If you haven't done so already, please listen to the entire Dichterliebe cycle (about a half hour). Also, please either print out or get from the library the score, so you have it for class. Then, read Berthold Hoeckner's article, "Paths through Dichterliebe" (19th-Century Music, 2006), available on JSTOR; we discussed part of it today in class.
Finally, I'd like you to consider the following quote from Hoeckner's article:
Since Schumann worried that the dissection of musical compositions would turn them into dead bodies, he sought to reconcile his respect for the living artwork with his keen interest in compositional structure. In his criticism, he combined analytical and poetic modes in order to remain close to the condition of making music. As the first major modern writer about music, Schumann knew that both hermeneutic analysis and performance involve feeling and understanding; that both strive to be captivating as well as plausible; and that interpretive conviction is more likely to persuade an audience than interpretive coercion.
What do you think this means? What is hermeneutic analysis, anyway? Do you agree with him? Please respond in a comment to this post. And don't forget to introduce yourself in the Course introductions post if you haven't already done so!