Fine Arts

Liberty in Beethoven’s “Fidelio”


The conference explored the themes of liberty, creativity, and the role of art in human emancipation through the opera Fidelio and an assortment of related philosophical and poetic works.


Conference Readings

Bloch, Ernst. Essays on the Philosophy of Music. Translated by Peter Palmer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. Selected Poems. Edited by C. Middleton. Boston: Suhrkamp, 1983.

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. Reason in History. Translated by Robert S. Hartman. Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall, 1997.

Holderlin, Friedrich. Selected Poems. Translated by J. B. Leishman. London: Hogarth Press, 1954.

Kant, Immanuel. Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason and Other Works on the Theory of Ethics. Translated by Thomas Kingsmill Abbott. London: Kongmans, Green and Co., 1889.

Leichtentritt, Hugo. Music, History, and Ideas. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1938.

Robinson, Paul. Ludwig van Beethoven: Fidelio. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Rosen, Charles. “Freedom and Art.” The New York Review of Books 59, no. 8 (May 10, 2012): 1-9.

Schiller, Friedrich. On the Aesthetic Education of Man. Translated by Reginald Snell. Mineola, New York: Dover, 2004.

Schiller, Friedrich. Poems of Schiller. Honolulu: University Press of the Pacific, 2001.

Schleiermacher, Friedrich. On Freedom. Translated by A. L. Blackwell. Lewiston: Mellen, 1992.

Schmidgall, Gary. “Is Fidelio the Saddest Opera?” Opera News (January 7, 1984): 13-16.

Singer, Irving. Mozart and Beethoven: The Concept of Love in their Operas. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977.

Steinberg, Michael P. Listening to Reason: Culture, Subjectivity, and Nineteenth Century Music. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004.

Tusa, Michael C., “Beethoven’s essay in opera: historical, text-critical and interpretative issues in Fidelio” In The Cambridge Companion to Beethoven, edited by Glenn Stanley, 200-217. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.