Scenen aus Goethes Faust: A performer's analysis.

Scenen aus Goethes Faust: A performer's analysis.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Paoletti Jr., Karl
Description: 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 stylistic period. 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 ...
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Beyond the "Year of Song": Text and Music in the Song Cycles of Robert Schumann after 1848

Beyond the "Year of Song": Text and Music in the Song Cycles of Robert Schumann after 1848

Date: May 2007
Creator: Ringer, Rebecca Scharlene
Description: In recent years scholars have begun to re-evaluate the works, writings, and life of Robert Schumann (1810-1856). One of the primary issues in this ongoing re-evaluation is a reassessment of the composer's late works (roughly defined as those written after 1845). Until recently, the last eight years of Schumann's creative life and the works he composed at that time either have been ignored or critiqued under an image of an illness that had caused periodic breakdowns. Schumann's late works show how his culture and the artists communicating within that culture were transformed from the beginning to the middle of the nineteenth century. These late works, therefore, should be viewed in the context of Schumann's output as a whole and in regard to their contributions to nineteenth-century society. Schumann's contributions, specifically to the genre of the song cycle from 1849 to 1852, are among his late compositional works that still await full reconsideration. A topical study, focusing on three themes of selections from his twenty-three late cycles, will provide a critical evaluation of Schumann's compositional output in the genre of the song cycle. First, Schumann's political voice will be examined. The political events that led to the mid-nineteenth-century revolutions inspired crucial ...
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Robert Schumann's Symphony in D Minor, Op. 120: A Critical Study of Interpretation in the Nineteenth-Century German Symphony

Robert Schumann's Symphony in D Minor, Op. 120: A Critical Study of Interpretation in the Nineteenth-Century German Symphony

Date: May 2003
Creator: Hellner, Jean Marie
Description: Robert Schumann's D-minor Symphony endured harsh criticism during the second half of the nineteenth century because of misunderstandings regarding his compositional approach to the genre of the symphony; changes in performance practices amplified the problems, leading to charges that Schumann was an inept orchestrator. Editions published by Clara Schumann and Alfred Dörffel as well as performing editions prepared by Woldemar Bargiel and Gustav Mahler reflect ideals of the late nineteenth century that differ markedly from those Schumann advanced in his 1851 autograph and in the Symphony's first publication in 1853. An examination of the manuscript sources and the editions authorized by Schumann reveals that he imbued the Symphony with what he called a "special meaning" in the form of an implied narrative. Although Schumann provided no written account of this narrative, it is revealed in orchestrational devices, particularly orchestration, dynamics, and articulation, many of which have been either altered or suppressed by later editors. A reconsideration of these devices as they are transmitted through the authorized sources permits a rediscovery of the work's special meaning and rectifies long-standing misperceptions that have become entrenched in the general literature concerning Schumann in general and the D-minor Symphony in particular.
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Michael Nyman: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Michael Nyman: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Date: May 2008
Creator: Avant-Rossi, Joan
Description: Composer Michael Nyman wrote the one-act, minimalist opera The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, based off the neurological case study written by Oliver Sacks under the same title. The opera is about a professional singer and professor whom suffers from visual agnosia. In chapter 1, the plot and history of the opera are discussed. Chapter 2 places The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat alongside a selection of minimalist operas from Philip Glass and John Adams. Chapter 3 contains a history of the Fluxus art movement and shows where Fluxus-like examples appear in the opera. Chapter 4 includes Nyman's usage of minimalism, vocal congruencies, and Robert Schumann as musical elements that convey the drama.
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