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The German «Lied» after Hugo Wolf

From Hans Pfitzner to Anton Webern


Lesley-Ann Brown

Following the development of the German Lied after the nineteenth century – when it was widely known as the setting of Romantic poetry to music – this book explores the changing artistic scene in the early twentieth century, as rapid social, economic and environmental changes affected German cultural production. The Lied then faced not only a crisis of identity, but also a threat to its survival. This book considers the literary and musical ideas that both challenged and complemented each other as new directions in songwriting were developed across the modern period.
The composers selected for their relevance in Lieder composition during this time illustrate not only the diversity of their musical thought but also a changing approach to the relationship between the poetic text and its musical counterpart. Hans Pfitzner represents the determination to maintain established tradition; subsequently, a chronological progression through the individuality of Paul Hindemith and social integrity of Hanns Eisler leads to the point where transformation of the genre can be said to have begun, with Arnold Schönberg. With the Lieder of Alban Berg and Anton Webern, the genre arrived at a point of convergence with the ideals of German modernism. This study offers new insights into the cultural significance of German songwriting in the first part of the twentieth century.
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Thank you to the following publishers for permission to reproduce the music in this book:

Musical examples from Schönberg and Webern are reproduced by permission of Universal Edition A.G. Wien.

Musical examples from Hindemith are reproduced by permission of Schott Music Ltd.

Musical examples from Eisler © 1929 by Universal Edition A.G. Wien / UE 9647. Reprinted with permission.

Pfitzner Op. 15 Sonst: Max Brockhaus Musikverlag e.k., Remagen (Germany).

Pfitzner Op. 40 Der Weckruf © C.F. Peters, Leipzig. Reproduced by kind permission of Peters Edition Ltd.

Pfitzner Op. 30 Das verlassene Mägdlein and Der Arbeitsmann © 1922 by Hawkes & Son (London) Ltd. Reprinted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd. © Fuerstner Musikverlag, Mainz, for the territories Germany, Danzig, Italy, Portugal and the former territories of the USSR (excluding Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania).

I wish to express my gratitude to Dirk Göttsche, Professor of German at Nottingham University, for his expertise, his continual support and his belief in my project. Also to Philip Weller, Lecturer in Music at Nottingham University, for his breadth of knowledge and his encouragement during the more daunting periods of research. I am grateful to my brother, Michael Baxter, for his patience, his knowledge and his support during the final stages of completion of this work. ← xvii | xviii →← xviii | 1 →

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