Many of the song cycles written by Schumann have been studied over the years and it is well known that his most prolific time of song production was the year 1840. Myrthen, Op. 25, has been studied less than some of his other cycles because it calls into question the modern view of the song cycle and for this reason is difficult to classify. What is most difficult about the classification of Op. 25 is that there is no immediately apparent narrative. In addition, the musical relationships which exist are usually considered to be of little consequence. What scholars are left with is a group of songs that in Schumann's mind constituted a song cycle but to the modern eye seems to be anything but. The most prevalent view concerning the organization of Op. 25 is that it is a collection of songs. Given his view of Lieder and his compositional process, in addition to the fact that it was presented to Clara as a wedding gift, I believe that Schumann had a specific organization in mind for this work. In this thesis I argue that due to the way in which Schumann conceived of and composed song cycles, the musical relationships are not what bind Op. 25 together although these relationships do exist. Instead, the organization hinges mainly on the text which represents a narrative of the relationship between Robert and Clara, which differs from the modern view of what classifies a group of songs as a cycle.



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Fine Arts and Communications; Music



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Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann, song cycle, collection, Myrthen, Op. 25, Goethe, Rückert, Heine



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