Interpretations of the “Gretchen-figure” in the Works of Classical Composers
Arts and Sciences
Foreign Languages and Literatures (German)
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) and his drama Faust have provided inspiration for various other works of art for over two centuries, including for musical productions. Alongside this success, Goethe’s Gretchen-figure has been a character of interest and source of inspiration herself, often portrayed as an image of innocence, naivety, and piety during her devilish relationship with the infamous Faust figure. This research project aims to compare and analyze Goethe’s Gretchen-figure in multiple operas, including Louis Spohr’s “Faust,” Charles Gounod’s “Faust,” Hector Berlioz’s “La Damnation de Faust,” and Ferruccio Busoni’s “Doktor Faust,” with a special focus on Franz Schubert’s compositions “König in Thule” and “Gretchen am Spinnrade”.
Eveler, Sara, "Interpretations of the “Gretchen-figure” in the Works of Classical Composers" (2019). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 805.