Hugo Wolf and his MÂrike Songs

Hugo Wolf and his MÂrike Songs

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Susan Youens
Cambridge University Press, 6/22/2000
EAN 9780521651592, ISBN10: 052165159X

Hardcover, 216 pages, 24.4 x 17 x 1.4 cm
Language: English

Viennese composer Hugo Wolf produced one of the most important song collections of the nineteenth century when he set to music fifty-three poems by the great German poet Eduard Mörike. Susan Youens reappraises this singular collaboration to shed new light on the sophisticated interplay between poetry and music in the songs. Wolf is customarily described as 'the Poet's Composer', someone who revered poetry and served it faithfully in his music. Yet, as Youens reveals, this cliché overlooks the rich terrain in which his songs are often at cross purposes with his chosen poetry. Although Wolf did much to draw the world's attention to the neglected Swabian poet, his musical interpretation of the poetry was also influenced by his own life, psychology and experiences. This book examines selected Mörike songs in detail, demonstrating that the poems and music each have their own distinctive stories which at times intersect but also diverge.

List of illustrations
1. 'Göttlicher Mörike!'
an introduction to Eduard Mörike and Hugo Wolf
2. Peregrina revisited
songs of love and madness
3. Agnes's songs
the fictional misfortunes and musical fortunes of a nineteenth-century madwoman
4. Sung desire
from Biedermeier Erotica to fin-de-siècle lied
5. Doubters and believers
case-studies in the geistliche Lieder
Select bibliography

"This well-indexed volume...will appeal to students and scholars at the upper-division undergraduate level and above, performers, Wolf devotees, and song-literature lovers." Choice