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Eichendorff's Auf einer Burg and Schumann's Liederkreis, Opus 39 Author(s): Karen A.

Hindenlang Reviewed work(s): Source: The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Autumn, 1990), pp. 569-587 Published by: University of California Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 20/03/2012 09:24
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Eichendorff's Auf einer Burg and Schumann's Liederkreis, Opus 39*

obert Schumann's curious and haunting einer Burg occupies the musical, poetic, and spiritual center song Auf of the Liederkreis Eichendorff.The presence of this unconventional von and problematic lied at the very heart of the Opus 39 cycle challenges performers, listeners, and analysts. The challenge has not been met satisfactorily in musical scholarship. Schumann's setting of the intriguing poem has been misunderstood, and the function of the exceptional song within the cycle has gone unrecognized. In early May of 1840, about midway through his "Year of Song," Schumann first turned to the works of Joseph von Eichendorff. The composer had not yet written any settings for poems by Eichendorff (1788-1857), one of the nineteenth century's finest lyric German poets, but by late June Schumann had completed the twelve songs of his The texts of the song cycle were not drawn from Opus 39 Liederkreis. a pre-existing poetic cycle. Schumann himself chose the twelve lyrics from different sources. Thus the composer was free to establish his own poetic cycle in his Eichendorff Liederkreis. Yet he did not exercise this freedom in an obvious fashion. The poems, as selected and organized by Schumann, do not outline a story. Efforts to isolate a continuous narrative thread running through the Liederkreishave been defeated by the lack of a single consistent viewpoint or a chronological order of events. Attempts to find such a thread may be
Volume VIII * Number 4 * Fall 1990 The Journal of Musicology ? 1990 by the Regents of the University of California * This article developed from a paper I presented at the April 1983 meeting of the New York State, St. Lawrence Chapter of the American Musicological Society. My thanks go to Jurgen Thym and Ralph P. Locke of the Eastman School of Music.


213. "Erstarrte Idyle: Schumanns Eichendorff-Verstandnis im Lied op. In temporal organization." Instead. and longing. 15-20. loneliness. und Pfitzners(Wiirzburg.THE JOURNAL OF MUSICOLOGY misguided. "Robert Schumann's Song Cycles in the Context of the Early (Ph. Blackall's The Novels of the German Romantics (Ithaca. and Jurgen Thym. and Turchin. necessarily. 3 See Eckhart im Busse.3 Despite such specific proposals. Case Western Reserve University. pp. general emotional movement may provide the cycle's only meaningful literary organization." Archiv fur MusikwissenschaftXXXIII (1976). The entire work's overall tonal organization. "Robert Schumann: Liederkreis von Joseph Freiherrn von Eichendorff Op. Columbia University. is approximately symmetrical with shared Freedom from a strictly linear conception of time is found in many early romantic prose works. dissertation.D. 39. 278-80. 21924. demonstrated and discussed by a number of authors.Wolfs. Two balanced arches of emotion have been discerned defining two large textual units in the Liederkreis.l Barbara Turchin's discussion of the early nineteenth-century poetic significance of the word Kreis concluded that the term "did not imply. including those by Schumann's favorite. Die Eichendorff-Rezeption Kunstlied: Versucheiner Typologie anhand von Kompositionen Schumanns. RobertSchumann(Zurich. 1983). pp. and scholars have been unable to agree upon the identity of the cycle's central poetic themes have been suggested. these nineteenth-century works have more in common with twentieth-century literary experiments than with the norm of linear narrative established by the turn of the century. pp. 50-51. 24.4 Though Schumann did not create an integrated poetic cycle of the familiar narrative or thematic type in the Liederkreis. 4 See Karl W6rner. pp.D. p. pp. Nineteenth-Century Liederkreis" 276-77. These two progressions transform the poetic mood from introverted melancholy to exuberant joy in the first through sixth poems and in the seventh through twelfth. "The Solo Song Settings of Eichendorffs Poems by Schumann and Wolf' (Ph. subject. dissertation. Jean Paul Richter. endless longing. pp. strangeness and alienation. Karlheinz Schlager. 131-32. twilight. the lyrics do share many recurrent images and ideas: the forest. See Eric A. he did arrange the music according to an easily recognized two-part structure. 1974). no single conspicuous "thematic center" emerges from the collection of Liederkreis poems. 1949). 39/VII ('Auf einer Burg'). love."2 In Opus 39. 1975). 214-15. Very different fundamental The proposals include love. deception. 1981). a sequence of events. 570 . Yet despite a tenuous relationship based on these images and ideas. evening. 97-116. since our current conventional concept of chronological narrative is based on later nineteenth-century literary developments unknown to Schumann. Joachim Draheim. Also." Neue ZeitschrfitfiirMusik CXLV (1984). see Turchin's Chapter III. she found that "Kreis suggests the presence of a thematic center from which the poems radiate. Thym. pp. and the complete relationship of man and woman. 2 Barbara Turchin.

The tonics of the opening three songs are reflected in mirror image by the final three songs: I f# [ II A L III IV V VI B ---- VII VIII IX a a E -------- X e XI A XII F# ] E G E * ------------ In addition. Thus the musical division occurs at the midpoint of the symmetrical cycle and coincides with the textual division of the two groups of poems (I-IV. In the second edition of Opus 39 Schumann opened the cycle with the Ft-minor song. The first edition opened with a setting of Eichendorffs jolly Die frohe Wandermann: the D-Major song was withdrawn and later re-issued in Opus 77. This distant tonal relationship points to a structural division of the cycle between these two pieces. 1968).6 The tonal symmetry extends beyond the first and last songs. p. "Zu Eichendorff-Schumanns Liederkreis: Eine Wort-Ton Analyse. Schumann stands accused of writing a self-conscious and awkward song. "Zu Schumanns Eichendorff-Zyklus. nearly all adjacent lieder in Opus 39 are bound together by close key relationships. presenting a one-sided interpretation of the poem. Extensive criticism of the song has focused on a perceived breakdown in the wedding of text and music. and Turchin. 134. The criticism implies that the composer's skill deserted him while setting the cycle's seventh poem. are in B major and A minor. defeating the poet's intentions. Theodore Adorno. 6 Thym. Located just past the central poetic and musical division.If this crucial seventh number were ineffective. "Zum Gedachtnis Eichendorffs. . Within this balanced structure. the only exceptions. VII-XII). The change in key. 312-25. 216-19. the seventh lied inaugurates the second half of the Liederkreis.5 The balance appears to have been intentional. In der Fremde ("Aus der Heimat"). The sixth and seventh songs. mode. because soon after he completed the LiederkreisSchumann replaced the original opening number with a new song in a key which corresponded to that of the concluding number. undermining the 5 See Heinrich Lindlar. Mondnacht. 339." in Noten zur LiteratureI (Frankfurt." Neue Zeitschrift fir Musik CXXIII (1962). the seventh song occupies an important position. 273. 119. Rolf Ringger. Schlager. its weakness would threaten the structural integrity of the entire cycle. for the seventh song has been described repeatedly as a disappointment and a failure.EICHENDORFF AND SCHUMANN one central division. p." SchweizerischeMusikzeitung CVI (1966). pp. Such a threat may exist. and poetic mood contributed to musical and dramatic balance of the cycle's final version. the marriage so necessary to the art of the lied and so perfectly consummated in the cycle's exquisite fifth song. pp.

does not mean it is a mistake. and the song's musical and literary function within the cycle may be explained. 7 See Stephen Walsh. Und versteinert Brust und Krause. 1971). Und der Wald rauscht durch das Gitter. Draussen ist es still und friedlich. 1969). and the role of the seventh lied. 38. Forest birds alone sing In the empty window arches. p. p. Schumann adopted Eichendorffs brief and enigmatic poem without any alterations. die weinet. Druben gehen Regenschauer. Thym. 100. TheLiederof Schumann(London. Its text seems quite peculiar. Auf von einer Burg. Poemand Music in the GermanLiedfrom Gluck to Hugo Wolf (Cambridge. In a Castle Asleep in the watchtower Up above is the old knight.THE JOURNAL OF MUSICOLOGY 572 poem's structure. . the seventh song of Opus 39 is an anomaly. Eingewachsen Bart und Haare. Eric Sams. All have gone into the valley. a fresh and thorough examination of the poem. 204. And the forest rustles through the portcullis. however. Sitzt er viele hundert Jarhe Oben in der stillen Klause.7 In many ways. Alle sind in's Tal gezogen. Chest and ruffles turned to stone. Outside it is still and peaceful. Musicians play merrily. He sits many hundred years Up above in his silent cell. each containing four terse eight-syllable lines: Auf einer Burg Eingeschlafen auf der Lauer Oben ist der alte Ritter. p. Musikanten spielen munter. The rain showers overhead. Jack M. A wedding passes by below On the Rhine in the sunlight. MA. The Songs of RobertSchumann(London. Rather. the equally unusual song has been misjudged. p. The poem (which follows with a literal line-by-line translation) consists of four short strophes. Und die schone Braut. and distorting the lyric text while matching it with inappropriate music. SchuThrough mann's skill in setting Auf einer Burg can be demonstrated. the evaluations of the song have been mistaken. Waldesvogel einsam singen In den leeren Fensterbogen. in the Liederkreis Eichendorffhas been misapprehended. 1971). especially in comparison to the other Liederkreis lyrics. And the beautiful bride cries. Thus. Its musical style is unique to the cycle and atypical of Schumann's work in general. 115. Eine Hochzeit fahrt da unten Auf dem Rhein im Sonnenscheine. Stein. Much groundless musical criticism has been founded upon misinterpretation of the unusual poem. Beard and hair overgrown. The fact that the lied is an anomaly.

Some instances of assonance. the lyric first was published in a collection of poetry in 1837. Oskar Seidlin's Versuche iiber Eichendorff (Gottingen. 1972). and "Eingewachsen Bart und Haare . For example. Egon Schwarz did write a helpful chapter on "The Lyrics" in his introductory book. 9 See Lawrence R. and. "Eichendorffs Musikanschauung. and Walter Salmen. and music is a common ingredient in his prose and poetry. A general study of Eichendorffs poetic style is found in Hans Jurg Liithi's Dichtung und DichterbeiJoseph von Eichendorff(Bern and Munich. he felt free to ignore rhyming conventions when it suited his purpose. Fortunately. Therefore. English language scholarship on Eichendorff is scarce. The gently jarring effect of impure rhymes anticipates and emphasizes the sudden disturbing appearance of the weeping bride at the conclusion of the poem. The chief factor in the poet's resonant style is his habitual use of alliteration and assonance within a line or strophe. in Aufeiner Burg the forest rustles. His writing overflows with the multifarious sounds of man and nature. of course.EICHENDORFF AND SCHUMANN Unlike many of Eichendorffs lyrics. and much of his work remains untranslated (and perhaps untranslatable). the birds sing. Regenschauer" in the first strophe. 1966).9 As might be expected. The Musician." MonatshefteLVI (1964). as Auf einer Burg progresses towards its denouement. "The Instrument. The opening lines of the poem's first two strophes echo with the recurrence of identical or similar vowel sounds. Joseph von Eichendorff(New York.. which then reappear in the rhyming third lines of these same strophes. The result is truly hypnotic and very appropriate to the description of the ancient knight sleeping through the centuries.8 Sounds abound in Eichendorffs work. 332-35? 573 . the reverberation produced by the repetition of vowel sounds. The Song: An Introduction to Eichendorffs Symbolism. no prose context exists to provide valuable clues to the mysterious poem's meaning. the musicians play. this poem originally was not included in a novel or novella. Jahre" in the second). In ple fact. Auf einer Burg displays three characteristic features of Eichendorff's style which assist in the interpretation of the poem. 339-45. Radner. are found in Auf einer Burg. (Compare the perfect alternating rhymes of the first two " No significant literary scholarship has been devoted solely to Auf einer Burg.. In creating his sonorous works. . Yet simple aural descriptions do not generate Eichendorffs sonoral effects. 1965) offers an evaluation of the poet's lyric style. The very sound of his language produces its own music." Neue Zeitschriftfur Musik CXVII (1956). . the poet moved beyond the simand customary use of perfect rhymes at the ends of the lines. ("Eingeschlafen auf der Lauer . The mesmerizing effect of these echoing broad vowels is enhanced because the assonances occur on the strong syllables of the monotonous underlying trochaic meter. the end-line rhymes become increasingly inexact. pp. 79-101.

" Euphorion LI (1957). 115. and a hero high on a hilltop catches the eye of a girl 1o Translation often destroys the spatial effect of Eichendorffs linguistic manipulations (e." In one novel. Details on how Eichendorffs grammar contributes to his spacious scenes are in Richard Alewyn's important article. disregard for the empirical possibilities of sense perception. Though it may seem impossible that the bride's tears are visible such a great distance from the knight. the view simultaneously embraces an entire vista and the tiniest distant detail. Incredibly spacious landscapes are a hallmark of his work. edited by Paul Stocklein (Munich. The resulting picture. 1960). with its impression of great space and distance. creating images of vast distances which exceed quotidian vision. Caspar David Friedrich. In addition to this special point of view. The poet painted enormous scenes. pp. the crashing beams of a burning house are seen at an astonishing distance." in strophe three).. "Eine Landschaft Eichendorffs. placing detachable prefixes denoting direction far from their verb roots). resembles those painted by Eichendorffs contemporary. 4260. p. Rather than presenting two self-contained and contrasting scenes.g. . and directional verb prefixes which direct the reader's inner sight across the great distances depicted in his poems. for example.lo In Aufeiner Burg. outside and around the watchtower ("draussen. prepositions. Eichendorff portrays a stony knight on the stormy heights. and all four lines of the last strophe. there are many instances of views unimpeded by reality: a woman spots a piece of jewelry sparkling across a wide valley. the two figures are part of the same landscape. and Leo Spitzer's response to Alewyn in "Zu einer Landschaft Eichendorffs. reprinted in EichendorffHeute. From a point that seems to be suspended in mid-air. space is an equally essential feature of his writing.. It is not unusual for Eichendorff's landscapes to exhibit this sort of "spatial and visual ." Euphorion LII (1958). Eichendorffs landscapes owe much to the constant and distinctive use of spatial adverbs.. Frequently his landscapes are presented from a strangely omniscient viewpoint fixed high in the air. 142-52. The poem's single landscape easily encompasses these various elements. 17-43. and a wedding party passing in the valley below.) While sonority is an important element in Eichendorff's poetry.THE JOURNAL OF MUSICOLOGY 574 strophes with lines one and three of the third strophe. " Schlager. the view stretches across the whole poem: up and into the tower high above ("oben. the typical all-inclusive view sweeps through the entire work." stated twice in the first two strophes).ll The wedding party of Auf einer Burg is not situated in a scene separate from the watchtower. and far down to the river below ("da unten" in the last strophe). a decaying watchtower.

150. Only the emperor's enormous blackbirds remain. but they express the ontology of man'sfate and existence. Quite simply. 465-81. vehicles for the transmissionof subjective emotions. 575 ."'l To appreciate the metaphysical significance of the landscape in Auf einer Burg. a third aspect of Eichendorffs style must be examined. For. Barbarossa is not dead.'4 It is German mythology that dictates the content of the puzzling poem Auf einer Burg. 145. four-line strophes.. has fallen into ruin. drowned en route to Jerusalem in 1190... 150. seemingly asleep. and Thym. As he keeps watch through the centuries. "Eichendorffs Symbolic Landscape." Publication of the Modern Language AssociationLXXII (1952). XIII (1959/60). 1961). the royal castle on the mountain's peak. unlike the scenery found in much romantic prose and poetry: Eichendorffs landscapes are not decorative materialintroduced at will for the sake of background or atmosphere.S. Meanwhile. circling the 12 Detlev W. Yet permeating the entire lyric is precise and significant reference to one particular and centrally important myth: the legend of Friedrich Barbarossa. end-rhyme pattern of a-b-a-b. There was an historical Emperor Friedrich I. nicknamed Barbarossa. The Influenceof the GermanVolkslieder Eichendorffs Lyric(Leipzig. He was a popular German ruler who. pp. 1910). There he sits. In addition to general stylistic influences.l2 Such instances are not the result of faulty depth perception or accidents in perspective. Jacob Harold Heinon zelmann. "Eichendorffs Conception of the Supernatural World of the Ballad. awaiting his opportunity to return and lead the German people in their time of need. he miraculously survives in a secret cavern inside a mountain called Kyffhauser. Eichendorffs unique landscapes are "illustrative of metaphysical positions. reprinted in Essaysin Germanand Comparative Literature(Chapel Hill. 195-206. and the occasional impure rhymes. According to legend. pp. 14 See Gillian Rodger. deserted for many years. 562. These stylistic influences are easily identified in Auf einer Burg: the simple syntax. however. as still as a statue on an ancient throne. Eichendorff's writings often were inspired by specific stories from Germanic folklore.EICHENDORFF AND SCHUMANN riding on horseback far below. "Some Scenic Motifs in Eichendorffs Ahnung und Gegenwart. or misunderstood. The profound impact of legend on this poem has been ignored." GermanLife and LettersN. his renowned red beard continues to grow to such great length and strength that it mingles with the very roots of the mountain. underestimated. Traces of Germanic folk tradition are apparent in many of Eichendorffs works. 13 Oskar Seidlin. 24-29. by some accounts. Schumann. Rather. [they] are not self-contained pictures."Journal of English and GermanPhilology LVI (1957).

see Peter Munz. '7 Schlager. The birds in 15 For information on the legendary and the historical Barbarossa. 576 . Though storms rage on Kyffhauser whenever Barbarossa is angered by the failures of his countrymen.J. a mysterious lake. p.. Consider the bird. FrederickBarbarossa. Their disappearance will signal the imminent return of the king to his people. the name of an anonymous king could be supplied in an English poem containing references to a magical sword. but they have misunderstood or ignored the precision and significance of the work's specific mythological allusions. his identity is confirmed by the symbolic context.'5 All the essential elements of the Kyffhauser folk tale are present in Auf einer Burg: an ancient sleeping knight with his stony countenance and ever-growing beard. 1969). What the connection may be between the legend and the present poem is unclear. p. the ruins of a deserted tower. The GermanLied and Its PoetrN (New York. '' Though the knight is not named.'6 Some writers (represented below by the scholarly extremes of an article on Opus 39/VII by Karlheinz Schlager and an introductory study of lieder by Elaine Brody and Robert Fowkes) have recognized a vague relationship between the poem and the legend of Kyffhauser mountain. For example: These strophes rely on the knight. and the forest breezes and singing birds as evidence of the nature worship of the romantics. within the mythological context of the poem. Beneath the surface of the Barbarossa legend lies an earlier layer of Kyffhauser mythology which relates that Wotan took refuge within this same mountain when the Germanic tribes abandoned the old beliefs and converted to Christianity. Romanticism was exceedingly fond of castles. the emperor has yet to rouse himself and come to their aid. 1970). important symbolic components are misinterpreted and mistakenly dismissed as typical romantic literary gestures. One day.translated by A.'7 This poem is reminiscentof the legend of Barbarossa... 122.and the Kyffhauserlegend as signs of the legacy of the middle ages. 153. '8 Elaine Brody and Robert A.s1 In such analyses. especially those in ruins. Likewise. Pomerans (New York. FrederickBarbarossa:A Study in Medieval Politics (Ithaca. and the birds.THE JOURNAL OF MUSICOLOGY abode of their master.. the rainstorms. 1971). Fowkes. the birds will leave Kyffhiuser. The birds singing into glassless windows is also a romantic touch. sacred since pre-historic times. For the mountain described in this poem is a numinous site. Although singing birds commonly inhabit nineteenthcentury German lyric poetry. castle. and Marcel Pacaut. the mountain-top Waldesvogel in Auf einer Burg do not function as conventional romantic symbols. for instance. and a round table.

pp. Thym. in his traditional guise as the restorer of the true church. Friedrich Barbarossa's appearance in a German poem of 1837 is not surprising. 20 577 . Bechstein recounted the tale in a collection of Thuringian legends in 1835. Riickert wrote a poem called Der alte Barbarossac.20 The lonely birds.2' After Napoleon was removed from the scene-with no apparent help from Barbarossa-the legendary Emperor's mission became one of establishing German spiritual." or mere signs of romantic "nature worship. either. The myth's traditional sixteenth-century religious interpretations and contemporary nineteenth-century political implications held personal appeal for the poet. too. Nor are they "images of the present which animate the landscape of the concluding two stanzas" in order to contrast with the knightly "representative of the past" who dominates the poem's first two strophes. 115-16. (Severe rainstorms were reported on Kyffhliuser during the infamous German defeat at the Battle of Jena. 3-18. the emperor was expected to appear in defense of the Catholic faith. See Munz. Grimm included the story in the DeutscheMythologieof 1816. 1800. Eichendorff faced religious intolerance during his career in the Protestant Prussian bureaucracy. pp. p. for the crises of the post-revolutionary world profoundly disturbed Eichendorffs life and greatly influenced 19 Munz. 12. The ancient king's appearance in a work by Eichendorff is not surprising. in 181o a music festival was held in Frankenhausen to honor Barbarossa.l9 Such magical birds are not simple "romantic touches. cultural. and Pacaut.EICHENDORFF AND SCHUMANN Auf einer Burg represent one of the more ancient and fascinating aspects of the Kyffhauser tradition. and in 1871 Kaiser Wilhelm I erected a statue of himself mounted on a pedestal containing a representation of Barbarossa sleeping in his secret cavern. Years later. during another politically difficult period. 205-08. he was supposed to return and restore German honor by defeating Napoleon. the only living creatures remaining on the mountain. His myth had been an important part of the German imagination for centuries. 1815. is Barbarossa as the nemesis of Napoleon. A Roman Catholic by birth and conviction. During the upheavals of the Reformation. 21 A few examples of the legend's popularity in the nineteenth century: Novalis discussed the myth in his letters c." as stated above. and political unity. pp. Barbarossa. So. he responded by infusing his literary work with the imagery and lessons of his faith.) The legend's strong national appeal grew throughout the nineteenth century. is quite at home in Eichendorff's poetic world. for Barbarossa's birds have been identified as the direct mythological descendants of Wotan's ravens. are important symbolic threads from the rich fabric of Kyffhauser legend which Eichendorff worked into the texture of Auf einer Burg.

her tears are "in any case. . et al. For example. bitterly resenting the French occupation of Halle while he was there as a student. Karlheinz Schlager concluded that whether the bride cries out of joy. Many explanations have been offered for her seemingly inexplicable final gesture. not the least of which is Auf einer Burg. the Kyffhauser legend provides the means for Eichendorff's characteristic poetic utterance. then. gardens. and obsession with the unrealized dreams of a romanticized past." Though literary scholars might question the affinity of Eichendorff and Heinrich Heine. His article on "Eichendorffs Personlichkeit" published in EichendorffHeute. is the role of the bride in this poem. a moment of irritation similar to the unexpected ironic endings found in many poems by Heine. The poet volunteered for military service in antiNapoleonic forces. provides additional insights. The poem's imagery relates directly and meaningfully to the myth. The emperor's appearance in the poem is highly significant. "one may assume that the image of the petrified knight has reminded her of life's transitoriness. Religious influences are considered in Blackall's discussion of Eichendorffs work. not coincidental. in answer to Jack Stein's presumption that the woman "is probably crying from happiness or simple nervous tension. it is not simply the stock issue of romantic German lyric poetry. and Eichendorff was reduced to working as a civil servant.edited by H. In the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars. nostalgia for the pre-revolutionary world. 9-32. 1967). Heimpel. and why is she crying? Appearing without introduction in the last line with her tears made manifest in the last word." Rather than irony. his aristocratic family lost their beloved ancestral manor. Roman Catholic faith. emotion.THE JOURNAL OF MUSICOLOGY 578 his writing." Jurgen Thym proposed that the bride weeps because. (Berlin.22 Freiherr Eichendorffs beautiful estate-its castle. What. or fear of the eerie ruin looming above. anti-Napoleonic sentiment. pp. are evident in many of Eichendorff's works. 242-73. 242-62. Barbara Turchin believes it is primarily a "sense of alienation" that is so "vividly expressed in the vision of the bride who weeps 22 An understanding of these aspects of Eichendorffs life contributes to comprehension of his work. pp. Friedrich Barbarossa represents the promise of the past for which Eichendorff yearned. pp. and entire way of life-were idealized in the writer's later works as a lost paradise. A brief biography is found in Paul Stocklein's "Joseph von Eichendorff' entry in volume three of Die grossen Deutschen:DeutscheBiographie. 1956). she has caused no end of difficulty for those trying to analyze the poem Auf einer Burg in order to evaluate Schumann's lied of the same name. oo-16. The impact of the French Revolution is assessed in a discussion of Eichendorffs Schloss Diirande by Josef Kunz in Eichendorff:Hohepunktund Krise der Sptitromantik (Darmstadt. In this poem. pp.

on the other hand. Eichendorff does not use place names for geographic accuracy but for symbolic impact. for in Eichendorff's works "it can almost be stated as a rule that the more clearly a description is related to a specific locality. 568.. 324. p. the Rhine. and the Rhine in particular is one of his favorite geographic symbols. [wherein the bride] cries because her real lover has deserted her and the man she is marrying is not one she loves. and in order to remedy this confusion. it should be mentioned that among the many variant details of the numerous versions of the Barbarossa myth is a description of the old knight in the mountain being served by an attendant. Schlager. p. because Eichendorff's landscapes normally adhere to "the general rule of geographical anonymity. See Seidlin. . 568. his virginal daughter. 115. openly admit defeat: The wedding [in AufeinerBurg].EICHENDORFF AND SCHUMANN in the midst of sunshine and merriment." p. a view from the Thuringian Harz mountain of Kyffhiauser all the way to the Rhine is entirely possible."25 In Auf einer Burg. 145-46. Within a symbolic landscape by Eichendorff. Rivers in general are among his most potent images. the sacred river of German romanticism and nationalism. This detail may be the source of Eichendorff's bride. p. 145. the troublesome bride must be considered as another integral feature of the poem's mythological milieu and symbolic landscape. Thym. and Schumann. 153. 116. while others have traveled on foot from Vienna to the Rhine in a single evening!26 Obviously. remindsone of another poem by Eichendorff called Die weinende Braut .. and Turchin. But what that may have to do with the present poem or what the wedding in the sunlight has to do with the ruined castle in the rain is obscure indeed.. her placement is of great importance because she is assigned a definite location. p. p. In similar literary landscapes created by the author with characteristic disregard for actual distance." The atypical identification of an authentic site in Aufeiner Burg is significant. Whatever her origin. 122. some fictional characters in northern Italy have clearly seen the Danube nearly two hundred miles away. p. "Eichendorffs Symbolic Landscape. In so doing.. "Eichendorffs Symbolic Landscape. She sails by on the German river unequaled in its wealth of powerful historical and literary associations. p. the more visionary it turns out to be.24 In deference to Eichendorff's poetic style. The Rhine figures 23 24 25 5 26 See Stein." p. the bride does not travel on an anonymous stream. and Seidlin. Brody and Fowkes. Such designations are rare."23 Brody and Fowkes. Schumann.

. What is presented here as a scenic view is in reality history. And the swim which the two friends take in the river clearly indicates that scenic view here stands for historic event.THE JOURNAL OF MUSICOLOGY prominently in Ahnung und Gegenwart. who is also a bride. a swim which marks the story's turning point.. the stream of past ages and immortal inspiration.. but actually is history. covered with creepers and grass.d. Eichendorff's first important prose work. "Eichendorffs Symbolic Landscape. Yet. Evaluating this important description of the Rhine and the following dramatic incident. von alten Burgen und ewigen Waldern kommend. present. den Strom vergangener Zeiten und unverganglicher Begeisterung. a woman. an ancient symbol for the Christian church. .28 In Auf einer Burg. (Leipzig. Werke. The ominous birds remain on the mountain. the river's first appearance is intriguing: Als sie aus dem Walde auf einen hervorragendenFelsen heraustraten. . This dive into the Rhine . past. the royal Rhine. The wedding is prepared: the sun shines on the beautiful bride and the musicians play merrily. sails by on the one river which represents the course of German history. the single figure who could restore political stability. Oscar Seidlin writes: The numerous ruins. for the leap into the Rhine takes place in our novel just before the two friends enter upon their soldierly careers. though within sight of each other. its pastness and future encompassed in the present.. the ancient king remains frozen in time. RichardDietze. Joseph von Eichendorff. den koniglichen Rhein. and future. the expectant and the expected. singing among the ruins.) II. are not scattered about as picturesque props. sahen sie auf einmal aus wunderreicher Ferne.Eichendorffs n. suddenly they saw coming from a miraculous distance. a conventional symbol for a not only conveys and alludes to. 189. while the river flows through time.. are kept apart. Seidlin. and the peace of a vanished golden age. 2 vols. religious harmony. The bride and the knight.." pp. Above her is the saviour of the German people. but they symbolize lived time which is being kept slumbering. is actuallythe hero's commitment to and leap into German history. The river Rhine is here the "streamof ages past". In this book. A new era is at hand. 155-56. Through the medium of landscape Eichendorff articulates again and again the perspective of time. 27 28 580 ed.27 When they came out of the woods and stepped up upon a projecting rock. . from ancient castles and timelessforests.

Schumann would have met Barbarossa in the famous poem by Rtickert." Thym. misinterpreted by so many. the bride and the knight are inextricably and tragically bound to one another. many other atypical features of Auf einer Burg represent appropriate and intelligent musical responses to the poem's content and meaning. "strange mismatch. The strophic setting does not "defeat the poet's intention" or "subjugate the language to the force of the musical form. "fresh idea. But their literary evaluations force contrasts upon the unified poem which contradict its basic nature. p. The piano's strict four-part imitative counterpoint. 115. scenes. The musical form thus reflects the poetic content. on the other hand. loo." Busse. rain and sunshine. p."29 We can assume that Schumann. Eichendorffs poem. Through rich mythological allusions developed within a carefully designed symbolic landscape. p. At the very least.EICHENDORFF AND SCHUMANN Barbarossa does not descend. and "painful struggle. p." Draheim. 204. "one-sided. 24. He therefore set their descriptions to the same music. Schumann clearly recognized the presence and significance of the Kyffhauser legend in Eichendorff's poem. Expressed primarily in half notes. using a simple strophic formula which incorporates two poetic stanzas in each musical strophe. They have denigrated Schumann's setting for not reflecting these divisions." Walsh. a poet whose work the composer held in high esteem." Stein." The final poetic strophes do not "need some fresh musical idea. 29 "Defeat. The masterful allegorical poem is all of one piece. or ideas: mountain and valley. Specifically." The musical repetition in the last two stanzas does not represent a "one-sided clarification in interpreting the ambiguous imagery of the poem. quite understandably." or a "strange mismatch" of text and music." Sams. And the bride. knight and bride. Schumann. 28. death and life. was familiar with the popular legend of Friedrich Barbarossa as it appeared in German romantic literature. past and present. a well-read man of his time. Nor is it likely that the composer intended the allegorical bride's music to illustrate Clara Wieck's "painful struggle back and forth between filial devotion to her father and love for Schumann. Beyond simple strophic form. "subjugate. unable to separate or unite. a very unusual feature. 38. Sein oder Schein. Music scholars have consistently evaluated the poem in terms of two sharply opposed figures. was comprehended fully by Robert Schumann. p. p. recognized the fully integrated mythological symbolism of the poem and the true relationship of the bride and the knight. 581 . evokes the past. weeps. Schumann created a sense of timelessness and antiquity in his setting of Auf einer Burg through the use of archaic musical techniques.

p. . When repeated at the end of strophe two. p. p. Knaus. A minor. and one saying it fluctuates between E minor. 31 See Lindlar. which has been misidentified as the completion of a Phrygian cadence and as a major tonic chord. others referring to it as E?. with the song's dominant conclusion linked to its E-minor opening. Schumann established an harmonic link with the previous song (which is in B major) and partially bridged the cycle's central tonal division. the conflict finds an unexpected resolution. as described by Theodore Adorno and Jurgen Thym. Prior to that. 30 See Herwig Knaus. (The full cadential progression is completed with the sounding of the A-minor tonic chord in the second measure of the next lied.32 Nevertheless. the ear easily recognizes the unmistakable and indecisive sound of an ending on the true dominant as the voice trails off with a tiny melisma. 89. 312. 170. p. Unlike any other song in the cycle. the lied ends harmonically off in the middle distance where it began. and the musical effect recalls the poem's sensation of hovering in space above a vast landscape. It is centrally placed.30 Traces of modality also cast a distinctive antique light on the song. By opening the seventh song on its minor dominant. and create confusion regarding its tonality and mode. At the beginning and end it is suspended tonally in mid-air. The beginning of the lied is heard as sounding not in A but in E minor. p. and the song spends most of its brief life avoiding the tonic.THE JOURNAL OF MUSICOLOGY 582 the texture has been said to resemble a ricercar. 370. 1974). Draheim. Analysts disagree about the key of the lied. The song is manifestly in A minor. drops a fifth to land on the tonic A. 32 Turchin. only a single clear A-minor cadence appears. We are thus left with an unexpected final E-major triad. p. p. p. 63. At that moment. Musiksprache und Werkstructur in Robert Schumanns "Liederkreis" (Munich and Salzburg. Turchin. 18. instead of moving towards a solution. some writing of it as E minor.) The A-minor tonality acts as the center of gravity for Auf einer Burg. and Turchin.31 But uncertainty arises because the tonality is under the modal influence of E aeolian. 323. simply remains unresolved. p. the first strophe ends in measure seventeen with a harsh clash of implied harmonic functions. rather. The troublesome Gt is not removed. and E major. the voice resolves a suspension by moving to the Gt leading tone from the dominant triad. Adorno. The resulting clash of Gt and A. 25. and Thym. imitating the opening motif once again. 273. while the bass. emphatically sounding in measure nineteen at the end of the brief piano interlude between the two strophes. the tonic A is eliminated. so to speak. In the seventh lied.

The accompaniment's rigid polyphonic texture. The adagio tempo does not enliven the sluggish harmonic pace.33 For instance. A popular figure in German romanticism. 583 . 1800 by Brentano. call forth no direct musical response. p. and it is frequently rendered on repeated pitches. is obstinately imitated. for the poem Auf einer Burg is also impersonal and dispassionate.EICHENDORFF AND SCHUMANN Harsh simplicity and exceptional austerity distinguish Schumann's setting of Auf einer Burg. The unique expressive restraint reflects the distilled essence of the poem. the objectivity of this very restricted setting perfectly mirrors the text. Unlike other settings in the cycle. 115. lacks vitality. the melody of the seventh song of Opus 39 is not animated or dramatic. The bride's tears occasion no dramatic musical outburst. Except for the final brief melisma. and the slow-moving accompanimental half notes lack momentum. as Jack Stein put it. the witch Lorelei was invented c. timeless realm of mythology. what Schlager termed "die Erstarrung. birds." found in the cycle's third song. a falling fifth followed by a rising third. the textual declamation is consistently syllabic. 130. Each of the song's thirty-nine measures seem to contain the fewest notes possible. 33 Schlager. Straightforward and persistent sequence dominates the second half of the strophic melody. with its inflexible independent voice leading. the song sensitively echoes the aloof mythological atmosphere of the poem. Instead. The very simple opening motif. 34 Stein. The seventh poem has no explicit or implicit protagonist with whom the reader or listener can identify. The wind. The piano texture is thin and the accompaniment minimal. The setting remains so restrained that in some performances the lied runs the risk. unlike the other poems in the cycle. is not a resident of the ancient mythological realm inhabited by Barbarossa.34 Nevertheless. nor any dialogue. and players. It is the only poem in Opus 39 to draw material from the distant.35 And. The vocal range is restricted to one octave in a relatively low tessitura. The basically static vocal rhythm adheres with stifling closeness to the poem's underlying trochaic meter and robs the song of rhythmic drive. river. while a stubborn interior pedal point on C sounds through the central six measures of each strophe. Auf einer Burg stands without piano introduction or postlude to alleviate its stark simplicity. of falling apart. and nothing disrupts the plain and placid surface of the music. p. The severe economy of expression which dominates this unexpansive song produces a feeling of psychological distance. a lack of emotional involvement." the knight's eternal living death in suspended animation. it contains neither ich. 35 "Die hexe Lorelei. rain. nor du. and the dynamic level is uniformly hushed.

But whatever the specific circumstances. the prose narrative represented one artistic level while the interjected lyrics represented another. The interactionof the two worlds is explored in countless modulations:the song [appearing in a novel as a poem] may be a sudden revelationor a distraction. These insertions interrupted the flow of time in the narrative. Carefully inserted at critical points. but also to every other song in the cycle. and expression of joyful emotion. p. The contrast is so great that Auf einer Burg seems to belong to a completely different poetic realm and a foreign musical world. . the seventh was meant to "begin the second half [of the cycle] as if exhausted. mirror images. The earliest German romantic fiction writers often placed their poetic inserts in a random fashion. rhythmic activity. dual perceptual levels. Yet the severely circumscribed Aif einer Burg stands in exaggerated contradistinction not only to the preceding song. providing a temporary pause and a glance into a timeless realm.. an analogue or a pointed irrelevance .. Why and why was it placed in was this anomaly included in the Liederkreis. Diptych structures.the very regularityof rhythm and rhyme constitutes an interruptionof the linear impetus of time.... and the Doppelginger are common examples of the many dualistic features found in early romantic works. Marshall Brown's evaluation of the form and intent of early German romantic fiction is very helpful in comprehending this twofold literary form: The contrast between propulsive narrationand lyrical pause . The most widespread of dualistic art forms in the nineteenth century was the German novella with inserted poems. The next generation of novelists (which included Eichendorff) strategically placed their poems so that they could articulate the structure of the prose narrative. or bi-centrality. Schine Fremde. range. tempo.THE JOURNAL OF MUSICOLOGY 584 What purpose might such a truly extraordinary song serve in the von Liederkreis Eichendorff?Rolf Ringger suggested that. in comparison to the sixth song. 3'( Ringger. In these once very popular but now little-known literary works. 342. which represents the first section's climax in terms of dynamic level. framing effects. Schumann did not have exclusive rights to the literary device or mental process which gave birth to Florestan and Eusebius. That type of dualism was rampant in German romanticism. is fundamentalin the Germanromanticfiction. the poems illuminated the larger structure of the entire prose work. which influenced almost all aspects of early romantic art and aesthetics."36 The subdued seventh lied does contrast markedly with the cycle's sixth lied. a crucial position within the cycle? The answer lies in the concept of dualism.

The musical flow of time seems temporarily arrested. It is also achieved in the lied's music. the style. it contrasts with the "propulsive narration" of the surrounding musical material. Rapid running sixteenth figurations and articulated 37 Marshall Brown. and longing which typify the cycle's other eleven lyrics.. no dramatic melodic line carries it onward. without which novels are mere entertainment.. In the song cycle. The Shape of GermanRomanticism(Ithaca. Following the sixth song's musical climax." and it "gives access to a timeless world.. love.EICHENDORFF AND SCHUMANN Of romanticbicentralforms. the poems give accessto a timeless world that is the ground of our mortal existence. contrasts with the subjective and self-centered surrounding poems in a way which duplicates the intent of the poetry/prose dualism of the romantic novel. 585 . the seventh lied acts as the secondary "higher plane" typically afforded by a poetic insert in German romantic fiction.." A haunting sense of timelessness is supplied not only by the poem's subject. The song's poetic subject. and no crescendos lift it toward a climax. 212 and 208-09. [The] poems likewise provide an indispensable higher plane . The concerns of Auf einer Burg are far removed from the conventional romantic preoccupations of loneliness. 1979). Little happens here: no rhythmic drive propels the song. The ancient myth. model for Schumann's Liederkreis. The elevated and legendary subject of the seventh poem assures that the cycle is not "mere entertainment. we are given a glimpse into an unchanging world. a remarkable feat considering that the basic medium of music is sound in time. pp..37 The particular dichotomy of this romantic literary form is a Within the Opus 39 cycle. a noble and ancient legend with modern resonance.. The poem's setting acts as an "interruption of the linear impetus of time". Auf einer Burg offers a particular type of romantic dualism. is perfectly suited to this role.. the most widely used combines history and poetry: it is the prose narrativewith inserted lyrics.. Whateverthe format. presented with impersonal objectivity. no clearly defined tonal goal urges it forward. Placed among lieder with which it has little in common textually or musically.. . Immediately thereafter we are jolted back to mundane temporal reality with the long anticipated A-minor opening of the eighth lied. Timelessness characterizesthe lyric interruptionsof the flow of events in general.. and function of Auf einer Burg parallels that of the lyric placement insert within the German novella.. no harmonic tension furthers its progress. forward momentum in Opus 39 comes to a halt with the demonstrably static setting of Auf einer Burg.

though it is very far away!38) In the romantic novel. Obviously. Schumann designed a musical scheme based generally on a popular contemporary literary form. 38 . 40 One other writer senses a prose foundation to the selection and order of poems in Opus 39. Turchin convincingly dismisses this speculation for lack of evidence. less controlled. as proposed above.4? Close examination of the cycle's most enigmatic. and does not discuss Auf einer Burg in this regard. sequence. the author's self-imposed restrictions of form. als sah' ich unter mir das Schloss im Thale liegen. in setting the Liederkreis poems Schumann provided the seventh poem with an analogous distinction.Knaus provides little detail on the supposed correlation of the cycle and the novel. one poem cannot contrast with the other poems in this way. or misplace it in his Liederkreis. pp. The restrictions distinguish the seventh song from all the other songs in the cycle. which are generally freer. asserts that the Liederkreis actually based on Eichendorffs novel Ahnung und Gegenwart. in a collection of twelve poems. and rhyme set the poetic inserts apart from the freer and more spontaneous language of the surrounding prose narrative. But rather than suggesting a generic literary model. However. These limitations are similar to those adopted when writing poetry instead of prose.39 For his Opus 39. is Herwig Knaus. rhythmic repetition. the German romantic prose novella with poetic inserts which function as momentary and illuminating breaks in the passage of time. 39 See Robert L. pp. 13-14. "Theory and Practice in Schumann's Aesthetics. The perplexing features of the seventh song can be comprehended "Die Mondesschimmer fliegen. 310-45. and more spontaneous or prose-like. limited range. and his life-long involvement with literature need not be recounted here. Impersonality is left behind: the first word of the eighth poem is "ich. uniform dynamic level. "Schumann and Jean Paul. it is based specifically on the final scene of a story by Jean Paul Richter.THE JOURNAL OF MUSICOLOGY 586 sixteenth chords hurry us away from the timeless scene. his mature literary sophistication. Schumann's youthful literary ambition. Jacobs. is a well-documented example. and sparse accompaniment." Music and LettersXXX (1949)." Journal of the AmericanMusicologicalSocietyXVII (1964). Papillons. His Opus 2. Schumann imposed very restrictive compositional procedures on Auf einer Burg: strophic form. and challenging song reveals that Schumann's Opus 39 contains heretofore unsuspected additional evidence of the composer's sensitive and creative musical response to the influence of romantic literature. 250-58. meter."(And the protagonists notes that he seems to see a castle. und ist doch so weit von hier!" See In der Fremde("Ich hor die Bachlein"). The use of literary models in his musical work was acknowledged long ago. Schumann did not misunderstand Eichendorffs Auf einer Burg. imitation. instead of adopting a specific model. Lippmann. He did not give it an inadequate setting. controversial. 277-78. and Edward A.

4). Aurora.EICHENDORFF AND SCHUMANN and explained by first examining the original creation. 587 . the lied." from which Peter Kivy quoted in his "What Was Hanslick Denying?" was incorrectly cited (this Journal VIII. An understanding of this unusual song and its important function in the Opus 39 cycle is unlocked by a literary key which is held in the stony hand of Friedrich Barbarossa. "Hanslick on Music as Product of Feeling. no. 2-3 (1989). 1 [Winter 1990]. 133-45. New York CORRECTION The article by Geoffrey Payzant. It appeared in the Journal of Musicological Research IX. before evaluating the composite work of art. nos. the poem.