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The Politics of AppropriationGerman Romantic Music and the Ancient Greek Legacy$
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Jason Geary

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199736119

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199736119.001.0001

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Lachner and the Emergence of a New Athens

Lachner and the Emergence of a New Athens

(p.168) Chapter Six Lachner and the Emergence of a New Athens
The Politics of Appropriation

Jason Geary

Oxford University Press

Here the geographical focus shifts to Munich and a discussion of the Bavarian court as a new center for the German revival of Greek tragedy. Like his Prussian counterpart, King Maximilian II of Bavaria turned to the performance of Greek tragedy as part of a larger attempt at cultural reform, including a continuation of the effort begun by his father to transform Munich into an “Athens on the Isar.” The theater reform in Munich initially took place in the shadow of Berlin but ultimately included an original production of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King (1852) with music by the court composer Franz Lachner. Lachner also used Mendelssohn’s Greek music as a model, but employed a style marked by a distinctly sacred veneer in what appears to be an effort at suggesting both the religious tone of Sophocles’ drama and the elevated nature of Greek tragedy more generally.

Keywords:   Munich, Lachner, Oedipus, Melodrama, Philhellenism, Greco-Roman architecture

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