Paoletti Jr., Karl, Scenen aus Goethes Faust. A performer's analysis. Doctor of Musical
Arts (Performance), August 2008, 41 pp., 22 figures, references, 20 titles.
Robert Schumann's dramatic music remains, for the most part, undiscovered and
therefore performed infrequently. Genoveva, Das Paradies und die Peri, Manfred, and Scenen
aus Goethes Faust are comprised of some of Schumann's most beautiful music from his last
Schumann envisioned a national German opera that had a complete union of text and
music and a plot based upon the supernatural and mythical German legends. His lofty aspiration
was to raise the dramatic music of his time to the high standards of the literary culture.
Composing dramatic music for Goethe's Faust was a challenging endeavor for Schumann.
Scenen aus Goethes Faust was a project that he struggled with from 1844-1853 because of both
the text and the grand scale of the piece.
One purpose of an analysis of the structure and content of Schumann's Scenen aus
Goethes Faust and Goethe's poetry is to facilitate the solo vocal performer's interpretation.
Utilizing selected scenes from Scenen aus Goethes Faust, "Scene im Garten" from Part I,
"Sonnenaufgang, " and "Mitternacht" from Part II and "Hier ist die Aussicht frei" from Part III,
this research paper will define important recurring musical motives, assess Schumann's usage of
contrasting vocal genres and their relationship to the unfolding drama, explore important vocal
performance issues for the baritone and soprano soloists and investigate the manner in which
Schumann uses the orchestra to depict and communicate the meaning of Goethe's text.
Schumann's method of setting Goethe's text will also be examined, as the ability to comprehend
the poetic text was of primary importance.
Paoletti Jr., Karl. Scenen aus Goethes Faust: A performer's analysis.. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9053/. Accessed November 27, 2015.