Reference and Mosaic Form in Peter-Jan Wagemans’ Opera Legende

Author: Top, Edward

Publication details: “Reference and Mosaic Form in Peter-Jan Wagemanss Opera Legende.” Tijdschrift Van De Koninklijke Vereniging Voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis 59, no. 2 (2009): 157-84.


Abstract: The three pillars of Wagemans’s aesthetic, as he outlined in a 1994 publication by Donemus, are recollection, association and quality. In Adorno’s view, expression had become a commodified cliché in music aesthetics of the late nineteenth century, a far cry from music’s actual capacity to express. For Schoenberg, expression could only regain meaning by pushing the musical material beyond the borders of tonality. However for Wagemans, the extension of this idea to its logical conclusion by the total serialists of the post-war years meant that the technique had yet again lost touch with what had sparked it in the first place: expression.