Dissertation Index

Author: McClatchie, Stephen

Title: Alfred Lorenz as Theorist and Analyst

Institution: The University of Western Ontario

Begun: September 1988

Completed: April 1994


Given the prominence of his name in the history of Wagnerian analysis, it is surprising that a detailed consideration and evaluation of the work of Alfred Lorenz has never been attempted. While the basics of Lorenz's approach are relatively straightforward and have long been common knowledge--the division of Wagner's works into tonally unified poetic-musical periods, each shown to follow one of Lorenz's formal types (most famously Bars and Bogens)--the philosophical and aesthetic bases for this approach have seldom been considered, resulting in a skewed portrayal of his work. Failure to consider the foundations of Lorenz's work is symptomatic of a general blindness toward the ideological underpinnings that propel all scholarly inquiry.

What is needed is not an attempt to "redo" or "rehabilitate" Lorenz, but an evaluation balanced between objective description of his system and an account of the ideologies shaping its development and reception. Lorenz's analytical method is rooted firmly in nineteenth-century philosophy and aesthetics, yet is at the same time an embodiment of National Socialist ideology. The dissertation presents the ideological foundations of Lorenz's work (the Schopenhauerian expressive aesthetic position) and provides, for the first time, an account of Lorenz's personal and professional relationship with National Socialism (based on archival documents) and of the close ties between Nazism and Lorenz's analytical methodology.

Keywords: Wagner, Schopenhauer, musical form, ideology, Hausegger, Lorenz, National Socialism, reception history, analysis


1. Alfred Lorenz: The Discoverer of Wagnerian Form
2. Aesthetics and Analysis of Form at the Turn of the Century
3. Lorenz's Aesthetics
4. Lorenz's Analytical Method (I)
5. Lorenz's Analytical Method (II)
6. The Development and Reception of Lorenz's Analytical Method
7. Lorenz's Text and Lorenz as Text
Appendix 1: Alfred Lorenz's Formal Types
Appendix 2: Lorenz's Analysis of the Poetic-Musical Periods of Der Ring des Nibelungen.


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