Operatic Pasticcios in 18th-Century Europe

Contexts, Materials and Aesthetics

In Early Modern times, techniques of assembling, compiling and arranging pre-existing material were part of the established working methods in many arts. In the world of 18th-century opera, such practices ensured that operas could become a commercial success because the substitution or compilation of arias fitting the singer's abilities proved the best recipe for fulfilling the expectations of audiences. Known as »pasticcios« since the 18th-century, these operas have long been considered inferior patchwork. The volume collects essays that reconsider the pasticcio, contextualize it, define its preconditions, look at its material aspects and uncover its aesthetical principles.

60,00 € *

27. April 2021, ca. 774 Seiten
ISBN: 978-3-8376-4885-0

Erscheint voraussichtlich bis zum 27. April 2021

* = Preise inkl. Mehrwertsteuer. Deutschsprachige Bücher = gebundener Ladenpreis, fremdsprachige Bücher = unverbindliche Preisempfehlung. Versandkostenfreie Lieferung innerhalb Deutschlands, für Ausnahmen siehe Details.


Berthold Over

Berthold Over, Universität Greifswald, Deutschland

Gesa zur Nieden

Gesa zur Nieden, Universität Greifswald, Deutschland

1. Why did you chose this topic?

The musical pasticcio of the 18th century with its use of pre-existing music has a rather pejorative image: the ›cheap recycling‹ and quick com-position of music as well as the closeness to plagiarism arouse doubts on its work status and aesthetical value. With the book our aim was to reconsider the pasticcio and its practices, to contrast it with compilation techniques in other arts and to see it from a point of view diametrically opposite: as an appreciated art form that fostered aesthetic reconsiderations in the early Enlightenment and beyond.

2. What new perspectives does your book offer?

Our studies take recent research trends focusing musicians' mobilities and the materiality of music as an opportunity to consider the European opera pastiche of the 18th century in its European and practical contexts. Aesthetic exchange processes also play a role here, which not only ensured the dissemination of certain compositional styles, but also their combination and further development. In the whole, the understanding of operatic pasticcios offers deep insight into the reception of music in early modern metropolises and in the context of itinerant troupes.

3. What makes your topic relevant for current research debates?

The book is an important contribution to the discussion of the work concept which has been called into question more and more over the last 20 years. The un-mutability of musical works makes room for their mutability evidenced in their openness of form and content, a topic still to be discussed. Moreover, the volume has a certain relevance in actual legal debates since the pastiche as a legal term has recently entered jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

4. Choose one person you would like to discuss your book with!

Martha Feldman (University of Chicago). Prof. Feldman is a specialist of music in early modern times with a special focus on opera, singers and materiality. Moreover, she researched functions of the anonymous work which is a characteristic of the pasticcio too, normally containing numerous anonymous arias.

5. Your book summary in one sentence:

A comprehensive interdisciplinary overview of current pasticcio research offering numerous new insights and further research perspectives.

Berthold Over / Gesa zur Nieden (eds.)
Operatic Pasticcios in 18th-Century Europe Contexts, Materials and Aesthetics
transcript Verlag
ca. 774
kart., Klebebindung, 50 SW-Abbildungen, 20 Farbabbildungen
27. April 2021
Kulturgeschichte, Kunst
Musicology, Music, Dance, Literary Studies, Fine Arts, Theater Studies, Philosophy, Law
Opera, Pastiche, Work Concept, Music Aesthetics, Arts, Cultural History, Art, Art History, European Art, Fine Arts

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