Ezra Pound's Radio Operas: The BBC Experiments, 1931-1933 by Margaret Fisher

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By Margaret Fisher

Ezra Pound, top recognized for his Cantos, mentioned himself as a "poet and composer" within the 1929 variation of Who?s Who. His BBC radio operas were obscured by means of the polemics of his Italian radio announces and his indictment by means of the USA executive for treason in the course of international warfare II. during this learn of Pound's radio operas of the Thirties, Margaret Fisher attracts at the unpublished correspondence among Pound and his maverick BBC manufacturer, Edward Archibald Fraser Harding, to bare a little-known element of Pound's profession. "Archie" Harding, an recommend of mass microphone entry in Britain and the 1st to supply a world radio linkup, tutored Pound in radio?s theoretical and political power, in addition to in particular radio innovations. Pound's first radio opera, transmitted in October 1931 below the identify The testomony of Fran??©s Villon, was once one of many first electronically more desirable operas to be broadcast in Europe. At Harding's request, Pound wrote a moment radio opera, Cavalcanti. even supposing the opera used to be regarded as unfinished and misplaced on the time of Pound's demise, in 1983 the yank composer and conductor Robert Hughes positioned a number of the manuscripts and assembled an entire paintings. Fisher examines Pound's purposes for composing and his theatrical types. She discusses the sound layout of the 1931 construction, in addition to the context within which Pound wrote his radio operas--artistic traits in movie and radio, quite a few broadcasting companies and amenities, and modern radio concepts. She additionally compares Pound's radio experiments to these of F. T. Marinetti, Walter Ruttman, and Bertolt Brecht. The publication, which incorporates the 1931 radio script and producer's notes, presents the required history and research to facilitate a activity of the 1931 broadcast, a latest degree functionality, or a movie or video creation.

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Extra info for Ezra Pound's Radio Operas: The BBC Experiments, 1931-1933

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Pound endeavors to bring forward a technique with a rich history, without trying to recreate CHAPTER 1 the emotion with which it is associated. This, at first glance, is the early twentieth-century neoclassicism of Stravinksy, though Pound’s inclination toward it slightly predates his involvement with the music of Stravinsky. The music reviews for The New Age demonstrate his intellectual engagement with the neoclassicism of early seventeenth-century music theater (for example, Caccini, –, and Monteverdi, –), spanning well into the eighteenth century (as represented by Mozart, –).

The Villon Opera Villon’s life is known through his semiautobiographical poems and the police records of the City of Paris. His large poem Le testament plays freely upon conventions of the Church (liturgy, psalms, prayers) and State (legal documents). It conforms to prescribed legal format and follows the forked example of the legitimate and parodic legal testaments of the day. 67 At the close of the poem (“De tout ce testament . . A tout cecy je m’y consens”), Villon grants authority to the notary Jean de Calais to gloss, define, build up, abridge, add to, cross out, interpret, or annul his will.

This, at first glance, is the early twentieth-century neoclassicism of Stravinksy, though Pound’s inclination toward it slightly predates his involvement with the music of Stravinsky. The music reviews for The New Age demonstrate his intellectual engagement with the neoclassicism of early seventeenth-century music theater (for example, Caccini, –, and Monteverdi, –), spanning well into the eighteenth century (as represented by Mozart, –). The neoclassicist doctrine in theater demanded attention to a philosophic truth that could be drawn from encapsulated dramatized events, and moral lessons that reinforced this perspective.

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