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Contents

Music in the Early Twentieth Century

“ESSENTIALLY” (AND INTOLERANTLY) FRENCH

Chapter:
CHAPTER 2 Getting Rid of Glue
Source:
MUSIC IN THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

Perhaps more vividly than any other composition of the period, Fauré’s exquisite Requiem, op. 48, painstakingly composed and revised over a span of twenty-three years (1877–1900), illustrates the characteristics that French musicians then wished to cultivate and propagate as “essentially French” as opposed to what was accordingly to be classified as “essentially German,” or stereotypically Italian, or even what was once considered French. A greatly truncated setting of the Requiem Mass, the work does not even contain a Dies Irae, the section that inspired a theatrically thrilling hellfire-and-damnation response from Berlioz in 1837 and again from Verdi in 1874. Instead, as the critic Èmile Vuillermoz (at one time a composition pupil of Fauré’s) remarked, Fauré’s Requiem is “a look toward heaven and not toward hell.”32 This attitude is pointedly confirmed at the end of the Requiem by the final section, a setting of the antiphon In paradisum deducant te Angeli (“May the Angels lead you into Paradise”), which is not even part of the Requiem Mass as such, but is sung on the way to the gravesite before burial on those occasions when burial immediately follows the service. This comforting representation of angelic harping is also a representation of a state of heavenly bliss, in which nothing remains to be desired. Therefore, the musical representation of desire, from which Germanic “absolute music” (not to mention all of opera) had drawn its sustenance, is virtually suppressed.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 2 Getting Rid of Glue." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2018. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-002007.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 2 Getting Rid of Glue. In Oxford University Press, Music in the Early Twentieth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 18 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-002007.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 2 Getting Rid of Glue." In Music in the Early Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 18 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-002007.xml
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