Rocky Mount, N.C.
Project title: "The Real Father of Modern Music:” Death and the Diabolical in the Music of Franz Liszt
Mentor: Victoria Fischer Faw
The spring semester of 2013 has been the most rewarding thus far for my Lumen Prize research. I have had more opportunities than ever to share with others, while also further developing a vision of how to synthesize the project. Presentations at NCUR and SURF covered a pertinent chapter of Franz Liszt’s productive life, encapsulating the significance of his most important orchestral works that deal with symbolism for death and the diabolical. These are the Faust and Dante symphonies. Along with a presentation at NCUR, I was also fortunate enough to finalize an essay focusing only on the Faust symphony, simply because of the NCUR Proceedings page limit. There was simply too much to say to include both symphonies! Nonetheless, after two presentations and multiple drafting processes with my mentor, I feel that I have grown a great deal with my research. Junior year as a music major also drew the music history course cycle to a close, ending with a look into Liszt’s contributions to 19th century music among others. For the final essay in my Classic through Romantic Music History course, I wrote about Liszt’s only piano sonata, which he composed around the same time as the Faust and Dante symphonies. I hope to study and perform the Piano Sonata in B minor later on in graduate school. Additionally, I studied Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 3 in private piano lessons with Dr. Omri Shimron of the Music Department, gaining more perspective on Liszt outside of my Lumen mentor-mentee work. Mephisto, which is an abbreviation of Mephistopheles, is one of the three main characters in Goethe’s drama, Faust. Liszt used Goethe’s work as the starting point for his Faust symphony, and he was also inspired by Nicholas Lenau’s version of the Faust legend in his four Mephisto Waltzes. It was wonderful to begin work at the piano on this piece as I hope to include it in a senior recital in the fall of 2013 and on a lecture recital program to encapsulate my Lumen Prize work as well. I have begun planning for an upcoming trip to Germany during the last breath of this semester. I will be living in Heidelberg from May 25-July 6, taking German language and culture courses. After making contact with Liszt museum/archive representatives in Weimar, Germany and Budapest, Hungary, my sense of hope for the summer has been renewed. The contacts at both destinations seem very enthusiastic, and the opening hours are surprisingly good for the summer time. It will be terrific to finally be in the places about which I have been reading and learning for a few years now. As a final added bonus, I was able to visit the Library of Congress’ Liszt archive at the Madison Building during an Elon Music Ambassadors tour in Washington, DC during the week of May 20th.
Dr. Ann J. Cahill
Professor of Philosophy
Spence Pavilion 111
2340 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-5703
Wesley Rose is using the Lumen Prize, Elon University’s top award for undergraduate research and creative achievement, to explain how a famous 19th century composer used mortality and superstition to shape the evolution of classical piano performances.
Claire Mayo's freshman survey course three years ago sparked an undergraduate research project that may one day lead her to become a top expert on former French leader Charles de Gaulle.
Inspired in part by his grandmother’s fight against Parkinson’s disease, Elon University senior Andrew Fischer hopes his undergraduate research will be a small contribution to the elusive search for a cure to the degenerative neurological condition.
President Leo M. Lambert's annual report features the work of 10 faculty members and 12 students.
For Cara McClain, a psychology major and Spanish and environmental studies minor, nature is a vital part of her life. Find out why in this installment of "I Am Elon."
A Lumen Scholar who researched elements of the Jain religion, Evans wrote the columns with the goal of contributing to public scholarship.