Poetry into Song: Performance and Analysis of Lieder

Poetry into Song: Performance and Analysis of Lieder

Poetry into Song: Performance and Analysis of Lieder

Poetry into Song: Performance and Analysis of Lieder

Synopsis

Focusing on the music of the great song composers--Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Wolf, and Strauss--Poetry Into Song offers a systematic introduction to the performance and analysis of Lieder. Part I, "The Language of Poetry," provides chapters on the themes and imagery of German Romanticism and the methods of analysis for German Romantic poetry. Part II, "The Language of the Performer," deals with issues of concern to performers: texture, temporality, articulation, and interpretation of notation and unusual rhythm accents and stresses. Part III provides clearly defined analytical procedures for each of four main chapters on harmony and tonality, melody and motive, rhythm and meter, and form. The concluding chapter compares different settings of the same text, and the volume ends with several appendices that offer text translations, over 40 pages of less accessible song scores, a glossary of technical terms, and a substantial bibliography. Directing the book towards students in both voice and theory, and toward all singers, the authors establish a framework for the analysis of song based on a process of performing, listening, analyzing, and performing again, designed to give the reader a new understanding of the reciprocal interaction between performance and analysis. Emphasizing the masterworks, the volume features numerous poetic texts, as well as a core repertory of songs. Examples throughout the text demonstrate points, while end-of-chapter questions reinforce concepts and provide opportunities for directed analysis. While there are a variety of books on Lieder and on German Romantic poetry, none combines performance, musical analysis, textual analysis, and the interrelation between poetry and music in the systematic, thorough way of Poetry Into Song.

Excerpt

The irresistible beauty of the Lied has long cast its spell on listeners around the world. Those distinctive harmonies with which Franz Schubert and Hugo Wolf express intimate ideals and desires speak to people everywhere. No music pierces the heart's mysteries more deeply and no music is more deeply alive with verbal magic . . . a serious challenge indeed for performers and audiences who have little German. For it is the poetry of the Age of Goethe that has made the Lied possible, exquisite poetry that cannot be translated into other languages, but only into music.

The book you have in hand is about artistic transformation. It will guide you, and follow you, on your inner journeys as a performer, seeking to turn poems into songs. Here you enter a world where two plus two rarely equals four, a world teeming with latent voices waiting to be called into life, a world of vibrant tonal colors, a world where the very sounds of words must be meaning itself. More than a compendium of analytical concepts, this is a book that enables you to shape individual interpretations through personal encounter with a lively train of provocative questions and creative experiments. Providing abundant exercises for pianist and singer alike, Poetry into Song is an invitation to experience metamorphosis.

Elly Ameling with Dr.Max Deen Larsen Franz Schubert-Institut Baden bei Wien . . .

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