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Characteristics of modernity in "A Faust Symphony" by Franz Liszt: an aesthetic-analytical approach

Grant number: 15/04762-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2015
Effective date (End): October 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Music
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:Mário Rodrigues Videira Junior
Grantee:Ísis Biazioli de Oliveira
Home Institution: Escola de Comunicações e Artes (ECA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This study investigates the possibility of understanding the compositional construction of "A Faust Symphony" by Franz Liszt, considering the context of modernity. Are there traces of modernity in musical structures of such a work? The influence of Goethe's Faust in this symphony can already points to our question. After all, Goethe's version of the Faust myth is considered an important symbol of modernity (Schulte, Noyes & Kleber, 2011; Berman, 2007; Grünewald, 2013). We will start from a literature review about modernity in Goethe's Faust. Then, we will try to understand the implications of Goethe's literary work in many different levels of appreciation of the musical work by the musical analysis of "A Faust Symphony" and a literature review (Floros, 1980; Kramer, 1990; Chrissochoidis, 2001). After those, we will discuss the modernity of the nineteenth century (Habermas, 2002; Berman, 2007) and its effects on artistic production of the period (Compagnonn, 2010; Dahlhaus, 1991). This discussion will focus on the "Faust Symphony" as a case study. We will try to broaden the analytical observations with the aesthetic discussions on modernity in music and, at the same time, exemplify aesthetic considerations with the analytical study of the musical elements of the work. By doing so, we intend to verify the relevance of our hypothesis, which is: the characteristics of modernity can influence compositional processes itself, notably the formal and structural organization of the work of Liszt, as well as the choice of some of his musical material. The relevance of this project is still in the opportunity to study two gaps of our musicology: relate modernity with music and study the Liszt repertoire. (AU)