More than any other poet, Heinrich Heine has provided composers for almost two hundred years with texts for music: more than eight thousand compositions to date. Nineteenth-century composers were drawn in particular to a limited selection of Heine's early lyrical works from the Buch der Lieder and the Neue Gedichte for their songs; poems such as 'Du bist wie eine Blume', 'The sea hath its pearls' and 'Was will die einsame Träne' were set to music over and over again. In this 2007 book, Youens examines some of the reasons for Heine's popularity, especially the fact that composers in the second quarter of the nineteenth century were drawn to him for songs in radical styles, songs that redefined what Lied could be and do. Specific topics of this book include Schubert's fusion of reinvented song traditions with radical tonal procedures and the political meanings of poetry and song in Schumann's time.
• Was the first scholarly work to examine the reasons for Heinrich Heine's importance in music history • Contains many illustrative music examples and images • Analyses the cultural influence of Heine's work on music and art
Preface; 1. In the beginning: Schubert and Heine; 2. Missing links: the Heine songs of Franz Lachner and Johann Vesque von Püttlingen; 3. A Tale of Three Ballads: Heine and the Schumanns; 4. 'A Flower by any other name': song, sex, society, and 'Du bist wie eine Blume'; Bibliography.
Review of the hardback: '… definitely an essential reading for any accompanist or singer really interested in what he/she is performing …' The Singer
Review of the hardback: 'Notes and references are exemplary. … I heartily recommend this fascinating and important new study to all those who seek to understand Lieder and their context better.' The Schubertian
Review of the hardback: '… this book is a fascinating journey in hermeneutic possibilities, the complexities of Heine multiplied exponentially by composers who sought to support, contravene, develop, repudiate, dissect or smooth over his poetry. There is tremendous insight here and … much joy and knowledge gained in the adventure. Anyone who loves the lied or the poetry of Heinrich Heine would do well to have this book in their library.' Nineteenth-Century Music Review