Scenen aus Goethes Faust: A performer's analysis. Page: 30
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An increase in tempo and a trumpet fanfare announce the entrance of Faust's next declamation
"Unselige Gespenster" (unholy specter). Again Schumann accentuates the delivery of the
soloist's text through the use of a dotted eighth note followed by a sixteenth note and a disjunct
vocal line punctuated by the orchestra. As Sorge delivers the most important line of her speech
"die Menschen sind in ganzen Leben blind" (humans are blind their entire life), the high octave
sustained notes in the woodwinds that depicted the supernatural in measures at the beginning of
"Mitternacht" return. The tremolo in the strings illustrates her blowing her curse upon Faust,
causing his blindness. The sorrow that Faust experienced after being blinded by Sorge is
depicted musically by returning to the key of B minor and a slower a tempo marking, Langsam
feierlich (slow and solemn). Faust's determination to triumph over Sorge's destructive forces
calls upon all of his inner strength and is depicted musically as Faust's lamentation takes on the
characteristics of a heroic aria. The harmony shifts from B minor to B major, the tempo
accelerates and accented dotted rhythmic patterns in the orchestration enliven this passage
reflecting Faust's changing emotional states. "The glorious, brassy coda...is perhaps the highest,
most triumphal moment in the entire Scenes. Anticipated in the coda in the overture, this coda
epitomizes Schumann's mystical positiveness: the triumph of a noble goodness over worry and
evil."31 Faust believes that his greatest insight comes as a result of being blinded by Sorge. He is
no longer distracted by the outside world, but instead is focused on the inner light that shines
brightly within himself.32 Ironically, Sorge's curse not only blinds Faust but causes him to
misinterpret what he hears. Tragically, it is not his servants digging the ditches that he hears but
a band of Lemurs under the direction of Mephistopheles, digging his grave.
Performing Faust's heroic aria at the end of "Mitternacht," after singing an extended
monologue followed by a vocally demanding duet with Sorge, may prove difficult for 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/m1/36/?rotate=270: accessed March 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .