Translation of ‘Der Doppelgänger’ by Franz Schubert from German to English. In search of. Schubert’s Doppelganger. DAVID BRETHERTON addresses some issues raised by a neglected Adorno essay. DORNO’S ESSAY ‘Schubert’ is a re-. To present a discussion of Der Doppelgänger, the thirteenth song from Schubert’s Schwanengesang, might seem a redundant enterprise.
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Schubert, doppelganger, Heine, song, analysis, key characteristics. Next, these constructions are mapped onto the piece itself, exploring multiple implications of motivic pitch structures and binary oppositions among chords and modalities. That Schubert was familiar with the myth is evident, not only due to his choice of title, but even because of his spelling of the word.
Furthermore, Given that Heine uses the word only once in the last stanza of the poem, he apparently wished to postpone or perhaps even downplay the mythical associations. Kramer Inwardly a kind of poet and outwardly a kind of hedonist. Maynard Solomonportrays Schubert as part of a very intimate circle of male friends engaged in same-sex erotic activities that were socially unacceptable in 19th-century Vienna. It is known that Schubert suffered from syphilis, an incurable disease at that time, which he probably contracted in Sams Kramerit seems a fitting—though tragic—finale.
Historically, the most influential work on this subject was probably the Ideen zu einer Asthetik der Tonkunst of Christian Schubart, written aboutand published posthumously in The piece remains in B minor until the third stanza measure 47at which point it modulates, not to the dominant or relative major, but to the raised mediant. If Schubert had modulated to a different tonic, the affect of the key would have contradicted that of the poem. If one were attempting to demonstrate the validity of key characteristics within certain composers or piecesthis would make a most compelling example.
Der Doppelgänger (Franz Schubert)
Multiple implications of each dyad in mm. Individually, however, none of the chords are complete, hence each dyad potentially implies more than one harmony see Example 2. Without their thirds, the outer chords could be either major or minor triads: Scnubert, the thirds of the middle chords can be filled out in two directions. Although it is most likely heard as part of the major dominant F — A — Cit could also dopelganger spelled as a mediant.
The resulting augmented triad D — F — A seems out of place, especially considering that this chord never occurs in the composition. However, as of measure 2, it is still possible to consider the piece in B major due to the tonal ambiguity of the first measuremaking it conceivable for the missing note to be a D.
Moreover, unlike the augmented mediant, this sharp mediant in relation B minor is heard later as the tonic chord of the modulation in measure All of the chords shown in Example 2 are heard in context later in the piece, thus providing some justification for my supposition of these eight chords and exclusion of the augmented mediant. As the opening progression is continually repeated and varied, the filling in of its chords becomes a dynamic structuring feature of the piece.
In the first stanza measures 5—24virtually no action takes place in either the poem or the music. Most of the vocal notes which fill in the chords are set to relatively insignificant articles e. It is only with the appearance in the poem of the other man that the development of the music begins to advance.
In measure 25 the voice begins on a new note, D, rather than Fand its range is extended to F 5, accompanied by a crescendo to fff. This is a remarkable aural event, especially since F is present constantly in all but seven bars of the piece. As with their poetic counterparts, the two terms are mirror images of each other, one major, the other minor.
The root pitches themselves, F and E, although adjacent in the diatonic scale, become antithetical figures when reflected across the axis of the tonic B. Hence, the subdominant asserts its literal role as the under-dominantor fifth below the tonic. Although stated only once at the end, the effect of the subdominant throughout the piece is felt strongly, perhaps more strongly than the dominant itself. The four-note motive B— A —D— C which accompanies the pedal-like F throughout much of the piece helps define the universe of harmonies around that note: Furthermore, although not yet distinguishable to the first-time listener, the Fand the harmonic function which it signifies the dominantappears marked by weakness.
To begin with, of the three chords surrounding the F mentioned above, only the dominant does not appear in root position. The first and only root-position dominant does not appear until measure Through the course of the piece, the instability of the dominant becomes increasingly evident, making its significance in the introduction, to borrow from Edward T.
Structural gap showing missing pitch C in opening motive. Structural gaps missing pitches E and G. It is interesting that the Agnus Dei uses the motive as the subject of a fugue. Regarding this same motive B— A —D— CWerner Thomashas also noted its similarity to the famous B—A—C—H motive, with which it shares the same contour and symmetry, and similar compactness and chromaticism. This type of missing note is referred to by Leonard Meyer— as a structural gap.
Der Doppelgänger (Franz Schubert) – ChoralWiki
In addition, one will notice how the missing C and the F drone as well serves as an axis of symmetry for the four-note set. By adding the Scchubert to the above collection of pitches B— A —D— Ctwo more structural gaps can be revealed, one on each side doppelganer the dominant. Arranging the pitches in ascending order, one can see that they form a diatonic B-minor scale, minus the notes E and G see Example 4. Individually, each of the chords in the opening might also symbolize this opposition by implying both a major and minor triad see Example 2.
On a larger scale, the opening chord demarcates the dichotomy between the tonalities of B major and B minor. I am not suggesting that the introduction is initially heard as being modally ambiguous dopplganger is clearly heard in B minorrather I am trying to illuminate a dramatic structure imbedded within this opening that foreshadows larger actions in both the music and text.
Der Doppelgänger – Wikipedia
All of the chords in the first section of the piece measures 5—40 are derived from the pitches of the introduction and are likewise mostly incomplete within the piano part itself. One might expect the vocal line to supply the doppelgange notes which complete the sonorities as the opening progression is repeated over and over. The schuberh rarely enters on the downbeat thus creating the effect of a quasi-recitative, and its first entrance on the second beat of measure 5, of course, provides no additional information since the F is already present in the piano.
It is a B-minor chord in schubrt inversion D— F —B. The first two chords are filled in by the voice part and the rest are presented in their entirety by the piano: The piano motive is altered to B—A—D— Ctransforming the second chord measure 10 into a minor dominant contradicting the implications of measure 2and then reducing it to a bare octave on the third beat. In the beginning of the second stanza, the vocal line reveals two more chords: Also of note, is the use of the piano motive B— A —D— C in the voice to fill in the chords of measures 27—30, and again in measures 36— This also marks the last time schubsrt the introductory progression is presented unaltered.
The second chord the F — A dyad has been consistently left incomplete. Reviewing the total harmonic content up until this point, six of the eight chords implied by the opening dyads see Example 2 have been fulfilled.
Harmonically, the secondary augmented-sixth chord heard at this point of the song measures 41—42 belongs doppelgamger and yet is also external to both B major and B minor, thus representing a kind mediation between those opposing pairs. Instead of being abandoned, the progression begins to retrograde in measures 45— Upon reaching the third chord originally the secondthe F — A is finally realized as part of the raised-mediant triad.
As if to compensate for its absence in the first half, Schubert prolongs the chord by modulating to the key of D minor, the raised mediant. With only tonic and dominant chords, this passage represents the most forceful and concise use of dominant harmony within the song. The fact that this is not the tonic key, accentuates the instability of the original dominant.
After five bars, the piece returns to B, completing, in a manner, the last chord of the retrograde progression. The resolution of this enigma, however, is not yet complete. Final version of opening progression, mm. The first three chords are the same as the opening except for the added pitch D completing the first chordwhile the last is replaced by a lowered II chord, see Example 5.
There are two doppwlganger aspects associated with this change of chord. First of all, it is in the position of what should have been the dominant. Secondly, it contains all three of the missing pitches formed by the structural gaps. Thus, these pitches C, G, and E are also unequivocally bound to the fate of the dominant. The first path is governed by the force of the missing C natural. There are just four occurrences of this pitch, and each is directly connected with the dominant see Example 6.
The first two times it appears as part of two different augmented-sixth chords measures 32 and 41both of which function harmonically as schubsrt substitutes, and physically replace the dominant-seventh chord heard in the previous statements of this progression measures 13 and Then, in measure 44, scyubert C— F dyad parodies the open fifth of measure 4 by turning it into a diminished one.
The last presentation is, of course, in measure 59, which is an entire triad built on C. Transformation of dominant into subdominant. As I remarked earlier, from the beginning schibert the piece, the dominant is portrayed as weak, appearing as an empty fifth measure 4a minor triad measure 10and even as a bare octave measure I am not trying to make a universal claim that all dominant-seventh chords represent some secretive subsersive action. Within the particular harmonic language created by this piece, however, this interpretation seems possible.
Despite the numerous implied dominants, the complete triad is heard on doppelganger three occasions, each accompanied by the pitch E.
Likewise, prior to the end, each time the note E appears in the piano which is not frequently it is part of a dominant-function chord. With the augmented-sixth in measure 41, the E is joined by G, interrupting, for the first time, the incessant pedal-tone of the Fand forming two-thirds of the subdominant triad. By the next appearance of these pitches in measure 54, the process is almost complete.
Here we find, as part of a suspension, the entire subdominant triad enveloped inside the empty fifth of the dominant from measure 4. At the point of the final cadence measure 61 the dominant has been completely taken over: Unlike the German-sixth of measure 51, these chords are not the augmented-sixths one would normally expect in the key of B.
Rather, they are, respectively, the French- and German-sixth chords derived from the key of E. Therefore, although they function as dominant substitutes in the context of B minor, they imply a dominant preparation in the key of the E minor. Similarly, the modulation to D minor in measures 47—51 seems to point toward a resolution in E, moving step-by-step, chromatically from the note B, hanging on the D leading-tone before it can reach the pitch E.
In the end, this resolution is irreversibly granted. The C-major chord in measure 59 functions as VI chord in E minor, this time followed by a proper dominant-seventh and, at last, in E minor chord, albeit over a B pedal tone. Furthermore, as the penultimate chord of the composition, the subdominant appears in the position at which one most expects to find the dominant. However, the appearance of this chord fulfills the expectation for a B-major triad which was created in the first bar of the piece.
If the latter pairing is considered more important than the former, then the final two chords measures 61—63 should be considered a kind of plagal cadence with a Picardy third.
Moreover, if the principal character does in fact die at the end, then the final raised B-major chord could not be thought of as a positive resolution, but rather as a dark victory for the subdominant, which succeeds in subverting even the original tonic into its own dominant. Musically this process exposes the previously absent pitches of the opening, fleshing out the dual identities of the chords.