Three musical love letters
Music, Shakespeare suggested, can be the "food of love". For a composer, however, it can be the vehicle for so much more. This article discusses, from a psychoanalytic perspective, how three pieces of music variously convey a declaration of triumphant adoration (Richard Wagner's Siegfried Idyll); an exploration of the pain of betrayal and reconciliation (Arnold Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht); and a confession of the joy and sorrow of unrequited love (Leoš Janáček's String Quartet No 2, Intimate Letters). The role of muse for a composer and the power of music for the listener as aspects of projective identification are also considered.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2020
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