Nationalism and cultural transfer in Danish mid-19th century musical culture
This article argues that provincial culture in the 19th century, even while presenting itself as patriotic and nationalist, may sometimes contain elements in which a certain aspiration to overcome provincialism and introduce a cosmopolitan quality to local culture is detectable. The themes of cosmopolitanism and provincialism in relation to music is developed with reference to Franz Liszt, who in the context of this article comes to function as a sort of ‘cosmopolitan’ mirror image of the ‘provincial’ Danish composer, Henrik Rung (1807-1871). Rung’s work Slaget ved Fredericia (1850) – a piece of nationalist political propaganda, in effect – is analysed, and it is suggested that while it is certainly suffused with patriotic rhetoric (such as the occasion demanded), Rung nevertheless at the same time took the opportunity to incorporate a number of significant international musical influences, notably from Felicien David’s symphonic ode, Le désert, Meyerbeer’s Les huguenots and from the vocal music of the Italian renaissance. These influences are interpreted as indicative of an international outlook, differing quite markedly from that of his internationally renowned contemporary, Niels W. Gade, and on several points in closer accordance with Franz Liszt’s.
Germanisch-romanische Monatsschrift: Franz Liszt Zum 200. Geburtstag, 2015, p. 205-222
Faculty of Humanities; Cultural transfer; Henrik Rung; Franz Liszt; Slaget ved Fredericia; Felicien David; Le desert; Provincialism; Cosmopolitanism; Slaget ved Fredericia (musical work, by Henrik Rung); Le désert, ode symphonie (musical work, by F. David)