The philosophical and sociological implications of Mahler's "Kindertotenlieder"

dc.contributor.advisorMetz, Ken
dc.contributor.authorThurmond, Kelly
dc.description.abstractMahler’s orchestral song cycle Kindertotenlieder is known for its brilliant expressivity and unique musical language. Written in 1901-04, the cycle takes on the challenging subject of the death of children. It was Mahler’s second song cycle and is considered one of his late works. It is a work that definitely characterizes the late Romantic period. This thesis will focus on aspects of the cycle that make it such a significant composition - the philosophical and sociological aspects of the Kindertotenlieder. I will examine existing research on the Kindertotenlieder and the background and context of their composition. I will explore Mahler’s state of mind at the time and examine his beliefs that allowed him to write such intimate and emotional music, music for which he supposedly had no outlet for motivation at the time. I will uncover the cycle’s links to different philosophies and their relationship to the concept of grief. The song cycle as a whole represents the ultimate search for meaning. This thesis will explore the levels of meaning of the songs of the Kindertotenlieder that were able to provide some consolation for the ultimate loss. As far as the sociological implications of the Kindertotenlieder, I will discuss the first performances and reception of it. Ruckert’s role as a poet will be discussed, as well as Mahler’s life at the time, in order to uncover how these songs were so effective and touching to all that heard them. A study of the philosophical and sociological connotations of the Kindertotenlieder will help to clarify aspects of the song cycle that have been heavily debated, such as the chronology of the songs, the question of the cycle’s unity, the source of Mahler’s motivation, and the relationship between the Kindertotenlieder and other works by Mahler.
dc.format.extent111 pages
dc.format.medium1 file (.pdf)
dc.identifier.citationThurmond, K. (2007). The philosophical and sociological implications of Mahler's "Kindertotenlieder" (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.
dc.subjectmusical performances
dc.titleThe philosophical and sociological implications of Mahler's "Kindertotenlieder"
dc.typeThesis State University-San Marcos of Music


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