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Title:Kjerulf and Welhaven: the advent of romantic Lieder and poetry in nineteenth-century Norway
Author(s):Blom, Cathrine
Director of Research:Kinderman, William A.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bashford, Christina; Magee, Gayle S.; Wright, Rochelle
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Halfdan Kjerulf
Johan Welhaven
Norwegian Romantic Lied
Norske Romance
Norwegian romantic poetry
Abstract:This thesis traces the development of the romantic Lied and poetry in Norway in the first half of the nineteenth century, a development driven by by two closely intertwined figures, the composer Halfdan Kjerulf (1815-1868) and the poet Johan Sebastian Cammermeyer Welhaven (1807-1873). Welhaven was Norway’s first Romantic poet in the Heidelberg tradition, a trend which took its inspiration from folklore, folk-music, and medieval myths. His probing nationalistic depiction of nature, interwoven with supernatural folkloristic elements, and his elegiac-lyrical poetry inspired Kjerulf to create the Norwegian romance, Den norske romanse, modelling it initially on the German Lied. During the years from 1840 to 1868, Kjerulf set 43 Welhaven poems to music – 24 for solo voice and piano – and with his more than 130 songs established the Norwegian art-song that Edvard Grieg would build on during the decades following Kjerulf’s death. After presenting the cultural and political background in Norway, the intertwined lives of the poet and composer and their European cultural heritage, this thesis turns to a detailed analysis of the complete Welhaven romances for one voice, and demonstrates how Kjerulf and Welhaven, initially oriented towards Denmark and Europe, the Danish language and the German Lied, developed a growing appreciation for national traits and language. These features became visible in their works from the 1850s onward through Kjerulf’s development of art songs infused with elements drawn from Norwegian folk-music, and Welhaven’s inclusion of folk myths and folklore in his poetry, accompanied by a gradual replacement of Danish words with the Norwegian vernacular. The work is based primarily on archival material: Kjerulf’s extensive collection of dairies and letters, as well as Welhaven’s large correspondence, travel sketches, polemical writings, and literary research; and the biographical works of Nils Grinde, Børre Qvamme, Ingard Hauge, Arne Løcken, and Anne-Lise Seip.
Issue Date:2012-02-06
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 by Cathrine Blom. All rights reserved.
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-02-06
Date Deposited:2011-12

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