Nielsen, Saul and David and the Symbolist Movement
This article explores the position of Nielsen and his first opera Saul and David in the European symbolist movement of the 1890s. Through a study of Nielsen’s published letters and diary entries from the period, it is possible to present the composer’s wide interest in art and engagement with artists – both in Denmark and on his extensive European travels – at a time when symbolism was dominating the modern art scene. Furthermore, one can trace artistic strategies in Nielsen’s early work – in this case, the opera Saul and David – that correspond to different ideas of symbolism. This includes combining archaic materials with contemporary techniques, as well as creating a subjective expression through mood and simplified, non-naturalistic styles.
Copyright (c) 2020 Marie-Louise Zervides
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