An Examination of Text Reflection and Imagery in Zoltán Gárdonyi’s Fünf Lieder Nach Gedichten Von Rainer Maria Rilke
Description: Zoltán Gárdonyi is described as having exemplified “the continuation of the Liszt tradition” in his music; however, since for so much of his compositional life he was forbidden to publish by the Communist government in Hungary due to his connection to the Christian church, he has been largely forgotten. Shortly after the composer’s death in 1986, Gárdonyi’s son, Zsolt (b.1946) began publishing his father’s music in addition to his own. However, the elder Gárdonyi’s works are still not widely known outside Hungary and Germany. Gárdonyi’s ability to support and reflect text musically makes his songs excellent teaching tools and recital repertoire. A characteristic example of this may be found in his Fünf Lieder nach Gedichten von Rainer Maria Rilke. According to his son, Zoltán wrote these songs “in the German romantic tradition (e.g. Brahms) like a mirror for the romantic influenced lyrics.” Examination of the Rilke-Lieder, and of the poems which make up the cycle, demonstrates the composer’s ability to “mirror” text in both general tone and specific idea. Discussion of imagery, textures and sonorities, and elements of harmony, melody and rhythm as they relate to interpretation of the poetry, reveal the depth to which the poetry is embedded in the music of the songs. At times the piano becomes another “narrator” or even a character in the poems, expressing not only text but subtext as well. This document explores the illustration of the extensive imagery of Rilke’s texts in the music of Fünf Lieder nach Gedichten von Rainer Maria Rilke, with the purpose of both introducing Gárdonyi’s song literature to American singers and voice teachers, and making the case for its inclusion in the canon of repertoire for the studio and the stage.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Beloncik Schantz, Anne
Partner: UNT Libraries