Saturday, 15 July 2006

More Queering the Pitch

Apart from the 2 articles I've already mentionned (on Handel and Schubert), "Queering the Pitch", edited by Philip Brett, Elizabeth Wood and Gary C. Thomas, has a rather diverse collection of material.

Philip Brett's Musicality, Essentialism and the Closet has, I think, some interesting things to say but is rather densely written. Elizabeth Wood's Sapphonics makes some interesting links between lesbian interest and singers with high mezzo-soprano voices. But the article seems more an assemblage of ideas, a sketch for something more concrete to come. This is not helped by some glaring errors; Salome was not a French opera comique. And her discussion of Ethel Smyth conveniently forgets that Smyth actually did have a passionate affair with Henry Brewster, it was this which informed their opera Les Naufrageurs, (The Wreckers).

There is an interview with Ned Rorem which has some good things to say, though I wish the author, Lawrence D. Mass, had worked it up into a proper essay rather than printing it in question and answer format.

Lydia Hammessly tried to shed light on the reasons why Henry Lawes might have set some of Katherine Philip's woman-centric (proto-lesbian?) poetry in the 17th century. One of those curious little side-lights which can easily get forgotten and which help fill in background and show how little we know. Philip Brett crops up again with an examination of orientalism in Britten's operas.

The article Unveiled Voces:Sexual Difference and the Castrato has some interesting nuggets, but is again rather densely written. It is also written under a pseudonym, Joke Dame, which sounds too jokey in what purports to be a serious publication

These are the more interesting articles, there are also a group which seem to be more about being Gay or Lesbian than real musicology, or what I'd think of as musicology; personal chronicles and attempts to fit the musical world into the gay/lesbian world, or vice versa. Not to mention the article about the music of k.d.lang (or am I being a little too po faced).

No comments:

Post a comment

Popular Posts this month