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Emperor Maximilian I: Music for Politics – Music for Pleasure



Professor Nicole Schwindt (Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Trossingen)


Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 5:00pm


Pigott Hall (Bldg. 260), Room 252



Emperor Maximilian I: Music for Politics – Music for Pleasure

While Maximilian is firmly rooted in the medieval idea of the Holy German Empire on the one hand, on the other he cleverly pursued aims to pave the way for the Habsburg dynasty to rule as a modern world power. He has been called “the last knight”, but he is also known for his smart utilization of modern cultural technologies such as printing media. With regard to music, Maximilian equally used to act in a twofold manner. He heavily drew on the power of music as a means for representation. His efforts to enlarge the chapel, to engage capable musicians and to enhance the splendor of his official court music particularly in liturgical contexts have been well studied. However, beyond that, music played an important role for him individually. This individual relationship to music has been neglected in scholarship. Like his revered first father-in-law Charles the Bold and like his second father-in-law Galeazzo Maria Sforza and a few other modern rulers he turned to music privately as a means to meet his deeper aesthetic desires. In the time around 1500 this convergence of military heroism and artistic sensibility was a new profile for a ruler, which was not universally accepted and still had to be legitimized by citing Aristoteles.
Nicole Schwindt’s research centers on secular music of the 15th and 16th centuries (an extensive survey of music and poetry in the Renaissance appeared in 2004), especially the German Lied (reflected in the two-volume complete edition of the songs by Ivo de Vento for the Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Bayern, 2002/03), as well as late 18th-century music history, particularly chamber music (producing the contribution »The Chamber Music« to the Mozart Handbuch, 2005). Currently her work focusses on a comprehensive study of the song in the Aetas Maximiliana.