Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Chadwick O. Jenkins

Committee Members

Allan W. Atlas

Norman Carey

Abby Anderton

Subject Categories

Musicology | Music Performance


Max Kowalski, Japanischer Frühling, Hans Bethge, Kulturbund


The topic of this dissertation is the song composer Max Kowalski (1882-1956) and his song collection Japanischer Frühling (1934-1938). This dissertation presents a critical edition of this previously unpublished song collection, which sets adaptations of Japanese poetry by the German poet Hans Bethge (1876-1946). Aside from the edition and critical report, the dissertation includes chapters on the literature (Chapter One); the composer’s biography (Chapter Two); his output and reception (Chapter Three); Hans Bethge’s adaptations of the Japanese poetry that form the basis of the collection (Chapter Four); the genesis, performance history, and reception of the song collection (Chapter Five); and numerous observations on genre, narrative, musical interpretation, performance practice, and programming (Chapter Six). This is the first doctoral dissertation on Max Kowalski, and thus adds to the still small English-language literature on the composer and his works. By providing an edition of an important song collection from Kowalski’s mature period, this dissertation aims to facilitate future performance and study.



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