Goethe’s “Suleika”

Cynthia Boucher

Abstract


Addresses the concept of Orientalism, a historical shift in musical structure, and the suitability of texts for various musical structures by examining two settings of a poem by Goethe. The poem Suleika, of Goethe's West-östlicher Divan, is analyzed in terms of an East-­West dichotomy and of Goethe's expressed concerns about the proper musical setting of a poetic text. The concept of Orientalism is also at play in settings of the poem by Schubert and Carl Friedrich Zelter.





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