Edited by : Lorraine Byrne Bodley
Publication Date 28th, April, 2013
Eminent Irish Composer, Seóirse Bodley’s musical settings of Goethe’s poetry. It is edited by Dr. Lorraine Byrne Bodley and at the heart of her musicological reflections musicological reflections is a detailed account of the poems that significantly shaped Bodley’s settings. In her reading of each cycle she examines the cultural and poetic contexts, weaving together the confessional with larger cultural forces at play. These details relate to the casebound edition.
The book explores very different but radical musics that can be traced back to Bodley’s Darmstadt period. Mignon and the Harper belongs to the avant-garde, the experimental, with all the challenges to which this has given rise. The more recent song cycle, Gretchen, is a fine example of how Bodley’s style continues to change and go into unexpected and unseen places. And yet while it is difficult to imagine two more contrasting pieces from the one composer, there is a convergence in the need to create a unique context of meaning through the act of composing. Just as Byrne Bodley’s reading of these heterogeneous works as both object and process emphasizes the idea of historical transmission of materials as a living tradition, these settings compel us to experience again the relationship of modernity to tradition in both poetry and the music it has here inspired.