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Fruits of the Cross

Passiontide Music Theater in Hapsburg Vienna

Robert L. Kendrick (Author)

Available worldwide

Hardcover, 264 pages
ISBN: 9780520297579
December 2018
$70.00, £54.00
Other Formats Available:
In this first detailed study of seventeenth-century sepolcri, semi-staged sacred operas performed on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, Robert L. Kendrick delves into the political and artistic world of Hapsburg Vienna where music and ritual combined on the stage to produce a thoroughly original art form that would impact music and performance across early modern Europe. Through the use of allegorical characters, the messages in the plays ranged from the devotionally intense, to the theologically complex, to the ugly anti-Jewish, and played a unique role in making Passion piety both articulate and relevant to wider cultural concerns. Beyond the slightly worn historiographic generalizations on Habsburg religiosity (pietas Austriaca), Fruits of the Cross suggests that understanding the sepolcri has implications for ritual theater as a whole in early modern Europe, the theatricalization of devotion, the power of allegory, the role of queenship in court ideology, the interplay between visuality and music, and not least the intellectual centrality of music theater to court self-understanding.
Robert L. Kendrick teaches music history and ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago.

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