Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Music History

Committee Chair

Christensen, Jean, 1940-

Author's Keywords

Hugo Wolf; Das Schenkenbuch; West-ostlicher Divan; Goethe; Lied; Song cycle


Wolf, Hugo, 1860-1903; Music and literature; Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 1749-1832. West-östlicher Divan; ?afi?, 14th cent.


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's West-ostlicher Divan combines the Persian influence of the fourteenth-century poet Hafiz with Goethe's own Germanic literary heritage. The result was a synthesis of symbolism and multivalent meanings that Goethe himself doubted could be effectively portrayed in a musical setting. Hugo Wolf composed seventeen songs with poems from three of the Divan's thirteen books. Five of these songs come from "Das Schenkenbuch," an exploration of wine and intoxication as metaphors for religious experience. This thesis explores Wolf s success in addressing the complex system of meanings and references in the poems while providing suitable settings for each individual song. The result is an inter-related set of Lieder tied together through form, key and motivic elements that provide a unified exploration of the meaning of spiritual intoxication.