Robert Schumann: The Book of Songs

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Overview

Arguably no other nineteenth-century German composer was as literate or as finely attuned to setting verse as Robert Schumann. Jon W. Finson challenges long-standing assumptions about Schumann's Lieder, engaging traditionally held interpretations. He argues against the belief that the "Year of Song" simply reflects Schumann's personal life. Finson also devotes attention to the form and metric structure of German poetry that is almost entirely new to the discussion of Schumann's songs.

Arranged in part thematically, rather than merely by strict compositional chronology, this book speaks to the heart of Schumann's music. Finson's sustained attention to performance, such as questions of whether two singers might divide performance of cycles or whether miscellanies form coherent entities, allows the reader to engage Schumann's songs in novel ways.

Finson brings original research and the most recent scholarship to the musically literate public and the expert alike. This represents the definitive work on Schumann's songs and the standard reference for any Schumann enthusiast.

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Editorial Reviews

Rufus Hallmark
This guide will be a tremendous boon for the study of Schumann's songs. I propose a toast to Jon Finson for stepping up to the plate on this important task of writing a new guide to Schumann's songs in English that will supersede the old Eric Sams book.
Susan Youens
What a wealth of information and insight! On every page, Finson tells us things worth knowing. From a lifetime of studying this repertory, he has distilled vast knowledge into what will become, I feel sure, an essential source for a long time to come.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674026292
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/15/2008
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,346,839
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon W. Finson is Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Table of Contents

Preface

Sigla

Part I: Schumann's Early Songs and the Lieder of his First Maturity

Introduction: Schumann's Criticism and Early Songs

1. Songs of Marriage

2. Irony and the Heine Cycles

3. Cycles of Wandering

4. Romances, Ballads, and the Via media

5. Lyrical Schemes: Collections of Earlier Lieder und Gesänge

Part II: Schumann's Later Songs

6. The Advent of the "New Style" and the Later Cycles

7. Poets in Review during the Later Years

8. Collections in the New Style

Epilogue: Reception of the Late Style

Notes

Editions of Music Consulted and Bibliography

Index

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