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Wagner, Schumann, and the Lessons of Beethoven's Ninth$
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Christopher Alan Reynolds

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520285569

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520285569.001.0001

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The Impact of Beethoven’s Ninth on The Flying Dutchman

The Impact of Beethoven’s Ninth on The Flying Dutchman

Chapter:
(p.35) Chapter 2 The Impact of Beethoven’s Ninth on The Flying Dutchman
Source:
Wagner, Schumann, and the Lessons of Beethoven's Ninth
Author(s):

Christopher Alan Reynolds

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520285569.003.0003

For the scenes identified in chapter 1, chapter 2 compares the music of The Flying Dutchman to the music of the Ninth Symphony. Several musical similarities support the textual parallels between the poem of The Flying Dutchman and Wagner’s program for the Ninth. These range from the motivic to the harmonic and structural. Of thematic relationships, the elegiac second theme of Senta’s Ballad lightly varies the first theme of Beethoven’s slow movement, which Wagner had described as possessing a “heavenly calm.” But despite many debts to the Ninth, Wagner’s use of contrary motion does not reveal the sort of systematic manipulation of contrary motion evident in the first movement of Beethoven’s Ninth.

Keywords:   Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Richard Wagner, The Flying Dutchman, Goethe’s Faust, musical influence

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