Die Idee der Verwandlung

In Verwandlungsmusik. Über komponierte Transfigurationen. Universal Edition. pp. 11-51 (2007)
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Within the European history of ideas, at least three conceptions of metamorphosis can be distinguished. First, as celebrated in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, there is the vision of an open-ended flux of shapes in all directions, potentially with the ambiguous result of wavering identity. Secondly, at the centre of the synoptic gospels Jesus’s transfiguration is presented as a luminous elevation, rendering his true nature unambiguous. Thirdly, alchemy conceives of metamorphosis as contingent upon a meeting of polarities. The distinction is fit to disclose crucial aspects of works of art, particularly of musical compositions.

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Andreas Dorschel
Goethe University Frankfurt


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