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"What Never Was Has Ended": Bach, Bergman and the Beatles in Christopher Münch’s 'The Hours and Times'

Cenciarelli, Carlo ORCID: 2013. "What Never Was Has Ended": Bach, Bergman and the Beatles in Christopher Münch’s 'The Hours and Times'. Music and Letters 94 (1) , pp. 119-137. 10.1093/ml/gct038

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This article focuses on the use of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in Christopher Münch’s The Hours and Times (1991), a pioneering example of New Queer Cinema that takes as its subject matter a trip made by John Lennon and Brian Epstein to Barcelona, infusing it with homoerotic overtones. I unpick the particular cultural mediations at work in this strange assemblage of eighteenth-century keyboard music, 1960s rock icons, and late twentieth-century identity politics. This leads me to explore Glenn Gould’s post-war popularization of the Goldberg, a metaphorical connection between Bach’s music and Barcelona’s distinctive architecture, and, first and foremost, the emergence of the ‘act of listening to Bach’ as a trope in Ingmar Bergman’s cinema. I show how Münch draws on Bach, and particularly on Bergman’s use of the Goldberg Variations in The Silence (1963), to provide a reading of the Beatles’ story that attempts to be sensitive to the elusiveness of time and gender.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0027-4224
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Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 10:08

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