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Paths through Dichterliebe

Berthold Hoeckner
19th-Century Music
Vol. 30, No. 1 (Summer 2006), pp. 065-080
DOI: 10.1525/ncm.2006.30.1.065
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Page Count: 16
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Paths through Dichterliebe
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The article advances a new case for a coherent tonal and narrative structure of Schumann's Dichterliebe, op. 48. Based on a map of key relations by Gottfried Weber, the hermeneutic analysis follows Dichterliebe's tonal path along a double trajectory of major keys and their relative minor keys, whose progression through tonal space is understood as occurrences in event space. A comparison between Dichterliebe and its original version, 20 Lieder und Gesange, shows how the tonal and narrative paths pertain to both. The hermeneutic analysis demonstrates a slippage between story and narrative as well as reality and illusion, whereby Schumann responds to Heine's irony, creating a tonal and narrative structure that is both circular and cyclical, both whole and fragment.

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