Essays on the Song Cycle and on Defining the Field

Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Word and Music Studies at Ann Arbor, MI, 1999

Series:

This volume assembles twelve interdisciplinary essays that were originally presented at the Second International Conference on Word and Music Studies at Ann Arbor, MI, in 1999, a conference organized by the International Association for Word and Music Studies (WMA).
The contributions to this volume focus on two centres of interest. The first deals with general issues of literature and music relations from culturalist, historical, reception-aesthetic and cognitive points of view. It covers issues such as conceptual problems in devising transdisciplinary histories of both arts, cultural functions of opera as a means of reflecting postcolonial national identity, the problem of verbalizing musical experience in nineteenth-century aesthetics and of understanding reception processes triggered by musicalized fiction.
The second centre of interest deals with a specific genre of vocal music as an obvious area of word and music interaction, namely the song cycle. As a musico-literary genre, the song cycle not only permits explorations of relations between text and music in individual songs but also raises the question if, and to what extent words and/or music contribute to creating a larger unity beyond the limits of single songs. Elucidating both of these issues with stimulating diversity the essays in this section highlight classic nineteenth- and twentieth-century song cycles by Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Hugo Wolf, Richard Strauss and Benjamin Britten and also include the discussion of a modern successor of the song cycle, the concept album as part of today’s popular culture.

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Review Quotes

”… ein sehr gut durchdachtes Konzept, das neben allgemeinen theoretisch-methodischen Reflexionen ein Spezialgebiet in den Mittelpunkt der Diskussionen stellt.” in: Bulletin des Archivs für Textmusikforschung, No. 9, März 2002

Table of contents

Werner WOLF: Introduction General Perspectives John NEUBAUER: Organicism and Modernism / Music and Literature Michael HALLIWELL: ‘Singing the Nation’. Word/Music Tension in the Opera Voss Mary BREATNACH: Writing About Music. Baudelaire and Tannhäuser in Paris Peter DAYAN: Do Mallarmé’s Divagations Tell Us Not To Write about Musical Works? Frédérique ARROYAS: When Is a Text Like Music? The Song Cycle Suzanne M. LODATO: Problems in Song Cycle Analysis and the Case of Mädchenblumen Werner WOLF: “Willst zu meinen Liedern deine Leier drehn?” Intermedial Metatextuality in Schubert’s “Der Leiermann” as a Motivation for Song and Accompaniment and a Contribution to the Unity of Die Winterreise Leon PLANTINGA: Design and Unity in Schumann’s Liederkreis, Op. 39? Jürgen THYM: A Cycle in Flux. Schumann’s Eichendorff Liederkreis Harry E. SEELIG: Hugo Wolf’s Seventeen Divan-Settings. An Undiscovered Goethe-Cycle? Walter BERNHART: Three Types of Song Cycles. The Variety of Britten’s ‘Charms’ Martina ELICKER: Concept Albums. Song Cycles in Popular Music. Notes on Contributors

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