Sounding Judentum: Assimilation, Art Music, and Being Jewish Musically in 19th century German-speaking Europe [thesis]

Amanda Ruppenthal Stein
2021 unpublished
In the nineteenth century, Jews across Europe entered a period of emancipation, at best a vaguely defined term that indicated the granting of equal civil and political rights, though sometimes conditionally and often incrementally. Concurrent to this, art music was dominated by deep divisions of stylistic and aesthetic approaches to composition. One of the most enduringly polemical dichotomies was the debate between the "classical Romantics" and the neudeutsche Schule. This dissertation
more » ... issertation explores the nexus of these two phenomena-emancipation and music-making-when Jews and those of Jewish ancestry entered, quickly and in large numbers, into modern secular society and into the concert halls and salons so valued by the cultural elite of the Bildungsbürgertum. Through a series of case studies and an archivally-informed historicist approach, I explore different musicians' approaches to assimilation and acculturation: voiced sonically in their musical compositions, held interpersonally in their social and professional relationships, and expressed inwardly and outwardly in public articles, private diaries, and correspondence with other Jews and with gentile colleagues. As I both engage with and challenge ideas on what it means to "sound Jewish" in nineteenth century art music, my work functions as an intervention on existing narratives within the fields of historical musicology and Jewish studies. Case studies on five musicians from various historical moments of the pre-and post-Emancipation generations allow for a nuanced understanding of these individuals' musical expressions of ever-evolving Jewishness. Fundamentally, I seek to pre-date the generally accepted narrative on when musicians embraced and expressed Jewish heritage and/or Judaism in sound. Jewish engagement in art music has overwhelmingly been understood using frameworks of the twentieth and twenty-first century that demand works must have narrowly defined sonic markers such as liturgical chant or folk music quotation, Klezmer-esque I am deeply appreciative of my advisor, Jesse Rosenberg, who has supported me since I arrived Northwestern and he welcomed me into his book-filled office on the second floor of the old Music Administration building. I remember as a first year graduate student watching him grab a single volume off the sea of shelves with just the very information that he was recalling. Jesse is an impeccable and humble scholar, whose depth of knowledge is matched by his thoughtful approach to mentoring his students. His thoughtfulness and careful attention to detail while maintaining big picture ideas has shaped me into the scholar I am today. I am very lucky to have been the first graduate student that he saw through to the Ph.D. as their primary advisor, and I hope that I have done him well. I am incredibly grateful for my committee members. Meetings and feedback from Drew Davies always provided me with mindful direction and astute observations in framing largescale issues into a more holistic dissertation. Claire Sufrin encouraged me to look at my research from different perspectives and to forge bonds with Jewish Studies. I also want to acknowledge Professor Emeritus Tom Bauman, who served on my committee for Qualifying Exams and the Proposal, and whose course on Mahler, Zemlinsky, and Schoenberg was my first foray into broadscale academic writing about Jewishness in music. My sincere thanks go to the broader faculty of the Bienen School of Music including Linda Austern, Ryan Dohoney, Inna Naroditskaya, Scott Paulin, and Andrew Talle, whose guidance and open doors throughout my time enriched me as a scholar, educator, and writer. Thank you also to David Shyovitz of the Crown Center for Jewish and Israel Studies who has helped me in bringing music research to Jewish Studies and been a supportive presence at conferences. I also want to acknowledge some of my mentors of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Gillian Rodger and 7 Mitchell Brauner, and Todd Levy. To my new colleagues at Carroll University, thank you for trusting me with your students and for giving me the quiet office space that helped me complete my dissertation during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am thankful to my peers from Northwestern and beyond that have sat with me in seminars, libraries, conferences, and Zoom rooms over the past eight years. In particular, I wish to thank Emily Lane O'Brien and Jenna Harmon, with whom I started. The two of you embody what it means to be thoughtful, rigorous, and pushed me to ask the complicated questions. I also wish to thank those of my broader coursework cohort including:
doi:10.21985/n2-eqnq-rq41 fatcat:jpojj7jaqrauzdax5h6c2s4sgu