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Song Beyond the NationTranslation, Transnationalism, Performance$
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Philip Ross Bullock and Laura Tunbridge

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197267196

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197267196.001.0001

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Hafiz between Nations: Song Settings by Daumer/Brahms and Peacock/Beamish

Hafiz between Nations: Song Settings by Daumer/Brahms and Peacock/Beamish

(p.13) 1 Hafiz between Nations: Song Settings by Daumer/Brahms and Peacock/Beamish
Song Beyond the Nation

Natasha Loges

British Academy

Consciously ‘othered’ cultural practices have long allowed musicians and poets to express different national identities to varying extents, without having to relinquish a geographically rooted sense of home. My aim is to examine such transnational links, symbols, and ties through a consideration of the songs ‘Wie bist du, meine Königin’ by Johannes Brahms (1833–97) and ‘Fish’ by Sally Beamish (b. 1956). Both are settings of translations of poetry by the Persian poet Hafiz, made respectively by Georg Friedrich Daumer (1800–72) and Jila Peacock (b. 1948). I offer insights into changing attitudes to Hafiz over time (the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries) and place (Germany, Persia/Iran, and Great Britain). I employ text- and score-based analysis, supplemented by interviews with Peacock and Beamish carried out in early 2019, which probed approaches to translation, text setting, and music, as well as issues of biography and national identity. I conclude that selective transnationalism, as I describe it, is a means of expanding one’s artistic range, while not entirely alienating the familiar self.

Keywords:   Brahms, Daumer, Hafiz, Beamish, Translation, Song, Germany, Britain, Persia

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