Manuela Toscano argues that Debussy’s ‘songe musical’ is inspired by the music of winds, breezes, swirls, wavering and floating in arabesques. This celebration of movement as élan vital shapes a constellation of aesthetic values which are expressed both in his music and in some of his writings.
Manuela Toscano teaches Musicology at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. She is a member of the CESEM Research Center for Aesthetics and Sociology of Music. She has made a special study of Gesualdo’s sacred music: his Holy Week Responsories have been systematically analyzed in her book Maneirismo inquieto: Os Responsórios de Semana Santa de Carlo Gesualdo, 2007, 3 vols. through a historico-philosophical reflection on its particular existential place in mannerism. Her publications assume an interdisciplinary aesthetic approach, integrating analysis of art, literature, poetry and music. She has also published on Petrarchism in Iberian vocal music and on German Lied. Currently, she is researching Symbolist painting, poetry and music as well as the German romantic Lied. As a pianist she has performed German Romantic Lied and the French mélodie.