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    Johanna Kinkel’s Lieder Compositions as a Socio-Political and Cultural Mirror of Her Time: A Reflective Interpretation

    Bunzel, Anja (2017) Johanna Kinkel’s Lieder Compositions as a Socio-Political and Cultural Mirror of Her Time: A Reflective Interpretation. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Johanna Kinkel’s (1810–1858, née Mockel, then Mathieux, then Kinkel) biography combines both an unusually strong cultural and socio-political engagement on the one hand and the self-perception of a typical nineteenth-century mother on the other. This dissertation seeks to examine the relationship between Johanna Kinkel’s artistic and theoretical oeuvre and her unconventional personality, her biography as a wife to the German revolutionary Gottfried Kinkel (1815–1882), and her strong socio-political engagement. By focusing on Kinkel’s seventy-eight Lieder publications, this dissertation examines Kinkel’s published musical output under the consideration of her unconventional biography on the one hand and her ambition to enrich, and yet conform to nineteenth-century thematic and compositional aesthetics on the other. Major findings are the following: Johanna Kinkel’s love songs can be considered autobiographically anchored and thus provide valuable insight into Kinkel’s emotional states of mind. Kinkel’s political settings reflect the socio-political climate of the time; however, they also took an active role in shaping the cultural identity of the Maikäferbund and, more generally, the democratic movement of the 1840s. Besides political and love songs, Kinkel also set a number of songs in praise of nature, all of which reflect different aspects of nineteenth-century Romanticism. Comparing Kinkel’s compositional aesthetics with those of her contemporaries, it is striking that Kinkel’s compositional style is diverse and cannot easily be pigeonholed, an aspect which points to the blurring of such dichotomies as the public and the private domain, professionalism and amateurism, and ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ styles. These dichotomies are research tools, but they do not fully reflect the nineteenth-century reality. Finally, in accordance with Nicholas Cook’s concept of musical scores as social scripts, Kinkel’s multifarious biography is reflected in her Lieder, but both her biography and her Lieder are also a significant part of nineteenth-century history and thus shape this part of history rather than only passively reflecting it.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Johanna Kinkel; Lieder Compositions; Socio-Political; Cultural Mirror; Reflective Interpretation;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Music
    Item ID: 15445
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2022 15:27
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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