Kurt Weill: Lieder to Legend, An Examination of Ofrah's Lieder & Frauentanz, Op. 10
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractKurt Weill (1900-1950) began his compositional career in Berlin and left his legacy on the American Broadway stage. This study includes an overview of the influences of Lieder composers including Schumann and Strauss on Weill's first song cycle Ofrah's Lieder (1916) and the 20th century influences of Schoenberg and Stravinsky on his chamber music cycle Frauentanz (1923). This study examines how the Weill juvenilia employs diatonic melodies, mood painting, and the integration of vocal and piano parts emulating 19th century models. Next, this study presents ways in which Weill's Frauentanz displays 20th century techniques such as rhythmic texture, non-diatonic melodies, and semi-tonal instability. The Frauentanz vocal line is examined as instrumental in nature, adding textural importance to the interplay of the text with instrumental melodic motives. Kurt Weill's interest in vocal music and modernism directly influenced his legendary theatrical works. His traditional German musical training, rooted in counterpoint, combined with his melodic and modern ingenuity form the basis of the "Weill Style" of theatre music, for which he earned international recognition.
Degree ProgramGraduate College