Jolivet's Rameau: Theory, Practice and Temporal Interplay?

Deborah Mawer

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Jolivet is often related to a non-Western otherness, but this French-on-French mapping examines how, in a wartime essay, the composer portrays his forebear Rameau and, in so doing, what he says about himself. A loosely symmetrical form (chiasmus) leads contextually from philosophies of temporality, especially � la Bergson, through an overview of Jolivet?s wartime theoretical-historical writings and Rameau?s theoretical work, to the essay in question. A close reading of Jolivet on Rameau develops the special concern with music theory and theory?practice relations (Bourdieu-like), and extends through an eighteenth-century historicity, to Jolivet?s engagement here with temporal interplay. Mawer argues that, overall, despite a measure of hagiography, Jolivet creates an impressively insightful, knowledgeable account of his predecessor, in part because ?subject? and ?object? are so well matched. Inevitably, however, some re-inflection occurs in overplaying intuition and spirituality, so betraying his own authorial priorities. Most interesting is Jolivet?s perception that Rameau had time to pursue his discoveries thoroughly: it is salutary that, as early as 1946, Jolivet felt hurried ? something regarded typically as a bane of modern postmillennial lives.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHistorical Interplay in French Music and Culture, 1860-1960
    Place of PublicationLondon and New York
    Number of pages22
    ISBN (Print)ISBN 9781472474759; 9781315586847 (ebk)
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 2018


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