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Look Inside Brahms's Song Collections

Brahms's Song Collections


  • Date Published: October 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521121828
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About the Authors
  • Brahms once complained that singers never performed his songs in the groups in which he had published them, which he likened to 'song bouquets'. Over a century later, many singers and musicologists continue to ignore Brahms's wishes and focus on the individual songs rather than the bouquet groups. This is a detailed study of the implications of Brahms's comments. Following an examination of contemporary aesthetic and generic frameworks, the book traces Brahms's Lieder from their conception, to the arrangement into bouquets, to performance and reception, and examines the sometimes contradictory roles played by poet, composer, performer and recipient in creating coherence in song collections. An investigation of the graphic cycles of Max Klinger reveals a startling visual analogue of Brahms's conception of the song bouquet, and a final examination of the evidence of Brahms's aesthetic outlook reveals that his intentions may have been cyclic in more than one sense.

    • Will be of interest to performers as well as musicologists
    • An original analysis of the performance history and critical study of Brahms's Lieder
    • Includes music examples and sixteen illustrations
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: '… it is a dense, detailed exploration of an essentially academic subject …' Classical Music

    Customer reviews

    09th Jun 2017 by Ban

    Some quartets of Brahms were written definitly for Clara Wieck(Schumann). Brahms was madly in love with her and he showed in these quartets op.31, op.64, op.92 and op.112. I want to read more about it.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521121828
    • length: 284 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I: Context
    Lyric cycles
    Self-reflexivity, fragments, and Hoffmann's Kater Murr
    Textual coherence in the song-cycle canon
    Key sequence
    Key characteristics and other alternative approaches to tonal sequence
    Part II: Conception to publication
    Before composing: texts and notebooks
    From conception to arrangement: 'Heine cycles'
    Ordering for publication
    Titles and title pages
    Flower imagery
    Part III: Arrangement
    Plot archetypes: sorrow to comfort
    Op. 32 as narrative
    Op. 57 as narrative
    Narrative elements in other bouquets
    Alternatives to narrative: juxtaposition and resonance
    Tempo, closure, and cyclic patterning
    'Wie Melodien'
    Part IV: Performance
    Performance contexts
    Criteria in assembling a recital programme
    Gender and dramatic characterisation
    Identification between singer and narrator
    Tessitura, range, and performance by several singers
    Performance and coherence in the Ophelia-Lieder
    Part V: Reception
    Responses of Brahms's acquaintances
    Identification of composer with narrator
    Dedicatory cycles and the composer's voice
    The graphic cycles of Max Klinger
    Part VI: Cyclic Intent.

  • Author

    Inge van Rij, Victoria University of Wellington

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