Ganymed- Franz Schubert

A mindmap covering the main points of an analysis of Schubert's setting of "Ganymed".

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  • "Ganymed" (Franz Schubert)
    • Scholars' views
      • Suzannah Clark
        • There is no scholarly consensus regarding how the harmony should be seen in Schubert's "Ganymed" but scholars agree the directional tonality reflects Ganymed being carried off to the heavens.
      • Lawrence Kramer
        • Music "strives upwards". Intensity increases on each occurrence of "all liebender vater".
          • Each occurrence is illustrated with a cadential progression- according to Kramer this begins as a Half Cadence, then becomes a weak PAC (with a suspension over it) before finally reaching a strong PAC in the last line. The melody also becomes progressively more decorative.
        • Section 1= bars 1- 46, concentrates on the Half Cadence. Tonality= Ab major to Eb major (1-27) then Cb major to Gb major (28- 46).
        • Section 2= bars 46- 68, tonality= F#- B- E- A- Am. Moves around the circle of fifths.
        • Section 3=  "new pianistic texture", bars 68- 121, concentrates on full cadence. Includes grand series of cadences in F major.
      • Harald Krebs
        • "A reasonable explanation of the tonal structure of the song is the following: the song opens in the key of Ab and remains therein throughout sections prolonging the Ab, Eb, Cb and E triads (I- V- bIII- bVI). Confirmation of Ab as a key, however, is surprisingly withheld in the end; the dominant and tonic do not reappear, and the work veers suddenly into a second key area, F major".
    • Lecture notes
      • "Ganymed" starts in one key and ends in another.
      • There is a homoerotic undercurrent, evident in the changes between masculine and feminine imagery.
      • People would often recite poems before they performed them- Schubert's piece comes out of this context- melodramatic reading becomes song.
      • Schubert responds to irregular structure in the text, or perhaps contradicts it, with no structural, sectional repetition, opting instead for motivic repetition.
      • Uses mediant relations between pairs of cadences. Becomes gradually higher in pitch- transcendent.
      • Sense of movement in text established harmonically.
    • My ideas
      • Why did Schubert start in one key and end in another? Probably responding to the text and for musical progression.
      • Perhaps the homoerotic undercurrent is significant biographically- Maynard Solomon's 1980 article "Franz Schubert and the peacocks of Benvenuto Cellini" calls the composer's sexuality into question.

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