Master of Music (MM)



Document Type



Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s Paulus, Op. 36 (1836) is one of the most important nineteenth-century contributions to the oratorio genre. Current scholarly understanding of the oratorio’s creation rests on three dissertations: Stuart Douglass Seaton identified, transcribed, and discussed some of the sketches for Paulus; Siegwart Reichwald examined the extant autographs for Paulus; and Jeffrey S. Sposato thoroughly documented the collaborative compilation of the libretto. None of these studies, however, provides a thorough examination of all the sketches for Paulus.

This study constitutes the first complete transcription of the sketches for Paulus, basing its methodology on the transcription practices of Joseph Kerman and Fabrizio Della Seta. Critical notes are provided alongside the transcriptions, and analyses based on comparisons of the sketches to the autograph and printed versions of the score are attempted. The results reveal new insights concerning the composition of Paulus, ranging from compositional details to structural planning and chronology of the sources. When compared to the various versions of the oratorio, for instance, the longer sketches demonstrate Mendelssohn’s concern for rhythmic continuity and harmonic planning. The sketches furthermore help clarify the complex chronology of the autograph scores. In addition to these findings, this study identifies two previously unidentified sketches pertaining to an aria from Paulus.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Giger, Andreas

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