“Unusual, Gentle Sensory Stimuli”: A Psychoanalytical Path to the Early Aesthesis of Hans Werner Henze

  • Christian Bielefeldt
Keywords: music and psychoanalysis, aesthetics of music, Hans Werner Henze, music and communication

Abstract

Musicology and psychoanalysis still face each other strangely. Yet, there are quite fruitful initiatives for dealing with musical phenomena from a psychoanalytical perspective, as this article tries to show with the example of the early music aesthetics of Hans Werner Henze. Led by the Lacanian model of imaginary-symbolic-real, Henzes texts from from the 1950s are read in a way in which the aesthetics “of a free, wild sound” is linked to the requirement of music being communicative. Musical communication is understood thereby differently as in the later, politically engaged phase of Henze. It is still understood as an excessive moment of the conventional auditive signs, in which listener dissolves the traditionally fixed senses. With Lacan, this situation of hearing may be described as a musical representation of the ‘I’, which is fundamentally more unstable than linguistic self-representations, leading consequently toward an enjoyment as a condition of temporary self-loss.

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Published
2007-12-01
How to Cite
BielefeldtC. (2007). “Unusual, Gentle Sensory Stimuli”: A Psychoanalytical Path to the Early Aesthesis of Hans Werner Henze. Musicological Annual, 43(2), 251-263. https://doi.org/10.4312/mz.43.2.251-263
Section
Articles