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Weng, Lei

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Theodor Kirchner is an accomplished Romantic composer in the nineteenth century. He wrote over one thousand piano pieces, and most of them have a strong influence by his mentor Robert Schumann. However, little attention has been paid to his musical works. His piano works either disappeared or are not prevalent outside of the German-speaking world. The study of Kirchner and the relationship between Robert and Kirchner’s music is not sufficient. Clara Schumann, as the wife of Robert Schumann and the lover of Theodor Kirchner also inspired both composers’ music works. Therefore, this dissertation will focus on introducing Theodor Kirchner and his piano works by exploring the intimate musical world between Robert, Clara, and Kirchner. In Robert Schumann’s music, notes act as enciphered words through which the composer passed messages to his musical friends. Kirchner, as a young member in Schumann’s circle, admired and inherited the way Robert wrote his music. The author will analyze three major piano pieces: Robert Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze op.6, Theodor Kirchner’s Neue Davidsbündlertänze op.17, and Florestan und Eusebius, op. 53. The ciphers and the secret messages between Schumann and Kirchner will be revealed through the analysis.


129 pages

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