Music Analysis. Oct2006, Vol. 25 Issue 3, p289-314. 26p.
MUSIC theorists, MUSIC theory, MUSICAL analysis, and REPETITION in music
The songs of Hugo Wolf continue to intrigue music theorists, not least because of their characteristic fusion of traditional tonal conventions with sophisticated chromatic processes. This article analyses a particularly intricate example: ‘Mühvoll komm ich und beladen’ from the Spanisches Liederbuch. The song projects a complex pattern of tonal relationships that reinforces an obsessive sense of repetition and circularity – issues that are explicit in the song's poetic text. The present reading engages a number of external sources, including the philosophy of Nietzsche, the operatic figure of Kundry and the myth of Sisyphus. These elements provide a series of cultural co-ordinates that together serve to illuminate primary facets of the song's structure, including its formal design and distinctive harmonic syntax. Each of these topics is considered in the service of a larger, overriding purpose: to reveal the ways in which the composer seeks to characterise sin and spiritual torment using techniques of cyclic organisation. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]