Scenen aus Goethes Faust: A performer's analysis. Page: 21
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highlights the words "bestindig" and "Ftissen" with an appoggiatura. The singer should take
advantage of Schumann's melodious text setting and instill this expressive melodic line with
warmth and elegance, artfully using varying dynamics and legato line to shape the phrases.
An example of Schumann using the orchestra and the vocal line to illustrate images in
Goethe's text is when Faust observes the awe inspiring sight of the sun rising over the Alpine
mountain slopes. Schumann sets Faust's declamatory line "Hinauf geschaut!" (Look up) in the
manner of an echo. The rhythm of the vocal line on "Hinauf' is repeated in exact rhythm one
octave lower mimicking the sound of an echo as if one was calling out loudly on top of a
mountain. The syncopated ascending line, which is found in the cellos, double basses and the
bassoons, portrays the majesty and dramatic power of the morning sunrise. Trumpet, French horn
and trombone fanfares leap upward a perfect fifth representing the call of an Alpine horn as well
as symbolizing Faust's striving (see Figure 13). The leap upward of a perfect fourth then to a
perfect fifth in the vocal line as Faust sings "Der Berge Gipfelriesen" (the gigantic mountain
peaks) also depicts the glorious sight of the mountains.
The musical tension in the orchestration continues to build toward a climax as Faust
declaims "sie tritt hervor" (it [the sun] steps forth). The D major harmony does not resolve to the
expected tonic chord of G major, rather, the harmonic progression becomes "unhinged,"
unexpectedly turning toward a B major seventh chord, the dominant of E minor, avoiding its
resolution to the tonic, portraying Faust's inability to gaze directly at the sun.19 The unsettled
harmonic progression wanders through several key areas depicting Faust's futile efforts to strive
beyond normal human existence. Faust's discouragement in his inability to commune with the
sun (the absolute) is portrayed musically through a series of diminished seventh chords as the
diminuendo in the orchestra depicts his retreat from the sun.20 Schumann further highlights the
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Paoletti Jr., Karl. Scenen aus Goethes Faust: A performer's analysis., dissertation, August 2008; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9053/m1/27/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .