Department of Music

Joanne Cormac's book wins Alan Walker Triennial Award 2020

Liszt and the Symphonic Poem cover

Liszt and the Symphonic Poem Cover

We would like to wish a huge congratulations to Dr Joanne Cormac, of the Department of Music,  who has recently won Alan Walker Triennial Award 2020. The award comes from The American Liszt Society for Joanne's book "Liszt and the Symphonic Poem" (Cambridge University Press)

A quote from one of the lead panel members, R. Larry Todd, said ‘I believe Liszt and the Symphonic Poem is a game-changer for our understanding of Liszt as a dramatic composer … beautifully written and meticulously researched.’

About the book:

Franz Liszt was preoccupied with a fundamental but difficult question: what is the content of music? His answer lay in his symphonic poems, a group of orchestral pieces intended to depict a variety of subjects drawn from literature, visual art and drama. Today, the symphonic poems are usually seen as alternatives to the symphony post-Beethoven. Analysts stress their symphonic logic, thereby neglecting their 'extramusical' subject matter. This book takes a different approach: it returns these influential pieces to their original performance context in the theatre, arguing that the symphonic poem is as much a dramatic as a symphonic genre. This is evidenced in new analyses of the music that examines the theatricality of these pieces and their depiction of voices, mise-en-scène, gesture and action. Simultaneously, the book repositions Liszt's legacy within theatre history, arguing that his contributions should be placed alongside those of Mendelssohn, Berlioz and Wagner.

Posted on Tuesday 26th January 2021

Department of Music

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