music, Symphonic Fairy Tales, musical characterization


Those of us who work in two cultures are fascinated by the peculiar demands and limitations of translating the sensual and intellectual qualities of one language to those of another, and by the challenges of transferring ideas from one historical time to another. A similar challenge exists for today's composers who set out to transform a text into music, but this is a process that also involves other considerations, for music has the additional potential to project multidimensional time and space. H.C. Andersen was no stranger to musical renditions of his work during his lifetime. In fact, because of his early experience as a singer, dancer, and actor, he wrote librettos for vaudeville and opera; however, many of those endeavors resulted in works that were not very compelling. More interesting were the musical scores for which his texts were chosen by his contemporaries. Today's musical response to Andersen is the subject of this study-and it is motivated by a bold new initiative.