Aspects of historical background, literary influence, form, and performance interpretation in Robert Schumann's Carnaval

by Chou, Chllung-Wel

Abstract (Summary)
This is a study of the literary influence of Jean Paul Richter on the piano music of Robert Schumann. Jean Paul's novel, Die Flegeljahre , inspired the setting of Schumann's Carnaval and is also related to the two other piano cycles: Papillons , Op. 2, and Davidsbündlertänze , Op. 6. Schumann's music not only has its own meaning as a piece of music, but also contains additional literary meaning. His personal life was clearly reflected in this piece through the use of two alter-egos of his personality, Florestan and Eusebius. Florestan represented the impassioned Schumann: Eusebius the passive and dreamy side of Schumann. In addition to the literary influence of Jean Paul's novel, this document explores how Robert Schumann contributed to the evolution of the cyclic form through his piano cycles which resemble his song cycles in structure. It examines the characteristics of cyclic form during Schumann's time and how he altered these characteristics. Using Carnaval , Op. 9 as its primary example, the document examines the inventive ways Schumann created tonal unity in this twenty-one movement piano cycle. He also used the recurring two motives ASCH (A-flat, C-natural, B-natural, and A-natural, E-flat, C-natural, B-natural) to unify all the character pieces into a large-scale work. The last section, through examination of technical and musical aspects, offers performance recommendations for each movement in Schumann's piano cycle Carnaval.
Bibliographical Information:


School:The Ohio State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/1998

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