Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Music Research Seminar: Diego Castro

On Brian Ferneyhough’s Kurze Schatten II and its ‘auratic’ quality in interpretation and performance

This week’s research seminar in Lecture Theatre 1 of the School of Music will take place at 4.30pm on Thursday 23rd April 2015.

The speaker is Diego Castro (University of Huddersfield).


Ferneyhough’s seminal contribution to solo guitar repertoire, Kurze Schatten II (1983-89), takes its title from a sequence of texts by Walter Benjamin. Ferneyhough’s work contains seven movements, paralleling the seven pieces of text from Benjamin’s sequence. As far as previous studies on this work have not explored this relationship in depth; in this paper I examine the concord between both texts, and most especially, I explain how this relationship is likely to impact performance practice. Finally, a theoretical contextualisation of such approach is proposed by matching Ferneyhough’s compositional concerns with Benjamin’s notions on philosophy of history and his concept of ‘aura’.

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