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Utrecht Colloquia in the Musicologies 2008-2009 Lecture Jacques Boogaart: "Inhibited Expression"

Kasteel Haarzuilens in Utrecht
© Kevin Bergenhenegouwen
datum 10 juni 2009 16:15
plaats Utrecht
locatie Janskerkhof 13, room 0.06 Toon locatie
organisatie Universiteit Utrecht (UU)

Secular vocal music is usually assumed to express human feelings. It is an interesting question, then, what will happen when its text indicates that the speaking person feels an inner obstacle to vent his or her feelings fully. This is a challenge for the composer, therefore all the more fascinating. To illustrate the problem, in his lecture Jacques Boogaart (University of Amsterdam) has chosen two examples, widely apart in time, from the seventeenth and fourteenth centuries respectively: a lamento-scene from Monteverdi’s late opera L’incoronazione di Poppea and a dialogue intérieur of a sighing lover from Machaut’s motets. Both composers were utterly sensitive not only to the direct signification but also the further implications of a text when they set it to music.

Boogaart shall argue that small musical devices – surprising rests in both cases – form initial question-marks in these pieces. These rests, which in the first place function as the representation of the inhibited utterance of emotions, eventually lead, in combination with an attentive reading of the texts, the interpreter further to the meaning and the literary and theoretical ideas behind the scenes, and to suggestions for the performance. Although both composers may seem to be light-years apart and to have totally different aesthetic views and theoretical backgrounds, yet in Monteverdi’s late operas medieval traditions, specifically the signification of allegory, still play a role, more than it has been attributed to in previous studies.

About the speaker

Jacques Boogaart studied guitar and lute, French literature and musicology. For many years he has been a performer in ensembles for medieval music and an accompanist of singers in the early baroque repertoire. He has taught medieval music and notation at the Instituut voor Muziekwetenschap of Utrecht University, and since 2002 he is assistant professor at Amsterdam University. He is a regular guest at international congresses on late-medieval and Renaissance music. His publications range from late-medieval music to the operas of Monteverdi. Besides his scientific work he endeavours to bring medieval music closer to a general audience by means of non-scientific publications. The specific topic of interest in his studies is the interaction between literature and music, and the evolution of music as an artistic object.



Lecture Jacques Boogaart: "Inhibited Expression"


Wednesday, 10 June 2009, 16.15 hrs


Janskerkhof 13, room 0.06, Utrecht

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