Brahms’s Ascending Circle: Hölderlin, Schicksalslied, and the Process of Recollection. / Grimes, Nicole.

In: Nineteenth-Century Music Review, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2014, p. 1-36.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Brahms’s Ascending Circle: Hölderlin, Schicksalslied, and the Process of Recollection. / Grimes, Nicole.

In: Nineteenth-Century Music Review, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2014, p. 1-36.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Harvard

Grimes, N 2014, 'Brahms’s Ascending Circle: Hölderlin, Schicksalslied, and the Process of Recollection', Nineteenth-Century Music Review, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 1-36.

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Grimes, Nicole. / Brahms’s Ascending Circle: Hölderlin, Schicksalslied, and the Process of Recollection. In: Nineteenth-Century Music Review. 2014 ; Vol. 11, No. 1. pp. 1-36.

BibTeX

@article{20bc4eed93814ebc9ada5100663ba83c,
title = "Brahms{\textquoteright}s Ascending Circle: H{\"o}lderlin, Schicksalslied, and the Process of Recollection",
abstract = "The ending to Brahms{\textquoteright}s Schicksalslied confounds scholars for two reasons: his setting of H{\"o}lderlin{\textquoteright}s ostensibly despairing poem ends with an orchestral section that evokes comfort and reconciliation; the postlude transposes the material of the introduction down to C major, ending in a key other than its opening. This represents {\textquoteleft}a rare instance of a composer not merely placing an arbitrary interpretation on words but explicitly contradicting a poet{\textquoteright}s statement{\textquoteright}. (Petersen, 1983) Daverio (1993) and Reynolds (2012) hold similar views. These commentators consider {\textquoteleft}Hyperion{\textquoteright}s Schicksalslied{\textquoteright} to be a self-contained entity within H{\"o}lderlin{\textquoteright}s Hyperion. Yet, although the interpolated poem marks the chronological endpoint of the novella, it is intricately bound up with levels of time, and serves a continuous engendering function. The recollection of music in an altered key in Brahms{\textquoteright}s postlude is apposite to M. H. Abrams{\textquoteright} notion of {\textquoteleft}the ascending circle, or spiral{\textquoteright}. Drawing on musical and hermeneutic analysis of Schicksalslied, on post-Kantian philosophy, on archival evidence from the Brahms Nachla{\ss}, and on literary theory, I argue that Brahms{\textquoteright}s {\textquoteleft}eccentric path{\textquoteright} —like H{\"o}lderlin{\textquoteright}s—leads us away from the original unity of the work in order to restore it, in a heightened manner, through ourselves: the postlude prompts reflection and realization on the part of Brahms{\textquoteright}s listener akin to that of H{\"o}lderlin{\textquoteright}s reader. The greater implication of this is the realization that, using H{\"o}lderlin{\textquoteright}s poem as a catalyst, Brahms intricately interweaves compositional process with intellectual tradition and philosophical thought to provide a musical manifestation of Bildung in the form of a quintessentially Brahmsian fabric.",
keywords = "Brahms, H{\"o}lderlin, Schiller, Aesthetics, Music Analysis",
author = "Nicole Grimes",
year = "2014",
language = "English",
volume = "11",
pages = "1--36",
journal = "Nineteenth-Century Music Review",
issn = "1479-4098",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Brahms’s Ascending Circle: Hölderlin, Schicksalslied, and the Process of Recollection

AU - Grimes, Nicole

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - The ending to Brahms’s Schicksalslied confounds scholars for two reasons: his setting of Hölderlin’s ostensibly despairing poem ends with an orchestral section that evokes comfort and reconciliation; the postlude transposes the material of the introduction down to C major, ending in a key other than its opening. This represents ‘a rare instance of a composer not merely placing an arbitrary interpretation on words but explicitly contradicting a poet’s statement’. (Petersen, 1983) Daverio (1993) and Reynolds (2012) hold similar views. These commentators consider ‘Hyperion’s Schicksalslied’ to be a self-contained entity within Hölderlin’s Hyperion. Yet, although the interpolated poem marks the chronological endpoint of the novella, it is intricately bound up with levels of time, and serves a continuous engendering function. The recollection of music in an altered key in Brahms’s postlude is apposite to M. H. Abrams’ notion of ‘the ascending circle, or spiral’. Drawing on musical and hermeneutic analysis of Schicksalslied, on post-Kantian philosophy, on archival evidence from the Brahms Nachlaß, and on literary theory, I argue that Brahms’s ‘eccentric path’ —like Hölderlin’s—leads us away from the original unity of the work in order to restore it, in a heightened manner, through ourselves: the postlude prompts reflection and realization on the part of Brahms’s listener akin to that of Hölderlin’s reader. The greater implication of this is the realization that, using Hölderlin’s poem as a catalyst, Brahms intricately interweaves compositional process with intellectual tradition and philosophical thought to provide a musical manifestation of Bildung in the form of a quintessentially Brahmsian fabric.

AB - The ending to Brahms’s Schicksalslied confounds scholars for two reasons: his setting of Hölderlin’s ostensibly despairing poem ends with an orchestral section that evokes comfort and reconciliation; the postlude transposes the material of the introduction down to C major, ending in a key other than its opening. This represents ‘a rare instance of a composer not merely placing an arbitrary interpretation on words but explicitly contradicting a poet’s statement’. (Petersen, 1983) Daverio (1993) and Reynolds (2012) hold similar views. These commentators consider ‘Hyperion’s Schicksalslied’ to be a self-contained entity within Hölderlin’s Hyperion. Yet, although the interpolated poem marks the chronological endpoint of the novella, it is intricately bound up with levels of time, and serves a continuous engendering function. The recollection of music in an altered key in Brahms’s postlude is apposite to M. H. Abrams’ notion of ‘the ascending circle, or spiral’. Drawing on musical and hermeneutic analysis of Schicksalslied, on post-Kantian philosophy, on archival evidence from the Brahms Nachlaß, and on literary theory, I argue that Brahms’s ‘eccentric path’ —like Hölderlin’s—leads us away from the original unity of the work in order to restore it, in a heightened manner, through ourselves: the postlude prompts reflection and realization on the part of Brahms’s listener akin to that of Hölderlin’s reader. The greater implication of this is the realization that, using Hölderlin’s poem as a catalyst, Brahms intricately interweaves compositional process with intellectual tradition and philosophical thought to provide a musical manifestation of Bildung in the form of a quintessentially Brahmsian fabric.

KW - Brahms, Hölderlin, Schiller, Aesthetics, Music Analysis

M3 - Article

VL - 11

SP - 1

EP - 36

JO - Nineteenth-Century Music Review

JF - Nineteenth-Century Music Review

SN - 1479-4098

IS - 1

ER -