Stijn Paredis: En Ecoutant du Schumann. Aesthetic Space and Interiority in Fin-de-Siècle Brussels

Stijn Paredis: En Ecoutant du Schumann. Aesthetic Space and Interiority in Fin-de-Siècle Brussels

    • PhD Projects

In fin-de-siècle Brussels (ca. 1880-1914), modernisation deeply affected the experience of privacy and social coherence in an increasingly faster moving world. In research, the responses to modern life have been tackled from two angles. The first focuses on the emergence of an interiorised, private life in the modern domestic space, while the second focuses on new forms of socio-aesthetic coherence in which the converged arts had a communal and intersubjective dimension, like in the Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk. This research will show how interiority and socio-aesthetic coherence interacted within music and music-listening in the semiprivate music venue, like artist’s studios and salons. To achieve this, this research focuses on the semiprivate music venue in Brussels. This type of space was more prominent in Brussels than elsewhere, and ideally exemplifies the interaction under examination. Because of the importance of the Romantic legacy in this interaction, the project focuses on compositional strategies of interiority in Robert Schumann’s works, and on Belgian Wagnerism and the ideal of the Gesamtkunstwerk. This research contributes to understanding the fundamentally spatial aspects of interiorised music-listening, composition, and modern subjectivity, presents an interdisciplinary methodology combining musicology and interior studies, and uncovers gaps in the study of Romanticism in the late 19th century.

PhD student working on the project: Stijn Paredis