Franz Liszt’s Songs for Voice and Piano

The Composer's Approach to Poetry and Music

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How does a Romantic composer approach the poetry he sets: as raw material to be remade, a pretext for self-expression, a sanctified artefact, or a message to be illustrated with music? In my book, I examine Franz Liszt’s songs for voice and piano, which remain little known to scholars, artists, and music lovers alike. The objective is to present Liszt’s songs in all their complexity and diversity as well as identifying the key elements of the composer’s broadly understood song-writing technique – both those that make him unique and those that relate him to the European tradition. This approach also makes it possible to shed light on a major though previously neglected aspect of the composer’s workshop, namely, his work with the poetic text, which to Liszt was just as important as the musical setting.

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Małgorzata Gamrat (PhD 2012: Jagiellonian University / École Pratique des Hautes Études Paris) is senior lecturer at the Catholic University of Lublin. She authored two books on Liszt’s music and is the co-editor of volumes on philosophy of music, composers’ emigrations, Joseph von Eichendorff, new musicology, dialects in literature.
The book is addressed to all those interested in present-day humanities research (particularly in interactions between literature and music, musicology, literary studies, philosophy of music, semiotics, and culture studies) as well as musicians and music lovers.
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