Honors Program


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Berg, Karin. "A Discussion of Felix Mendelssohn's Sechs Gesänge, Op. 34." Digital Commons, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2021, [enter URL].


Copyright Karin Berg 2021.


For my thesis project, I prepared and performed a virtual lecture recital on Sechs Gesänge, Op. 34, a song set by Felix Mendelssohn. I live-streamed and recorded my recital on video. To accompany my recital, I wrote a research paper that forms the basis for my lecture script, program notes, and translations. German lieder is a form of art song that developed during the nineteenth century. Lieder is distinguished from other vocal music by a strong partnership between voice and piano. This partnership allowed composers to create vivid aural illustrations of well-known poems for audiences to enjoy. It also enabled them to express their individual compositional styles. Several leading composers of the Romantic period, such as Franz Liszt and Robert Schumann, used techniques that challenged the structures of common practice. However, Mendelssohn chose to use traditional methods to compose lieder that is now a part of standard vocal repertoire. My research focuses on Mendelssohn's compositional style as it relates to the lieder genre and how it is exemplified in Sechs Gesänge, Op. 34. My lecture recital is based on my research which explains the following: the poetic text for each song, the reason behind their composition, the significance of their place in the song set, and their historical and pedagogical importance. Finally, my performance of Sechs Gesänge demonstrates interpretive choices based upon my research and analysis of the music and text.