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Song Lit German Lied Study Guide

by: Leah Ralston

Song Lit German Lied Study Guide MUS 420B 001

Marketplace > University of Hawaii at Manoa > Music > MUS 420B 001 > Song Lit German Lied Study Guide
Leah Ralston
University of Hawaii at Manoa

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About this Document

This is a combo study guide of all of the main 6 (plus some smaller) German art song composers for the midterm. Also this document has a youtube link to a playlist with all of the German art so...
Mus Literature Lab: Solo voice
James Blair-Boone Migura
Study Guide
Music, Art, song, history
50 ?




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This 8 page Study Guide was uploaded by Leah Ralston on Tuesday October 11, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to MUS 420B 001 at University of Hawaii at Manoa taught by James Blair-Boone Migura in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Mus Literature Lab: Solo voice in Music at University of Hawaii at Manoa.


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Date Created: 10/11/16
Song Lit Notes 08/24/2016 ▯ Youtube playlist for German lied: ▯ list=PL1v4F2BHvZsSiQmSgbhVxoNA5oHgnBSzz ▯ ▯ Tragedy – It doesn’t end well. Opera plot. ▯ Genre – essay, poem, song, art ▯ German Lieder – Began around 1785 and “period” ends around 1920. ▯ French melodie – Began around 1830 and “period” goes to around 1955. ▯ Some composers took horrible poems, but elevated them so much with their music that they became beautiful. ▯ Sing art song to develop your imagination and your personhood, to sing and deliver greatest poetry of the age. ▯ ▯ Explication de text – Literary criticism: 6 steps. ▯ 1.) Read the text (read aloud) ▯ 2.) Situate the text (provide a larger context for the poem; from a larger work? Date it was written vs. date it was composed) ▯ 3.) Form (quatrain {4 line poem} tercet {3 line verses} could be something like AABB) ▯ 4.) Theme (central idea) ▯ 5.) Analyze ▯ 6.) Conclusion – give your own opinion to sum up everything ▯ ▯ ▯ La Cloche Felee  Lyric poem – compressed expression of an idea.  Difference between prose and poetry – prose is like walking from one side of a room to another, poetry is like doing pirouettes across the room.  Comparison between the cracked bell and the soul.  A healthy bell and a cracked one. A healthy soul and a damaged one. (soul – innermost being)  Also comparison between good soldier and dying soldier. 3 things that can be healthy and 3 things that can be unhealthy. ▯ ▯ German Lieder  Folk song came before lieder which was strophic and easy to sing in your homes. Snobbery came later with art song.  The changing role of the piano had a big influence on lieder.  There were great bursts of poetry that were being published and was celebrated by lieder.  Goethe was a big poet that inspired lieder.  Later 1700’s when it first began we had Mozart and Haydn who helped begin this movement. ▯ Schubert (1797 – 1828)  He died really young.  Composed symphonies, operas, chamber music, and 600+ lieder.  1814*** - “Gretchen am spinnrade” was written and in 1815*** Schubert composed “erlkonig” among a 250 really vitally important lieder.  Schubert was Austrian.  Goethe (1749-1832) – wrote poetry, prose, plays, and was very famous during his life time.  Literary movement – “sturm und drang” – storm and stress – the extremes of emotions, volatile. The emphasis from before was on perfection/form/enlightenment, but sturm und drang was the opposite and was very trendy and in “vogue” for the people. o People committed suicide as a copy cat because of a famous Goethe book. o Goethe wrote “Faust” – guy sells soul to devil and it ends badly. ▯ 8/31/2016  German Romanticism – an insatiable quest to go beyond what is known. The embrace of the contradictory; the mingling of the incompatible.  Classicism wanted to create boundaries and limit ideas and scope. Romanticism destroyed that idea.  The idea of the “wanderer” – someone by themselves, left to their own devices for self introspection and to also commune with nature.  Nature represents purity, to revive, to recharge the soul. Looking for answers.  Night time – mystery, super natural, darkness, seduction(?), death  Longing for death  Schubert evolved from the dramaticism of “erlkonig” and “Gretchen…” into complete artistry and quest for beauty as he grew as a composer. ▯ *1840 Schumann- an outpouring of lieder from this one year.Dichterliebe  art is the expression of the deepest reality  art at it’s base is a longing for union with an ultimate reality.  The artist is the spokesperson for God and how you communicate with God.  “Music has the ability to express emotions audibly. It is the spiritual language of emotion which is hid more secretly than the soul. My songs are intended as an actual reproduction of my inner self.” – Schumann  Music wins out over poetry for Schumann  Believed in an aristocracy of talent. He thought there was a difference between someone who worked hard and genius.  Genius makes his own rules. Talent has a language of it’s own.  Clara Wieck’s father said Schumann was just a piano player, he wouldn’t amount to anything else. Op. 24 (leiderkreiss) and Op. 25 happened when Schumann thought he was trying to write more than piano music. Filled them with all of his anxiety and stress about trying to marry Clara.  Eichendorff– nature poet; loss of childhood paradise; deeply connected with folksong; images in the poetry mean much more than you would think. Lots of mythology. Sunrise = good luck; Noon = something not good; Night = mystery; Star = hope, something good, God; ▯ ▯ 9/15/16 ▯ Heinrich Heine  Heine was spurned by women  “Book of Songs” was his first big publication. Most popular poetry publication at the time.  Poet most set by music.  Leaves Germany in 1830’s. Felt like a foreigner in his own country and moved to France.  Was an atheist for most of his life but found religion near the end  Met up with an illiterate shop girl and lived with her the rest of his life.  He was paralyzed because of mercury poisoning and later died of it.  First person to use irony in his poetry. o Irony – saying something and meaning the actual opposite. o Schumann tried to illuminate that irony with his music.  “From my deepest sorrows I make my little songs.” – Heine  Confessional Poems of Love – experience of a range of emotion. ▯ Schumann – preludes, interludes, and postludes have meaning. They are part of the poem!  Schumann thought of himself as the “dichterliebe” (poet’s love) to Clara. Pg. 25-26 in Kimball gives characteristics of Schumann. ▯ ▯ 9/19 – Brahms (no “flood-gate” year) 1868 – 25 lieder  380 songs  folk song was very important from Brahms  he didn’t care as much for the poetry as he did for the actual music.  Brahms called his lieder lots of different names.  Very liberal socially but very conservative musically. Continued the “tradition of Beethoven and Schubert”. His music tended toward classicism. The difference is brooding emotion.  Uses the “CLARA” symbol. (Song of Love movie on YouTube)  He loved hemiola (2/3 or 3/2)  Brahms doesn’t employ as direct text painting as other composers. His text painting is more in the realm of the context of emotion. EPITOME OF ROMANTICISM  There are many different sections in Brahms’ works. There is a “narrator” who sets up the story and then we hear what happens after. o Multiple different emotions by different characters shown by very different music. o More subtle way of text painting ex. – in “Von ewiger Liebe” the girl talks of iron and steel and you hear a “hammer” sound in the bass accompaniment. o Had a love of octaves (especially in the bass) o Brahms loved warm voices but didn’t mind if something was transposed. ▯ ▯ 9/26/16 ▯ Hugo Wolf (1860-1903)  Many people were said to have been drawn to him and his personality.  He was short (5 feet tall). He liked small things.  He had an ability to synthesize the poetry completely.  ***Virtually no other composer of this genre can give a completely different voice to each poet he sets.***  Once he sets one poet he moves on to another poet and never returns to the previous one.  ***1888 Drew from Eichendorff, Goethe, Möricke, etc. He created sounds that were truly unique for each. But his Möricke songs were where he found his “Wolf’s howl”.  He was hyper critical of Brahms  Mostly like Schumann  He liked bringing HUMOR to lied.  Tendentious – He liked to, through humor, bring up controversy.  He was obsessed with Wagner  He was a “bad boy” of the lied.  He went to conservatory and felt like he was losing more than he was learning so he dropped out of school and became a music critic. First review he did was of Brahms. “Banality had found it’s home in Brahms.”  Wolf demanded that the poems be recited before they were sung.  Very important to be able to recite the poem. Once in original language, once in English/native language, then sing it.  Piano postludes and preludes helped to round out the meaning of the poem for Wolf.  Wolf wanted to talk about things that were controversial, but he’s not looking for you to see a reflection of his character/spirit.  His music has very operatic demands.  His songs are so complex , his songs are too hard to understand for most singers, listeners, performers. You MUST put a lot of thought into to understand it.  He went through periods of writer’s block where he couldn’t write anything for years, but then there were floodgate years where he wrote non-stop.  He did NOT like his songs to be transposed!!!  Goethe collection was completed with 54 songs in less than 4 months. o Much more Wagnerian opera instead of art song in style for Goethe’s poems.  Spanish Lieder Book – Two poets Heiser and Geibel. They have the color and flavor of Germanic poetry. o These were older so Wolf treated them more with a “Schubertian”-esque style instead of a Wagnerian style. o Very short in length.  Wolf was intent on writing an opera but he died of syphilis before he could’ve written very many. He only wrote 1. ▯ ▯ 10.3.16 – Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)  His wife Alma Mahler was considered the most beautiful woman in Vienna.  He felt like a foreigner because he was a Czeck living among Austrians, An Austrian among Germans, and as a Jew among the world.  Two basic themes of his songs: o The Wanderer (pre-1900) o Derkindentoten lieder (after-1900) Songs on the death of children. Rükert lost 2 children (wrote 428 poems on dealing with that loss.) Mahler took 5 of those poems and set them to music. Mahler was 1 or 12 children and only 6 survived. o Rückert lieder (metaphysical) Concerned with something outside of self.  Alma (wife) told him not to write the songs because she was pregnant at the time. He eventually lost his daughter 3-4 years later.  Alma was also a musician. She stopped composing because Mahler asked her to, but she later had an affair because Alma was frustrated with this loss of identity, she felt stifled.  Eventually she started to have a little bit of a career in music sadly after Mahler passed away. o Mahler wrote his own poetry in the style of the poets from his “wandering” songs. ▯ ▯ *Make style sheet for Mahler and Strauss ▯  Poetry (wrote his own poetry)  Change words/phrases  Style: Change the genre (fused lieder with orcherstra) o He composed:  Art song  Symphony  He is the first composer to bring together both of these art forms. o Attracted to deeper voices for their rich color.  Color was needed to be heard over the orchestra.  Criticized for his music being too “earthy”.  His music needs a strong tessitura because it has a wide range. o Says he isn’t afraid of “death”. He chooses subjects that are otherworldly in nature.  Asleep (in the womb)  Half-awake (during life)  Death (fully realized)  He was a conductor at the Met and of the New York Philharmonic.  He died of a bacterial disease that affected his heart.  Some of his music has a Jewish or Eastern European melody or rhythm to it (very subtle). ▯ ▯ 10/10/16 – Richard Strauss  By age 21 he was considered the successor to Brahms and Wagner.  Strauss – Opera composer, symphonies, orchestrated lieder!  His orchestrated lieder was a little controversial. o Made first for piano (some lieder) but always with the intention of being orchestrated.  He is about the overall MOOD of the poem. o Not a lot of overall text painting  Style: o Sustained high tessitura o Loved the soprano voice o Wrote many songs for his wife Pauline  Large, full, lyric voices, very agile at the top. o Lots of chromaticism – influenced by Wagner o Must be a strong soprano to do Strauss o Very showy – about a lot of the entertainment o Beauty for beauty’s sake, not super deep, but could go deep. o He took poetic license. o His favorite poets: Hesse and Eichendorf o Long phrases and expansive vocal lines o Lots of leaps in melody o Operatic lines. ▯ ▯ ▯


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