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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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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Schumann, Thematic Dispersion, and Contrary Motion

Schumann, Thematic Dispersion, and Contrary Motion

(p.86) Chapter 4 Schumann, Thematic Dispersion, and Contrary Motion
Wagner, Schumann, and the Lessons of Beethoven's Ninth

Christopher Alan Reynolds

University of California Press

Chapter 4 focuses on Schumann, his Symphony no. 2, and the finale of the Ouverture, Scherzo and Finale, op. 52. He drafted his C-major Symphony quickly in the last two weeks of 1845, having met with Wagner several times during the preceding months. He also attended two performances of Tannhäuser. This symphony has attracted considerable attention for Schumann’s use of thematic transformations to build up gradually to the arrival of the main theme—his allusion to Beethoven’s song-cycle An die ferne Geliebte—in the finale. His application of contrary motion suggests he was well aware of what had motivated Wagner’s conflict narrative in his program for the Ninth. The chapter closes with a review of his interactions with Wagner during 1845–1846.

Keywords:   Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Richard Wagner, Schumann’s Symphony no. 2, counterpoint, thematic dispersion

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