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date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Fantasia and sensibility are not like other topics. Composed and improvised in all shapes and sizes, fantasias are not reducible to a single type of material. The fantasia was a host genre, a context of topical play, incorporating a range of stylistic and generic references. The frequent use of passages inspired by accompanied recitative and aria reveals an affinity with opera seria. The idea that the fantasia influences other genres is prominent in music criticism only after 1800 and represents an idealist trope foreign to much of the eighteenth century. Sensibility, though thematized in scenes of musical pathos and tenderness which display stylistic commonalities through a range of conventional materials, was not a musical style but a capacity for refined emotional response and sympathetic identification broadly relevant to the project of aesthetics and the fine arts.

Keywords: fantasia, sensibility, Empfindsamkeit, C. P. E. Bach, mechanical

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