Webern and the Lyric Impulse: Songs and Fragments on Poems of Georg Trakl


This study provides a new view of a composer long considered to be one of the century's most rigorously intellectual creators, Anton Webern. By examining a central pre-twelve-tone work, the Trakl cycle, Op 14, in the context of the Viennese intellectual and artistic climate, Shreffler shows how Webern's responses to Trakl's complex verse enabled him to expand his musical vocabulary. The author's emphasis on Webern's compositional process is of particular importance: whether because of the anxiety of creating a new musical language, or because of an innate hyper-perfectionism (or both), Webern rejected most of what he composed. A close examination of the manuscript sources--fragments, sketches, and fair copies--of Webern's comparatively neglected middle-period lieder enables her to shed light on Webern's musical language and his working methods.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Lewis Lockwood
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Oxford
Publication year:
  • 1994