Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Hoeckner, Berthold. “Schumann and Romantic Distance.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 50 (Spring 1997): 55-132.

The poetic trope of distance is central to philosophical definitions of Romanticism as well as Robert Schumann’s music criticism and composition. Schumann’s Papillons, Op. 2, was influenced by the ideas of romantic distance and the sublime in Jean Paul’s novel Flegeljahre, which often uses musical metaphors in conceptualizing the sublime. An example of Schumann’s musical aesthetic of distance is the Aria movement of his Piano Sonata in F-sharp Minor, adapted from his earlier song An Anna, which itself borrows from Carl Gottlieb Reissiger’s Heimweh. The aria is presented as a purely instrumental song without words, but it is descended from song and echoes the aesthetics of vocal music. Schumann expresses a more personal form of distance and memory with his quotation of Clara Schumann’s Valses romantiques in both Carnaval and multiple numbers in Davidsbündlertänze. Similarly, Schumann’s Fantasie, Op. 17, evokes the imagery of romantic distance present in Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte through veiled melodic references. In the Im Legendenton movement of the Fantasie, Schumann again appropriates Clara’s music, this time her Romanza variée. The musical exchange between Robert and Clara Schumann can be read as a way of musically closing the distance between them. In closing the distance between lover and beloved, Schumann also closes the distance between music and language.

Works: Robert Schumann: An Anna II (83-91), Piano Sonata in F-sharp Minor, Op. 11 (86-91), Davidsbündlertänze, Op. 2 (100-9), Carnaval, Op. 9 (102-9), Fantasie, Op. 17 (113-126), Novelletten, Op. 21 (126-31)

Sources: Carl Gottlieb Reissiger: Heimweh (83-91); Robert Schumann: An Anna II (86-91); Clara Schumann: Valses romantiques, Op. 4 (102-9), Romanza variée, Op. 3 (121-24), Soirées musicales, Op. 6 (126-31); Beethoven: An die ferne Geliebte, Op. 98 (113-19)

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

Except where otherwise noted, this website is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
Creative Commons Attribution License