Cathal Mullan, Poetry Into Song: Word-Music Relations in Settings of Goethe's Faust by Wagner and his Contemporaries (1832-1840) (PhD, Maynooth University, 2018)

These details defined Wed Dec 2 11:16:53 2020  edit
 Author:  Mullan, Cathal 
 Title:  Poetry Into Song: Word-Music Relations in Settings of Goethe's Faust by Wagner and his Contemporaries (1832-1840) 
 Degree, institution:  PhD, Maynooth University 
 Status, year:  accepted, 2018 
 Volumes, pp.:  2 vols (359pp and 136pp) 
 Supervisor(s):  Prof Lorraine Byrne Bodley 
 Repository:  Maynooth University. 
 General specialism:  Composition 
 Content, key terms: 

Despite being a pre-eminent figure of German literature, Goethe remains misunderstood in musicology and the extent of his influence on the formation of the German Lied remains largely uncharted. This is true of Faust I where research into musical settings of Goethe's Faust has traditionally centred around canonical musical realisations of Faust confined to those by Schumann (Szenen aus Faust, 1844–1853), Liszt (Faust Symphony, 1857) and Mahler (Symphony No. 8, 1906). There is an urgent need to trace the influence of Goethe's Faust in musicology and in particular, uncover influential Faust settings which fall beyond the rubric of eminent literature. The settings selected in this dissertation address an important lacuna in the nineteenth-century Lied, namely settings composed or published between 1832 – the year of both Goethe's death and the posthumous publication of Faust II – and 1840, Schumann's first Liederjahr. This study aims to challenge the perception that the 1830s was a lull period in the Lied by illustrating the significance of Faust in the development of the Lied with regard to text-music associations, text setting practice and the emancipation of musical rhythm from poetic rhythm. This will be achieved through close examination of the relationship between text and music evident in Wagner's Sieben Kompositionen zu Goethes Faust (1832) and an array of underappreciated Faust songs composed and published throughout the decade. A secondary concern of this dissertation is to consider to what extent Goethe's attitudes towards the declamation of the text were reflected in and reflective of compositional practices of the time and to assess the influence of the poet on Wagner's formative endeavours in music and song composers of the intervening period between Schubert and Schumann.