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Reinhardt, Lauriejean

From Poet's Voice to Composer's Muse: Text and Music in Webern's Jone Settings

Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1995

This study examines the creative friendship between Anton Webern and the poet/painter Hildegard Jone. The primary objective of the study is two-fold: (1) to view Jone's poetry and Webern's Jone settings through the lense of early twentieth-century Austrian culture; and (2) to consider the ways in which Webern's music relates to Jone's poetry. The study draws on archival materials pertaining to both artists, including primary sources that have only recently been made available.

The opening chapters establish a profile of Jone as an artist. Chapter 1 sketches Jone's biography and discusses her activities as a painter. Chapter 2 considers Jone's career as a poet, focusing on her working methods, publication history and aestheti cs and examining representative poems. Chapter 3 discusses Jone's creative relationship with Webern in light of the correspondence; the issue of collaboration is discussed with regard to Webern's Kantate op. 31/VI.

Chapters 5 through 8 focus on Webern's Jone settings, with an emphasis on the insights afforded by the primary sources. Chapter 5 offers an overview of the sources, including literary materials, sketchbooks, row tables, short scores and fair copies. Chapters 6 through 8 discuss the evolution and style of Webern's first Jone settings; more specifically, they examine the curious relationship between Webern's Drei Gesänge op. 23 and a texted fragment found in the sketches for the Konzert op. 24. Careful analysis of the sketches reveals important interconnections between the histories and musical languages of the two compositions. The relevance of these interconnections to the Drei Lieder op. 25 and Das Augenlicht op. 26 are also discussed.

Chapter 9 explores the broader ramifications of Webern's creative relationship with Jone. In particular, the chapter considers why Webern turned to Jone's poetry for his mature, twelve-tone works by noting similarities in the artists' responses to the events of World War I, the cultural climate of the First Austrian Republic and the advent of World War II. Three issues identified as central to Webern's interest in Jone's poetry are the artists' mutual belief in art as language, their shared understanding of their relationship to the past, and their belief in the spiritual nature of art.