Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Music

First Advisor

Dr. George Keck

Second Advisor

Dr. Johnny Wink

Third Advisor

Dr. Randolph Smith

Abstract

In 1849, a man was found destitute on the streets of Baltimore and died neglected, a few days later. Likewise in Germany, only seven years later, another great man died in an insane asylum after starving himself to death. Both men were under the age of fifty when they died, and both men had had a profound effect on the artistic world of which they were a part. Yet they met fates that were anything but glamorous. Destitute and abandoned, both died in obscurity. One was a poet and the other a composer. They lived on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean and never had contact with each other. Yet Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Schumann lived incredibly parallel lives. Were their lives similar only by coincidence, or was there something within each man that allowed him to reach the highest standards of his craft while also dooming him to an early grave?

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