and analytical perspectives on the composer’s fascinating late oeuvre.