Sara Levy’s World
Title Details

20th June 2018

302 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

12 b/w. 30 line. Illustrations

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Imprint: University of Rochester Press

Sara Levy's World

Gender, Judaism, and the Bach Tradition in Enlightenment Berlin

Edited by Rebecca Cypess and Nancy Sinkoff

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
A rich interdisciplinary exploration of the world of Sara Levy, a Jewish salonnière and skilled performing musician in late eighteenth-century Berlin, and her impact on the Bach revival, German-Jewish life, and Enlightenment culture.
Sara Levy née Itzig (1761-1854), a salonnière, skilled performing musician, and active participant in enlightened Prussian Jewish society, played a powerful role in shaping the dynamic cultural world of late eighteenth- and earlynineteenth-century Berlin. A patron and collector of music, she studied harpsichord with Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (1710-84) and commissioned musical compositions from both Friedemann and his brother Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-88). Archival evidence demonstrates Levy's position as an essential link in the transmission of the music of their father, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), and as a catalyst for the "Bach revival" of the early nineteenth century, which was led by her great-nephew Felix Mendelssohn.

Sara Levy's World: Gender, Judaism, and the Bach Tradition in Enlightenment Berlin represents the first scholarly exploration of the cultural, political, and aesthetic contexts that shaped Levy's world. Bringing together leading scholars from the fields of musicology, Jewish Studies, history, literary studies, gender studies, and philosophy, this volume presents cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research on the numerous mutually reinforcing aspects of Levy's life and work.

Contributors: Rebecca Cypess, Marjanne E. Goozé, Barbara Hahn, Martha B. Helfer, Natalie Naimark-Goldberg, Elias Sacks, Yael Sela, Nancy Sinkoff, George B. Stauffer, Christoph Wolff, Steven Zohn

Rebecca Cypess is Associate Professor of Music at Rutgers University. Nancy Sinkoff is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and History and Director ofthe Center for European Studies at Rutgers University.
Introduction: Experiencing Sara Levy's World
Part One: Portrait of a Jewish Female Artist: Music, Identity, Image
What Was the Berlin Jewish Salon Around 1800?
Sara Levy's Musical Salon and Her Bach Collection
Remaining Within the Fold: The Cultural and Social World of Sara Levy
Women's Voices in Bach's Musical World: Christiane Mariane von Ziegler and Faustina Bordoni
Part Two: Music, Aesthetics, and Philosophy: Jews and Christians in Sara Levy's World
Lessing and the Limits of Enlightenment
Poetry, Music, and the Limits of Harmony: Mendelssohn's Aesthetic Critique of Christianity
Longing for the Sublime: Jewish Self-Consciousness and the St. Matthew Passion in Biedermeier Berlin
Part Three: Studies in Sara Levy's Collection
Duets in the Collection of Sara Levy and the Ideal of "Unity in Multiplicity"
The Sociability of Salon Culture and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's Quartets
Appendix: The Salonnière and the Diplomat: Letters from Sara Levy to Karl Gustav von Brinckmann
Bibliography
List of Contributors
Index
"WINNER of the 2019 Book Prize from the Jewish Music and Jewish Studies Group of the American Musicological Society" .
"Enrich[es] our broader understanding of Levy's place in the cultural life of Berlin over the half-century in which she was active as a patron, performer and collector. There is much to admire in these essays, and it is to be hoped that they stimulate further collaborations between historians and musicologists in the area of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Jewish studies." AD PARNASSUM
"Broadly interdisciplinary, the new publication comprises an introduction and nine essays that engagingly treat topics in musicology, gender studies, Jewish studies and philosophy, and provide a rich variety of perspectives that inform and cross fertilize each other. . . . Remind[s] us that there is still much history to be rediscovered and reclaimed. Well edited and handsomely produced, . . . highly recommended reading for the new light it shines on an unjustly neglected area of German music history, [with] broad significance for several fields." R. Larry Todd, NINETEENTH-CENTURY MUSIC REVIEW
"This well-written, insightful, interdisciplinary, and excellent work is an effort to explore the facets of Sara Levy's complex world and in so doing bring that remarkable woman from the margins of intellectual and cultural history. A great boon to the book is online access to the recording In Sara Levy's Salon, which includes music for solo keyboard collected, commissioned, underwritten, and perhaps played by Levy. This book is highly recommended and will be of great interest to feminist, cultural, and social historians; Jewish studies scholars and musicologists; and more generally to academics, musicians, and educated laymen." NOTES, JOURNAL OF THE MUSIC LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
"Sara Itzig Levy (1761-1854)...made important contributions to her time as a performer, music collector, salon hostess, and patron . . . Scholars gathered from many fields illuminate her life and interests. The book communicates well. . . . Anyone interested in the topics this collection covers, including music and female musicians, poetry, Enlightenment aesthetics and philosophy, and ethnic identity and assimilation, will want to have this work." AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE

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Title Details

20th June 2018

302 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

12 b/w. 30 line. Illustrations

Series: Eastman Studies in Music

Imprint: University of Rochester Press