AMS - Library of Congress Lecture Series
The American Musicological Society and the Music Division of the Library of Congress are pleased to present a series of lectures highlighting musicological research conducted in the Division’s collections.
- 19 May 2016, 7 p.m., Madison Bldg., Montpelier Room: R. Larry Todd (Duke
University), “Revisiting Mendelssohn’s
Octet, or the Maturing of Precocity”
Mendelssohn's Octet (1825) is usually viewed as epitomizing the composer's astonishing, early full maturity, and as the culmination of his extraordinary precocity. If Goethe and Heine had already heralded the composer as the “second Mozart,” in the Octet the adolescent composer broke new ground by producing a richly hued masterpiece that explored on many levels the idea of virtuosity and indeed challenged the limits of chamber music. Drawing on autograph manuscripts held in the Library of Congress, this lecture reviews the complex early history of this masterpiece, and considers how the youthful inspiration of 1825 “aged” into the familiar icon of chamber music that it remains.
R. Larry Todd is Arts & Sciences Professor at Duke University. His books include Mendelssohn: A Life in Music, described as “likely to be the standard biography for a long time to come” (New York Review of Books), and Fanny Hensel: The Other Mendelssohn, which received the ASCAP Slonimsky Prize. A fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation and National Humanities Center, he edits the Master Musician Series (Oxford University Press). He studied piano at the Yale School of Music and with the late Lilian Kallir, and has recorded with Nancy Green the complete cello/piano works of the Mendelssohns for JRI Recordings.
Call for Lecture Proposals
Follow this link for full instructions if you are interested in participating in the AMS/LC Lecture Series.
Click here for information on previous lectures, including links to the webcasts:
- Fall 2015: Ryan Raul Bañagale, "The Ongoing Composition of Rhapsody in Blue"
- Spring 2015: Paul Laird, "'A Hint of West Side Story': The Genesis of Bernstein's Chichester Psalms as Seen in the Library of Congress Bernstein Collection"
- Fall 2014: Carol Hess, "Copland as Good Neighbor: Cultural Diplomacy in Latin America During World War II"
- Spring 2014: Nancy Newman, "'A program not greatly to their credit': Finding New Perspectives on the Germania Musical Society through the American Memory Sheet Music Collection"
- Fall 2013: Kendra Preston Leonard, "Meaning and Myth in Louise Talma’s First Period Works"
- Spring 2013: Todd Decker, "Making Show Boat: Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II, and the Power of Performers"
- Fall 2012: Barbara Heyman, "Samuel Barber: Serendipitous Discoveries"
- Spring 2012: Thomas Brothers, "Louis Armstrong: The Making of a Great Melodist"
- Fall 2011: William Meredith, "What the Autograph Can Tell Us:
Beethoven’s Sonata in E Major, opus 109"
- Winter 2011: Carol J. Oja, "Bernstein Meets Broadway:
Race, the Blues, and On the Town (1944)"
- Fall 2010: W. Anthony Sheppard, "American Musical Modernism and Japan"
- Spring 2010: Steve Swayne, "William Schuman’s Puzzling Seventh Symphony"
- Fall 2009: Walter Frisch, "Arnold Schoenberg's Creative Journey, 1897-1912"
- Spring 2009: Jeffrey Magee, "Now It Can Be Told: The Unknown Irving Berlin"
- Fall 2008: Annegret Fauser, "After Pearl Harbor: Music, War, and the Library of Congress"
- Spring 2008: Judith Tick, "Ruth Crawford Seeger, Modernist Composer in the Folk Revival:
Biography as Music History”