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Rethinking Schubert$
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Lorraine Byrne Bodley and Julian Horton

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190200107

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190200107.001.0001

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Dissociation and Declamation in Schubert’s Heine Songs

Dissociation and Declamation in Schubert’s Heine Songs

(p.383) 18 Dissociation and Declamation in Schubert’s Heine Songs
Rethinking Schubert

David Ferris

Oxford University Press

The texts of ‘Der Atlas’ and ‘Der Doppelgänger’, like many of the poems in Heine’s Buch der Lieder, are concerned with the themes of memory and loss. One unusual feature that these two poems share is an unexpected shift in narrative perspective in the final stanza. In ‘Der Atlas’ the protagonist suddenly begins speaking to his heart, and in ‘Der Doppelgänger’ he addresses a ghostly figure who turns out to be himself. In this essay I consider some of the ways in which Schubert responded to the narrative peculiarity of these poems when he set them as the first and last of his Heine songs. By combining recent techniques to analyse rhythmic declamation with the analysis of other aspects of the songs, such as tonality, voice leading, texture and hypermetre, I show how Schubert exploits and manipulates the declamatory patterns in the poems in order to express musically the narrative and semantic levels of meaning.

Keywords:   basic rhythmic declamation, ‘Der Atlas’, ‘Der Doppelgänger’, narrativity, hypermetre, text setting

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