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date: 10 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Like his contemporaries and predecessors, Brahms frequently engaged the Middle Ages to comment on modern cultural life in a way that would be accessible and meaningful to his audiences. This essay will explore his “Magelone Romances” (the song cycle, op. 33), which present the idealized, fantastical love story of Peter of Provence and the Fair Magelone in Ludwig Tieck’s 1797 retelling of the fifteenth-century romance. In essence, the cycle develops a simplistic fantasy of extraordinary heroism into the comforting reality of middle-class domesticity. In this way, Brahms appropriates medieval tropes that emerged in the early decades of literary and musical romanticism, but uses them to express a later generation’s artistic and social ideals.

Keywords: Johannes Brahms, Ludwig Tieck, domesticity, romanticism, medievalism

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