Schubert's Song Sets
Ashgate, 2003 - Music - 290 pages
From 1821 until his death, Schubert compiled or specially composed for publication 42 song sets, yet during his own lifetime, and until now, their integrity and importance as sets have been virtually ignored. In this book, Michael Hall asserts that these song sets are not arbitrary collections, as so often assumed, but highly integrated works in their own right.The first part of the book discusses the poetic and musical relationships in the sets assigned opus numbers by Schubert. The second part focuses on the set of six Heine songs published in Schwanengesang. In recent years it has been argued that if the songs are placed in the order in which they appear in Heine's Buch der Lieder a tentative narrative emerges. Hall argues that to do this destroys Schubert's much more powerful and self-revealing arrangement.Approaching these songs as sets, the book throws light on Schubert's largely undiscussed intellectual preoccupations. They reveal that he was au fait with most of the philosophical concerns of his time, especially those which touched on Romanticism. But although the sets reflect Romanticism in their topics, Hall maintains they are the epitome of classical balance. In encouraging students and performers to approach these songs as sets, this study aims to alter perceptions of this important repertory.
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