Art song

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An art song is a genre of song that is interpreted exclusively on the basis of musical notes and developed at the end of the 16th century . The art song requires classical vocal training and traditionally differs from the aria in opera and oratorio and from the theater song in drama (such as the Viennese couplet ) due to the performance framework of the recital .

According to a widespread view towards the end of the 19th century, the difference to the folk song was that it was passed on orally and often had no known composer, while art songs were demanding settings by a composer known by name . Art songs are generally composed on lyric .



As regards the content and scope of the term, three views can be distinguished:

The art song in the narrower sense is a European song with a time of origin from 1810 (the beginning of Franz Schubert's settings) to works by Richard Strauss and Arnold Schönberg , with the focus on German-language songs. The art song in the broader sense is a solo song from the western world with ( chordal ) instrumental accompaniment since the introduction of the monody around 1600. The art song in the most general sense includes all songs of all times that have a certain " art " claim.

Concept history

Before the 18th century, no explicit work on the song appeared in Germany. At that time the song was of much less importance than music for church and theater. It remained tied to the bourgeoisie and did not find its way into the sphere of court music. Therefore it was hardly noticed by the music theorists of the time. In contemporary encyclopedias and dictionaries reference is made to the ode or to 'music and poetry'. The term previously used pejoratively was upgraded with the emphasis on the simple qualities of the song:

“There are some great spirits who even consider the word: song to be shameful; who, if they want to talk about a musical piece that is not pompous and confused according to its kind, call it a song according to its language [...] "

Christian Gottfried Krause wrote his first comprehensive song aesthetic . His treatise On musical poetry (1752) formed the basis for the first Berlin song school , but also had an impact beyond the second Berlin song school, which was based on folk song, and continued into the 19th century. In contrast to the aria, he regarded the song as an easy joke song that anyone could start effortlessly and sung without a grand piano or other instrument accompaniment. This demand for singing and popularity persisted into the Viennese Classical period and found its external form in a short verse song with easy, catchy text and a limited range . Johann Georg Sulzer first separated the term song into two parts of an article, "Lied (poetry)" and "Lied (music)".

Hans Georg Nägeli , on the other hand, called for a new style of song in Die Liederkunst (1817), in which language, song and accompaniment would be combined into a higher whole.

The concept of art song for the first time in 1841 when Carl Koßmaly to be found, thus giving it the time of romance onset of separation of folk song and hymn undertook.

Richard Wagner's reflections on declamation singing intensified the contrast between a formally unbound, often considered more artful, thorough composition of the lyrics and the simple verse song. Since the second half of the 19th century there have also been songs with orchestral accompaniment such as Hector Berlioz 's cycle Les nuits d'été 1856.

An overall scholarly presentation from 2004 tries to avoid the terms song, art song and folk song and instead suggests the expression musical poetry as a generic term in order to free itself from ideological connotations and the concentration on German and European work.

The art song has a focus on the German-speaking area, which is also shown by the fact that the term song has been adopted unchanged in other languages. It is closely tied to the emancipation of the German-speaking bourgeoisie in the 19th century and its social activities such as the Liedertafel , "in a time of shameful servitude of Germanness ", as the musicologist Hugo Riemann put it in 1882. This combined an attitude against the nobility and clergy as the upper class of society and against foreign, at that time mainly French, influences around the wars of liberation . Well- educated, privately organized concerts and evening parties offered an alternative to representative events in the exclusive setting of the aristocracy or entertainment for the general public in the theater. The German language in a time of a lack of national unity, and a civic striving for education with the esteem of local poets and musicians contributed to the fact that the intimate form of the art song became a social ideal.

to form

Simple verse songs
The melody and accompaniment are the same in every verse. The overall mood created in this way extends over the entire song. Example: rest , CF Zelter . Changes in mood have no influence on the strophic structure.
Varying verse songs
The melody and accompaniment change in certain stanzas. Example: The linden tree from the Winterreise cycle , Franz Schubert . Changes in mood only have a minor influence on the strophic structure (e.g. change from major to minor , embellishment of stanzas, addition of a smaller new part)
Composed songs
The action is always followed by a new melody and accompaniment. Examples: With the Njanja from the cycle Kinderstube , Modest Mussorgsky . This type of setting is particularly suitable for texts that are not structured in stanzas, but rather have the character of prose or spoken word. However, strophic poems can also be composed according to their content.

Lyric settings are characteristic and obvious for art songs. But sometimes also occur other text basics, such as newspaper clippings in the Diary of One Who Disappeared by Leoš Janáček or only fragments of poems as in Wolfgang Rihm's Hölderlin fragments . Songs that do not have any lyrics at all are called vocalises .

Art songs are sung on the basis of written fixation or notation , while folk songs are handed down orally. The author of many folk songs is therefore unknown. However, there are also folk songs whose author is known, which is why the folk songs are divided into primary (author known) and secondary (author unknown). Sometimes folk song and art song merge. Franz Schubert's song Der Lindenbaum from his Winterreise cycle was z. B. by a male choir version by Friedrich Silcher , which simply passed over the dramatic minor clouding in a verse, known as the folk song Am Brunnen vor dem Tore . Guten Abend, gut 'Nacht , which is widely known as a folk song, was originally composed by Johannes Brahms . Conversely, composers also wrote arrangements and piano accompaniments for popular folk songs. Antonín Dvořák , Johannes Brahms and Robert Schumann are just a few composers who saw the study of folk songs as an important source of research and inspiration for their own work.


middle Ages

Depiction of Walther von der Vogelweide in the Codex Manesse
Invitation to a meeting of the Mastersingers with the signature: Your singers sing to God's praise / Prove the art today a trial / who does the best / they will praise / should also tear off the best gift / Drumb you singers do hard work. In the center is a portrait of Hans Sachs, c.16th century.

The tradition of knightly minstrels from the Middle Ages forms the basis for the art song. The prerequisites for the emergence of the Minnelongs were the Christian worldview that dominated the Middle Ages and thus the ability to linguistically move natural experiences into a spiritual, fantastic sphere, as well as the concept of individual personality, which at that time only lived and lived by members of the noble class could be represented. Troubadours (Provence), Trouvères (Northern France) and minnesingers (Germany) as well as other knights all over Europe set their own texts, mostly love songs and natural poetry, in honor of the noble women. Political and social songs, songs of praise and mockery, dance songs and other works were also composed and played.

The minstrels performed their creations in personal union of composer and singer, mostly they accompanied themselves on the lute . Other typical instruments that other musicians played for accompaniment were fiddle , bagpipes or shawm ; The harp was also used to accentuate the content of hero and prize songs.

In addition to the orally performed poetry, texts and a few melodies were also noted in writing. The most important evidence for the development of the song remains the song manuscripts today, e.g. B. the Codex Manesse , the Jena song manuscript and the Kolmar song manuscript from the 14th and 15th centuries. In Germany, the three-part bar form consisting of Stollen, Stollen and Abgesang became one of the most widespread forms, the song , corpse or saying be handed down.

Bernart de Ventadorn , Richard Löwenherz and Blondel de Nesle , Wolfram von Eschenbach , Walther von der Vogelweide , Heinrich von Meißen and Neidhart von Reuenthal are to be mentioned as famous poet-singers of their time, some of whom took part in the singer's war at the Wartburg in 1207. Oswald von Wolkenstein is considered to be the last minstrel before musical life passed from the aristocratic world into the middle classes in the 13th century.

In the cities at this time the citizens formed powerful communal alliances such as the Hanseatic League or developed strict family rule such as the Hanseatic League . B. the Fuggers and developed their own art and new forms of expression. However, the idea of ​​solo singing was retained by the new bourgeois culture, and after minnesong the bourgeois form of master singing developed .

After the first singers were out and about as vagabonds , the master singing organized itself in fixed singing schools, which were first established in Mainz (14th century?), Augsburg (1449) and Nuremberg (1450). It was accompanied and laid down by a steadily growing number of artistic rules that made artistic development increasingly difficult. One of the most famous Mastersingers is Hans Sachs , who claims to have composed more than 4,000 master songs, including the Silberweise , which is somewhere between Minnesang and Lutheran chant :

\ relative c '{\ set fontSize = # 2 \ tiny \ partial 4 c'8 (b) g4 abc \ time 3/4 ggg \ time 4/4 cga e8 (d) \ time 3/4 c4 cc \ time 4 / 4 e f8 (g) e4 f \ time 3/4 gga \ time 4/4 gefed (e)} \ addlyrics {Salve I greet you beautiful Rex Christian in the throne you step- gest the crown mi- seri- cor- diae.  }

Breves dies hominis , a solo song by Leoninus or Perotinus

Since the 12th century, polyphony developed as a way to have several voices play different melodies at the same time. Leoninus and Perotinus created two- and three-part compositions in Notre-Dame de Paris , which served as models for the Ars antiqua and Ars nova in the 13th and 14th centuries. Thus the song became polyphonic and changed its essence. The singing voice came into relation to a musical environment in order to fit into a superordinate harmony - the choral setting was created. The solo song often takes a back seat, but does not completely disappear.

Guillaume de Machaut , Guillaume Dufay and Josquin des Prez also belong to this time in which the song developed its polyphony, as did John Dunstable , Jacob Arcadelt and others. Songs as solo pieces merge into the musical forms of the nascent baroque, madrigal , chanson and song are difficult to separate from each other in canons, melodies with instrumental accompaniment and polyphonic movements.


Giulio Caccini: Le nuove musiche
The Singing Boys, Frans Hals, ca.1625

In the music of the 17th century , the variant of the figured bass song developed , which was based on the monody emanating from Italy . The upper part dominated the harmonic event as the overriding melody. Only the bass part offered her an equal counterpart, the middle voices merged into a filling harmony. This division had a fundamental effect on the further development of the song and was maintained into the 19th and early 20th centuries. The first songs were notated as melody and bass part, the harmonization was written out as figured figured bass. The first pieces in this new style were created by Giulio Caccini , who published in Le nuove musiche a collection of many small solo songs, which combined both declamation and coloratura , in Italian.

Heinrich Schütz took up this style, but there were still more polyphonic songs than individual chants in Germany. His pupil Heinrich Albert put a larger collection of both of them in his musical pumpkin hut (1641). In 1657 Adam Krieger published a volume with the simple title Arien , which has been lost but was significant for the development of the song in Germany.

Songs were very often in stanza form and designed as simple compositions that everyone should be able to sing as possible. The harpsichord took over the accompaniment as the forerunner of the piano, slowly the accompaniment of the lute, which dates back to the Middle Ages, declined.

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote some sacred songs in the extensive evangelical hymn book published by Georg Christian Schemelli . While 12 compositions were initially ascribed to Bach, today only three are considered certain. Through the artistic accompaniment and the careful processing of these songs, they stand out from the songs of their time and can almost be viewed as small solo chants in a very concentrated, simple form.

Monody also developed further in England, which due to geographical conditions did not have a major impact on European musical life of its time. John Dowland , Thomas Morley and Henry Purcell are the most important composers of Baroque solo singing. From the latter the following hymn of praise of music and love has been passed down, which is a well-known example of Purcell's melody:

\ relative c '{\ small \ key a \ major \ partial 4 cis' d8 (cis) b (a) gis (a) b (cis) b (a) gis (fis) eis4.  c sharp 8 f sharp 4 f sharp a4.  f sharp8 c sharp'4 c sharp e4.  f sharp8 e (c sharp) b (g sharp) a (e) f sharp (a) a16 (b c sharp8) b (a) a4.  } \ addlyrics {If music be the food of love, sing on, sing on, sing on, sing on till I am fill'd, am fill'd with joy.  }


CPE Bach, painted by his brother Johann Philipp
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, portrayed by Joseph Lange , ca.1790 (detail)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Das Veilchen , Elisabeth Margano and Janny van Weering, photo from 1952

During the Enlightenment , composers found their own song schools for the first time. In Berlin, which was regarded as the center of the Enlightenment , the lawyer Christian Gottfried Krause , attorney at the Court of Justice, wrote Von der musical poetry , an aesthetic-music-theoretical text, which he had followed in two volumes with odes and melodies in 1753 and 1755 , the compositions from the Friedrich II's court included - Johann Joachim Quantz , Carl Heinrich Graun and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach were among them and from then on they formed the First Berlin Song School . According to Krause's principles, songs should be simple and popular, and concentrate more on the melody than on the piano setting, which should only be written after the melody has been created. Johann Abraham Peter Schulz expanded it by stating that a good poetic model was needed to awaken the necessary creativity. His songs in the folk tone from 1782 to 1790 clearly point to an aesthetic of simplicity and naturalness that is supposed to awaken the appearance of the familiar. His setting of Matthias Claudius ' The moon has risen is known to this day .

CPE Bach writes remarkable songs and odes that go far beyond the program of the Berliner Liederschule, as for the first time they are looking for an inner personal emotional expression in music. Nevertheless, the texts are mostly religious in content: the spiritual odes and songs based on texts by Christian Fürchtegott Gellert and the psalms set to music serve for religious contemplation and for introspection in the domestic circle. They spread quickly in Germany and thus contributed significantly to the popularization of the song genre. CPE Bach's songs are seldom played in concert halls these days, but they provide a fitting interpretation of the words prescribed by Gellert, which strive for a balance between music and poetry.

Johann Adam Hiller , who as Thomaskantor was just as familiar with sacred music as he was with the German Singspiel , wrote his songs primarily for children. His songs reveal influences from the opera song that peasants, lovely nature children and boobies perform in his Singspiele - people of noble class articulate themselves in arias with Italian influences. Christian Gottlob Neefe wrote Klopstock's odes with melodies in 1776, followed a year later by singing serenatas with the piano , in 1798 with pictures and dreams based on poems by Johann Gottfried Herder . He begins by musically characterizing the universally valid stanzan form, depending on the content of the poems, without giving up the form for it.

In the songs of the Viennese Classic, one also increasingly notices the influence of the opera favored there, which gradually helps to expand and expand the genre. Christoph Rheineck , Johann Rudolph Zumsteeg , Johann Friedrich Reichardt , who composed more than 1500 chants and dealt extensively with the balance of music and words, and Carl Friedrich Zelter also belong to this era and created the type of Viennese piano song, the Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart later took over unchanged. Haydn set 50 solo chants to music, which were initially composed in 1781 and 1783 and published as songs for the piano . In these songs he expanded the role of the piano from a necessary accompanying instrument to an instrument that holds the inner form of the song together. Canzonettas followed in London with characteristic preludes and epilogues. He also wrote the hymn Gott get Franz the Kaiser , the melody of which is now the basis for the German national anthem.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote only thirty small occasional compositions in the genre of the song. Only seven were published during his lifetime. As an eclectic of various styles and forms, he did not follow a fixed aesthetic program. He began with small verse songs ( Daphne, your Rosenwangen KV 52, and An die Freude KV 53, Geheime Liebe KV 150) and later created songs and arietas that look like little opera scenes (e.g. Ridente la calma KV 152, Oiseaux, si tous les ans KV 307, Dans un bois solitaire KV 308, Das Veilchen KV 476, When Luise burned the letters of her unfaithful lover KV 520). The evening sensation at Laura KV 523 is one of the most famous Mozart songs and can be heard repeatedly in concerts.

Ludwig van Beethoven initially oriented himself towards the second Berlin Liederschule, founded by Johann Abraham Peter Schulz , Johann Friedrich Reichardt and Carl Friedrich Zelter , and wrote verse songs before he said goodbye to its specifications with Adelaide 1795/96 at the latest and looked for new forms of expression . In addition to individual songs such as Elegy on the Death of a Poodle , Zärtliche Liebe and Mephistos flea song from Goethe's Faust , An die ferne Geliebte provides a clear impetus in the direction of the song cycle and gives the fleeting moments of the song an opportunity to combine into a larger, coherent picture. Singing voice and accompaniment are equal, motifs of piano playing change to singing voice and vice versa.


Franz Schubert in May 1825,
watercolor by Wilhelm August Rieder,
signed below by Rieder and Schubert
Autograph by Schubert's Erlkönig
Erlkönig , an illustration by Moritz von Schwind , 1917
Franz Schubert: The Son of the Muses , Peter Schöne and Boris Cepeda, 2009

The German art song in the narrower sense developed in the music of the 19th century with the main representatives Franz Schubert , Robert Schumann , Johannes Brahms and Hugo Wolf .

Franz Schubert greatly expanded the concept of the song. The accompanying piano emancipated itself from the singer and thus created a richer counterpart to the melody, the music gained in importance and determined the expressive content of the work. This can be seen in a dramatic increase in the Erlkönig : a song that onomatopoeically takes over the horse's hooves galloping homewards at night in the piano. In the song Gretchen am Spinnrade , Schubert only makes the initially even turning of the spinning wheel audible in the piano part. The text goes back to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust . Schubert also had the courage to send his setting to Goethe, who, however, was not particularly impressed by Schubert's new style - in his opinion the text would no longer be in the foreground. He therefore preferred the simpler settings by Carl Friedrich Zelter. This did not detract from Schubert's growing popularity.

His two great song cycles The Beautiful Miller (1823) and Winterreise (1827) to texts by Wilhelm Müller are among the highlights of the song literature and touchstone for every male performers, although great singers like Christa Ludwig , Brigitte Fassbaender or Christine Schäfer the Winterreise listed to have. It was also Schubert who made the genre of the piano song with accompanying solo instrument known. The Shepherd on the Rock has since become the standard work for soprano, clarinet and piano. The posthumously published Schwanengesang includes songs from Schubert's last creative period. His songs were so well known that it the German word song has taken into other languages ( French : le song , used in France since the 1830s, in 1868 introduced by Édouard Schuré in the French vocabulary. English : the song , 1876 for the first time in England lexically proven). This specifically describes the German-style art song.

Carl Loewe should be mentioned as a composer alongside Schubert, who also created operas, oratorios and chamber music. To this day, his ballads are a grateful subject of musical-dramatic narration for a singer: Edward , who deals with parricide in aristocratic circles, the Erlkönig on the same text as Schubert and quite equal to it, Mr.Oluf , who has to deal with deceptively beautiful elves, or The fisherman , whom the mermaid draws down into her realm, and Archibald Douglas after Theodor Fontane bring to life scenes and events that go beyond the momentary description of a moment. Loewe's ballads give an insight into the mythical world of sagas and legends without leaving an artistically formed framework. They are therefore longer and more complex than normal art songs and can last up to fifteen minutes, but not a single word can be deleted without changing the dramatic structure of the narrative.

Robert Schumann - lithograph from 1839
Joseph von Eichendorff / Robert Schumann: "In der Fremde", from: Liederkreis opus 39,1

Robert Schumann created in addition to numerous songs that were closely composed of the literary original, the major cycles Poet's Love op. 48 and women love and life , Op. 42. His song cycle op. 39 on poems by Joseph von Eichendorff 's just like the myrtle op. 25 a collection of songs that is not directly related in content. Schumann attaches great importance to high-quality templates for his compositions, without a good poem no good song can come about for him. Truthfulness, an authenticity of feeling without artificially stylized affect , also becomes an aesthetic ideal for him. An increase in lyrical, intimate expression can be identified in Schumann's songs, which can be heard especially in his differentiated piano preludes and replays. The piano becomes an independent, equal partner: it underlines and comments on the vocal line, ironizes the previous declaration of love, creates moods and atmosphere. The most famous individual creations alongside the great song cycles today include The Lotos Flower , The Two Grenadiers , Belshazzar and the Folk Song . Clara Schumann composed far less than her husband. Her brilliant piano playing formed the basis for her songwriting, which included songs like You Loved Each Other , Am Strande and Lorelei . From 1853 onwards she concentrated on spreading her husband's music and on supporting her children, while Robert Schumann was housed in the Endeich mental hospital.

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, drawn by Eduard Bendemann, 1833

The songs of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and his sister Fanny Mendelssohn fall at the same time ; both received lessons from Carl Friedrich Zelter . One of Felix's most famous melodies is Auf Flügeln des Gesangs , which can be seen as an example of the simplicity of Zelter's compositional style in the song. Fanny Mendelssohn was only recognized as a composer at the end of the 20th century, not least because it was difficult to publish her songs - only a fraction of her 200 compositions appeared in print during her lifetime. Her works include the Liederkreis from 1829 ("6 songs by Fanny for Felix") and several parallel settings based on texts by Wilhelm Müller , Goethe and Heinrich Heine .

Johannes Brahms enriched the form of the cycle with The Beautiful Magelone , the Gypsy Songs and the Love Song Waltzes and also wrote a large number of individual songs, of which the May Night, with its dark and wistful mood, is one of the best known. With Brahms, too, the preoccupation with the folk song is an important source of his work, which is reflected in the artistic piano accompaniments to selected folk songs and again and again in a tone close to the folk song, but only rarely in the form. The Four Serious Songs op. 121 for bass and piano, composed in the later years of his life, deal with the approaching death.

Hugo Wolf (1885)

Hugo Wolf composed strongly based on the text. Initially an ardent Wagnerian, he tried his life as an unadapted self-taught person to cast off the shadow of his great idol and create something independent. One of his ways of composing was to recite a poem one after the other until he not only knew the words by heart, but could feel the rhythm and meaning of the language himself and hear it from the words. This preoccupation with the poetic model becomes very clear in his songs. He also referred to them as poems for a voice and piano . In 1888 he had his breakthrough with his Mörike songs . A Spanish songbook and an Italian songbook are among his works as well as numerous individual creations. The performance of Wolf songs requires a high degree of intelligence and empathy, since the voice and piano accompaniment, just like the music, are at the service of poetry .

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau sings “In this weather, in this brew” from Gustav Mahler's “Kindertotenlieder”.

With the popularization of the art song on the public concert platform and the simultaneous expansion of symphonic music and opera, songs and song cycles with orchestral accompaniment were soon created. They are called orchestral songs, including: B. Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde , the Kindertotenlieder and the songs of a traveling journeyman . This group also includes some songs by Richard Strauss and Alexander von Zemlinsky's Lyric Symphony . Important creators of late romantic art songs were Richard Strauss, Hans Pfitzner , Max Reger , Alma Mahler , Erich Wolfgang Korngold , Richard Wetz , Joseph Haas and Othmar Schoeck .

The demands on the carrying capacity of the singing voice had already arisen in the Romantic era with the enlargement of the orchestra, now the songs have also been adapted to the vocal possibilities of the singers and raised again in their degree of difficulty. The vocal range was expanded, the complexity of the composition increased, so that some songs require just as much vocal skill as a difficult operatic aria. The following ending of his song Amor for the singing voice has been handed down by Richard Strauss :

\ relative c '{\ key g \ major \ time 3/4 r4 b''2 (\ startTrillSpan b2.) (b4) \ startTrillSpan ais4 a g2. (\ startTrillSpan g2.) (g8) \ stopTrillSpan g, 8 b4 a g2.  \ bar "|."  } \ addlyrics {smile- - - - le, smart child!  |}
Nellie Melba sings the romance (L'âme évaporée) by Claude Debussy, recorded in 1913
Claude Debussy at the piano in the Luzancy house, with his friend Ernest Chausson , 1893

A separate tradition of the art song emerged in France based on poems by Charles Baudelaire , Stéphane Mallarmé , Arthur Rimbaud or Paul Éluard , often as an exaggeration of the spoken poetry. Such compositions were intended for the upscale Parisian salons , while the parallel romance was aimed at a larger audience. She found her most famous composers e.g. B. in Gabriel Fauré , Jules Massenet , Reynaldo Hahn , Claude Debussy , Maurice Ravel , Francis Poulenc , Ernest Chausson , Lili Boulanger and others. In dealing with German Romanticism, especially with Richard Wagner , French fin de siècle music found new forms of expression. In his songs, Debussy eschewed the sonority of late German Romanticism, oriented himself clearly on the word and wrote filigree harmonic constructions around a clear vocal melody that tried to illuminate all the nuances of the text.

In Italy, the most famous composers wrote for the large opera stages as well as for smaller-sized ensembles. Gioachino Rossini wrote his Serate musicali (Soirées musicales) for voice and piano after his opera work in Paris. Also, Vincenzo Bellini , Gaetano Donizetti and Giuseppe Verdi wrote various compositions in the song form known today in Germany only slightly. Verdi's songs in particular are characterized by character portrayals and small scenes that are also typical of his operas, but without spanning a larger dramatic arc over the individual pieces. The Italian romantic songs are indebted to the primacy of melody and the spirit of bel canto ; they live more from the intensity or the sparkling verve of the performance, a cultivated legato and skilful phrasing than from complex harmonic constructions.

Antonín Dvořák: Ten Biblical Songs , Marta Chaloupka and Andrew Chislett, St. Joseph's Church Seattle, 2004

Poland and today's Czech Republic are represented by the following composers from a romantic-nationalist point of view: Frédéric Chopin's songs are conceived close to folk songs and therefore deliberately reveal little of his pianistic sophistication. Stanisław Moniuszko , who composed more than 300 songs, was wrongly forgotten on the concert stage. Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák are more present on Slavic stages than in Germany, although their songs are also available in numerous translations. Both tried to write as closely to the people as possible in order to distinguish themselves from the Austrian hegemonic power and its culture. After studying in Prague, Leipzig and Vienna, Leoš Janáček worked for decades in Brno, where he was able to calmly mature his own musical language. Zápisnik zmizehélo ( Diary of a Missing Person ) for tenor, alto and three female voices was created from poems that he found in a Brno newspaper. They tell the story of a Moravian farm boy who fell in love with a gypsy girl and disappeared with her because she was expecting a child. Janáček formed a song cycle from this with 21 songs, which Max Brod translated congenially into German. Brod also composed a number of songs, of which the 126th Psalm was particularly important to him .

In Russia, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky , Sergei Rachmaninov , Michail Glinka and Modest Mussorgsky wrote the most famous romantic Russian songs today. In addition to long lyrical lines and expressive singing, they show their strongest qualities in the vicinity of melancholy, reverie and pathos. In the Scandinavian region, Edvard Grieg , Jean Sibelius , Hugo Alfvén and Yrjö Kilpinen , who composed over 700 songs , dealt with the genre of song.

20th century

Hugo Ball's phonetic poem Caravan , 1917

In Germany, the period between the First World War and the Second World War , the years 1918 to 1933, was marked by German reparations to France after the First World War , the global economic crisis and high unemployment in the cities. Nevertheless, after a short time, theaters, orchestras and other organizers offered operas and concerts again. The recitals had survived the war-related crisis and even gained in importance due to their comparatively low organizational effort. Radio and record allowed singers who were previously celebrated locally to become soloists in great demand throughout Germany. However, a uniform musical style can no longer be traced in the songs. The Wandervogel movement was looking for romantic ideals and nature experiences as an alternative to city life and the artificial art song. She summarized folk songs and community songs, which were sung in good company , in the plucked violin hansl . The ideals of the Wilhelmine Empire were radically called into question after the First World War and gave way to experimental art forms beyond the conventional song. The Dadaism of Hugo Ball , Kurt Schwitters and Ernst Jandl decomposed the words of a poem beyond recognition. This influenced Erwin Schulhoff , who explains with his Five Songs with Piano op.32:

“Bar line, measure and performance designations are omitted here for the reason that the freedom of performance is as unhindered as possible. [...] Furthermore, the pieces of music are to be reproduced in completely veiled and muffled harmonies so that the abstracts of the word content of each piece come into their own as expressively as possible. "

- Erwin Schulhoff

In addition, the labor movement , initiated in Russia in 1917, began to influence the art song with its new, simple form of workers' song - the result was the “song” that denounced anti-bourgeois social grievances. Elements of American jazz , cinema and hits found their echo in these compositions, which were often useful music suitable for a mass audience and were easy to sing along with. Hanns Eisler and Kurt Weill dressed Bertolt Brecht's socially critical words in music, Stefan Wolpe deliberately contributed with three songs based on poems by Erich Kästner , including a speech by a barmaid and a letter from a maid named Amalie , the elitist lyrical models of the songs to pry out. For these works, the appropriate style of presentation developed in the raw, parlating chant of a Diseuse .

Arnold Schönberg, photographed by Man Ray , 1927

Composers who tried to preserve their avant-garde identity in this environment were often left with retreat into private life. In 1918, Arnold Schönberg suggested the founding of an association for private musical performances , where connoisseurs and specialists should exchange information about the latest in art. This later became the International Society for New Music, which is still active today .

Schönberg's best-known contributions to the form of the song cycle are Pierrot lunaire op. 21 from 1912 for spoken chant - which was never allowed to be reminiscent of singing - and chamber ensemble as well as The Book of Hanging Gardens op. 15 based on texts by Stefan George . This paved the way for an expansion of the possibilities of expression of the human voice between singing and speaking. The existing sound material was also dealt with in a similar experimental manner. Between late romanticism, atonality and twelve-tone music , each composer had to find his own way in Schönberg's intellectual environment. In doing so, Schönberg strictly avoided everything that was reminiscent of triads and conventional, outdated melodies and harmonies. Mental states of emergency and social distress were put on paper in an aesthetic of outcry, which called for a corresponding, intense expressivity.

In his lieder op. 12, his student Anton Webern freed the chord from its predetermined tonal contexts and concentrated on the single tone, which existed detached from a harmonic framework. Thematically, spiritual thoughts come to the fore in Webern's work, which is increasingly transparent and structured.

Paul Hindemith set a counterpoint to twelve-tone music by showing with his work Instruction in Composition that the third had played a special role in harmony since the late Middle Ages and suggested the ancient theory of intervals as an alternative. Instead of avoiding all triads like Schoenberg and building on small seconds and major sevenths, Hindemith prefers fifths and fourths as harmony carriers, which in contrast to intervals containing tritones no longer require any resolution. His cycle Das Marienleben based on texts by Rainer Maria Rilke tells the story of the biblical Mary.

Memorial in the
Terezín concentration camp in the Czech Republic
Degenerate Music, cover picture of an international exhibition.  Music by artists of Jewish descent, jazz and avant-garde were banned under the National Socialists

The National Socialism that began in the 1930s was to have a far-reaching influence on the music of Germany. Individual, personal artistic expression was no longer in demand in the party operations that were aligned with the same. Music that was progressive, ambitious, utopian-fantastic or with influences from jazz was suppressed, art and culture became an instrument of party-political propaganda under the direction of Joseph Goebbels . Only professors and teachers loyal to the party were admitted to the branches of music education, and people of Jewish origin were suspended from work without notice. Everything that happened culturally in Germany was subject to the resolutions of the Reich Chamber of Culture , whose presidium was exercised by Richard Strauss on the advice of Paul Graener , who held this post after him. Composers who contradicted the ideology of the NSDAP were publicly discriminated as composers of degenerate music , banned from performance, persecuted and, if they were of Jewish origin, taken to concentration camps such as Terezín in the Czech Republic if they were unable to escape beforehand. These included Erwin Schulhoff , Viktor Ullmann , Hans Krása , Gideon Klein , Pavel Haas , Zikmund Schul , Edwin Geist and others.

The increased sensitivity of the art song acted on the ideology of the National Socialists like a “super-individualism” and was to be largely replaced by a form of the “sociable community song”. The zupfgeigenhansl of the Wandervogel movement provided enough material here. Furthermore, according to Goebbels, songs should be “beautiful” and “non-sentimental-factual”; expressions of doubt, criticism and skepticism were undesirable in order to promote the necessary “winning mentality”.

Composers with Jewish spouses or liberal-minded artists refused to take possession of the overpowering cultural apparatus. Karl Amadeus Hartmann , who had already been banned from working for other progressive pieces, wrote the anthemic song cycle Lamento (1936/37), which refers to the cycle Friede anno 48 for soprano, choir and piano , out of protest . Even Walter Braunfels was withdrawn the license to practice medicine because of his Jewish origin. In addition to the opera Die Vögel and Te Deum , there are still songs by him that are hardly known today, but promise a worthwhile rediscovery: three Chinese songs for high voice and orchestra, Auf ein Soldiergrab for baritone and orchestra, Romantic chants and Von der Love sweet and bitter fruit for soprano and orchestra, songs by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe , Friedrich Hölderlin , Hermann Hesse and other poets have been preserved along with other compositions.

Boris Blacher , Günter Raphael , Hanning Schröder , Hans Erich Apostel and Hanns Eisler had a similar experience . Adolf Schönberg and Kurt Weill, like Franz Schreker , Paul Dessau , Alexander Zemlinsky , Paul Hindemith , Erich Wolfgang Korngold , Ernst Krenek and many other artists, were forced to emigrate to the USA

Jacques-Émile Blanche : Le Groupe des Six (1921). In the center the pianist Marcelle Meyer . Left (bottom to top): Germaine Tailleferre , Darius Milhaud , Arthur Honegger , Louis Durey . Georges Auric sits on the right , behind Francis Poulenc and Jean Cocteau .

In France, as a reaction to the turmoil of the First World War, the Groupe des Six with Louis Durey , Arthur Honegger , Darius Milhaud , Germaine Tailleferre , Georges Auric and Francis Poulenc was founded . With reference to Igor Stravinsky, they created a productive field of tension between tonality and light music. Even Erik Satie worked as enfant terrible solely as a musician and led the absurd in the time music. The Groupe des Six developed after collective concert projects ( Les mariés de la tour Eiffel , 1921) in the course of its existence due to the different characteristics of its members.

At the same time, the group "La jeune France" was composed of composers who rejected the frivolous aesthetics of the Six and advocated a new seriousness in music. These included Albert Roussel , Charles Koechlin , Maurice Delage , Jacques Ibert and Olivier Messiaen . Of his songs, for which he largely wrote the lyrics himself, three cycles for dramatic soprano and orchestra are noteworthy: the Poèmes pour Mi , dedicated to his first wife, whose nickname appears in the title; the Chants de terre et de ciel (1938) and Harawi (1945), which, with twelve chants lasting over an hour, goes well beyond the scope of a song cycle. The text consists of a fantasy language based on the idiom of the South American Andean peoples, the Quechua , and French cues and ends in a vision of the pre-civilizing people who are not yet alienated from themselves.

Edward Elgar , who created a haunting work for alto and large orchestra with Sea Pictures (1897/99), and Ralph Vaughan Williams , whose Songs of Travel are a large-scale piano cycle based on poems by Robert Louis Stevenson, are among his great vocal chamber music works in Great Britain . Next to it is Benjamin Britten to name a very versatile composer and folk song arranger. He wrote many of his songs for the English tenor Peter Pears , but Kathleen Ferrier , Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Galina Wischnewskaja also served as sound inspiration. On this island op.11 , Cabaret Songs , Les Illuminations and the Seven Sonnets by Michelangelo , which Britten wrote specifically for Pears, and The Holy Sonnets of John Donne op.35 are mentioned here. The latter was created in 1945 after a joint tour with Yehudi Menuhin through the liberated concentration camps in Germany.

Igor Stravinsky, 1921

Russia was a difficult environment for composing artists due to the political situation of Stalinism . Igor Stravinsky lived in Paris or Switzerland from 1910 to 1939, and also in the USA from the beginning of the Second World War. While his groundbreaking ballets can still be assured of worldwide fame, this does not apply equally to his songwriting. While he was initially still attached to the late romantic tonal language, his own tonal language was announced in his nursery rhymes in 1906. The Trois Histoires pour enfants (1920) deal with different animals. Pribautki from 1914 takes up the nonsense verses of Dada and processes them for male voice and chamber ensemble. Deux Poèmes on poems by Paul Verlaine for bass and piano and Trois Poésies de la lyrique japonaise for soprano and chamber ensemble or piano are rarely performed but worthwhile additions to a concert program. Even Dmitri Shostakovich , whose compositions have to be read more layers, is better known for his orchestral works as for his numerous songs, of which the suite of poems by Michelangelo Buonarroti , Op. 145 also exist for bass and piano in an orchestra version. Shostakovich, who wrote the cycle seriously ill in 1974, once jokingly referred to it as his “16. Symphony". The composer processed numerous motivic references to the rest of his work. The piano prelude to the first poem Truth is taken up again in the last, Death . In between, the themes deal with love, doubts about justice and a philosophical view of the world.

In Spain, Isaac Albéniz , Enrique Granados and Joaquín Turina developed a remarkable independent timbre through a mixture of French Impressionism and Andalusian folk tunes, which was increasingly noticed, especially abroad.

As the “land of unlimited possibilities”, the USA initially offered the advantage that one could deal with European traditions in a somewhat more relaxed manner. Nevertheless, the connection to Europe remained an important part of the cultural education. Many American composers such as B. Virgil Thomson and Aaron Copland took lessons from Nadia Boulanger in Paris. One of the most important American composers is Charles Ives , who published 114 songs out of a total of 150 in a confusing stylistic variety , and forms an adequate picture of the equally pluralistic population structure of the “New World”. Samuel Barber , Gian Carlo Menotti , Edgar Varèse and Georges Antheil are also to be mentioned as leading American composers; Amy Marcy Beach and Ruth Crawford Seeger represent the composers who are performing more and more in public today.

Germany after 1945

Darmstadt Summer Course for New Music, seminar with Karlheinz Stockhausen , 1957

After the collapse of the Third Reich and the division of Germany, a deep feeling of sadness, disillusionment and insecurity remained in Germany. Until the 1960s, the collective trauma can be read in the composition of German composers. At the same time, general singing disappeared from music lessons in German schools, the "community song" experienced a reluctance to return to the Federal Republic of Germany , while in the German Democratic Republic the singing of common pioneer songs was still used as a propaganda instrument. The leading figures Anton Webern and Béla Bartók both died in 1945. Most exiled composers refused to return to Germany and Austria. Wolfgang Fortner and Hermann Heiss therefore invited the new generation of composers to express themselves in the summer courses for international music and to try out what had previously been forbidden. Works by Hindemith, Stravinsky, Bartók and Krenek were heard there as well as works by the organizers. The book of the hanging gardens by Schönberg had a signal effect on the courses, and people began to deal with him and his successors and in particular the compositional technique used. Scholastic disputes arose with the successors of Hindemith's aesthetics.

Bernd Alois Zimmermann was one of the first beneficiaries of the holiday courses . Even Hans Werner Henze attended the Summer School and wrote with Whispers of heavenly death for high voice a composed in the twelve-tone technique work before with the Cinque canzoni neapoletani solved for baritone and piano in 1957 by the increasingly dogmatic intellectual climate of Darmstadt.

Hans Werner Henze, 1960

“All of them appealed to a high professional ethic based on technical mastery. […] Many had found their salvation following the austerity of the 20s and made use of a language of the new simplicity, and expressivity and sound magic - main characteristics of the romantic piano song - were often left behind. The genre of the piano-accompanied solo song per se was therefore put to the test; but the attempts to completely abolish it and replace it with new forms of presentation were yet to come! "

- Klaus Hinrich Stahmer

Mauricio Kagel combined the public's desire for uncertainty, which stemmed from the spirit of the 1968 movement , with irony and alienation. His “Liederoper” from Germany (1977/80) is based on Franz Liszt's quote that every song is basically a small opera. He arranges 27 “Living Pictures” and lets Franz Schubert perform personally with Moritz von Schwind , Caspar David Friedrich and Johann Heinrich Füssli . Over 70 lyrics are processed by him in an "irritatingly familiar" way. The work is a declaration of love for the romantic song itself, but at the same time also a parody .

György Ligeti wrote pieces with his Aventures (1962/63) and Nouvelles Aventures (1962/65), which with three singers and seven instrumentalists also seem to be outside the genre of songs and which the composer gave the title mimodramas . In bizarre little scenes only fragments of language are used, an “imaginary stage plot” is to emerge. The vocalists - classical singing is hardly used - breathed, screamed, groaned and hissed. Pieces for voice and a contemporary ensemble with at least two musicians replaced the piano duo; the works for voice and piano or even for voice solo, e.g. B. Luciano Berio'ssequence III . Helmut Lachenmann , who was a student of Luigi Nono , most recently composed Got lost for voice and piano according to temA for voice, flute and violoncello , which is also beyond the scope of the genre with a performance time of around 30 minutes. Lachenmann shows how difficult it is to maintain the protesting, shocking and inappropriate gesture that he wrote down in temA as a denial of all known traditions of singing:

“So I admit that the recently premiered work by Helmut Lachenmann, Got lost for voice and piano, was just disappointing for me: three times too long in relation to the developed idea, conservative in approach - a prevented piano melodrama - and above all one Relapse into an old avant-garde tone of the 1960s, as if someone wanted to give an introduction to non-conventional, avant-garde composing, an involuntary pedagogy, as it were. Lachenmann fell into his own trap: the style turns into mannerism, a category he so often held up to the opposite side, complexism; and its tendency to degenerate in length. If this piece had been 7 or 8 minutes (instead of 20), it would still be a small but concentrated matter. "

- Klaus-Steffen Mahnkopf

What these compositions have in common is that they not only try to sound out the limits of the voice, but also to find new forms of expression that differ from the melodic vocal aesthetics, work with breaks, friction, the unforeseen and the expressive possibilities of the human voice beyond classic bel canto - Technology. Dieter Schnebel took this process to extremes by using his Maulwerke all of the organs involved in voice production individually: tongue flicks and lip play as well as larynx tension and gargle rolls are no longer intended to make humanly understandable sounds. In Milko Kelemen in are the seven plagues , the instructions "Puke", "hiccups" and "whistling like a bird."

Karlheinz Stockhausen at the Shiraz Art Festival in Iran, 1972

The electronic music and new possibilities of sound equipment also took effect on compositions from the 50s. Karlheinz Stockhausen demonstrated the possibilities of this “new instrument” with the song of the young men in the fire oven (1955) for tape. Stockhausen split the previously sung melody into small parts in the recording studio and alienated them with electronic generator sounds. Since the premiere of the youths in the furnace , electronic sounds have been incorporated into modern compositions time and again.

After these experiments, about which Clemens Kühn wrote in the German music magazine Musica in 1981 that the song was "practically dead", it turned out that many possibilities of composing vocal music were exhausted. The wave of deconstruction ebbed in the 1970s, and in the 1980s content was again in demand that could be found in high-quality poems. Here took Hans Werner Henze , Wolfgang Rihm and Aribert Reimann an important role.

Henze's first pieces under the influence of the Darmstadt summer courses were followed by night pieces and arias for soprano and orchestra, and chamber music (1958) for tenor and small ensemble. Being beauteous (1963) for coloratura soprano, harp and four violoncellos is followed by politically active pieces such as El Cimarrón , which tells the story of the escaped slave Estéban Montejo. The interpreters also improvise as co-authors of the work. After this phase, Henze returned to an apolitical Musica pura , which found its new form with Three Auden songs for tenor and piano (1983) based on texts by Winston Hugh Auden and, above all, Six Chants from Arabic (1997/98).

Aribert Reimann, 2010

Aribert Reimann grew up as the son of a singer and a church musician. He set poems to music without breaking them down into their individual semantic parts and left them untouched as a work of art. Paul Celan was an important source of inspiration for him. In his children's songs (1961) for soprano and piano, he used abrupt register leaps and a very high pitch. The underlying texts by Werner Reinert relate less to the target group of the cycle than to the topics with which a child opens up the world. The singing part is given melismatic, even coloratura-like passages, the piano part with virtuoso jumps or clear sentence structure:

\ relative c '{r4 r8 a''4.  f16 (bes,) g sharp d '\ times 2/6 {f sharp, 16 (es from g sharp g'} \ times 2/6 {f sharp g sharp f sharp g f sharp g sharp} f sharp4 (\ startTrillSpan f sharp8.)) \ stopTrillSpan c'16 r4} \ addlyrics {I'm looking for the |  flame }

After pieces with smaller dimensions, such as Three Sonnets based on William Shakespeare and Nachtstück I based on Eichendorff , Reimann wrote the Engführung for tenor and piano (1967), which is based on a poem by Celan and which lasts almost half an hour, reminding of a cantata . For the first time he uses a notation that prescribes the pitch but does not prescribe the duration of the tone. Six poems by Sylvia Plath for soprano and piano (1975) explores the psychological dangers of Sylvia Plath's poetry with extremely high-contrast musical means, which are sung in rapid alternation at dizzying heights or performed at the lower vocal edge. In the sonnets of Louize Labé (1986) he writes a demanding cycle of songs for mezzo-soprano and piano, again lasting half an hour. From the 80s on, Reimann also used alternative playing techniques for the piano, for example with prepared strings in Shine and Dark (1989) for baritone and piano. He completely dispenses with accompaniment in the pieces Entsorgungs (baritone solo, 1989), Darkened (alto solo, 1992) and Lady Lazarus (soprano solo, 1992).

Wolfgang Rihm, 2007

The work of Wolfgang Rihm seen as a turning point for the song writing in Germany and speaks for overcoming the aesthetics of the 50s and 60s. Traditional forms such as sonata or symphony are continued with Rihm, as is the art song. Its premieres in Donaueschingen (1974/76) polarized the audience into rejecters and supporters. He was particularly drawn to the résumés of mentally ill poets like Jakob Lenz . He set texts by Friedrich Hölderlin, who was mentally ill in later life, to music as Hölderlin fragments (1976/77) and texts by the schizophrenic Adolf Wölfli in the Wölfli songbook . The cycle ends with a duo for two percussionists (Wölfli works like crazy) . In the cycle Das Rot he dealt with poems by the mismatched romantic poet Karoline von Günderode , who ended her life with a suicide by drowning. Numerous other songs have not only been deposited as manuscripts in the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel, but have also been published.

Wilhelm Killmayer , Manfred Trojahn , Michael Denhoff , Walter Zimmermann and Wolfgang von Schweinitz were singled out as composers who continued to cultivate the art song in a wide variety of line-ups.

Children's orchestra and choir in the Leipzig Congress Hall, 1950

Life in the Soviet occupation zone , the later GDR, continued under different political circumstances . While in the FRG cultural life was determined by the models of the Americans, British and French, in the Soviet occupation zone Moscow set the tone in cultural policy. First of all, a link to modernism was sought in Berlin, which had been banned by the National Socialists; a large-scale and generally accessible concert life flourished. However, the stylistic return was a short phase. In 1949 a new government was formed and the GDR was proclaimed a state. A single party emerged from the multiplicity of parties, which had to serve as an instrument of centralized government. The party leadership soon began calling for works of art that were "socialist in content and realistic in form". Concretely, only those things that contributed to the education of the democratic people through “high ideal and artistic value” were promoted. Publishing, record production, radio and television, music education and musical training in universities, like all public life, were determined by party guidelines.

Hanns Eisler and Bertolt Brecht, 1950

From this era Hanns Eisler and Paul Dessau emerged as composers of Bertolt Brecht's texts . Eisler not only composed the new national anthem of the GDR, but also the choral piece Proletarians of all countries, unite! and the Aufbaulied der FDJ - this, however, to tackle more demanding texts, such as Goethe, chamber music and operas based on texts by Brecht. As a university lecturer, he repeatedly defied the demands of the party state and remained an important figure to identify with for young composers in the GDR.

Rudolf Wagner-Régeny , Andre Asriel , Kurt Schwaen , Wilhelm Weismann and Ruth Zechlin also worked in the GDR. In 1961 the Berlin Wall was built and the state cordoned off to the west, as 150,000 residents had already moved to the western part of Berlin in the first half of the year alone. Tensions with the rest of the population, who were banned from illegally crossing the border on the death penalty, were inevitable in the long run. Reiner Bredemeyer and Tilo Medek , who were expatriated in the course of the Biermann affair , to name just two, got problems with the cultural bureaucracy and party political censorship . Since the International Society for New Music also held festivals in Poland and Hungary, GDR composers had the opportunity to orient themselves here to international standards. To cope with the requirements of text censorship, which often only allowed already worn texts to be set to music, and at the same time not to let the modernist tonal language of the West, which had been taken out of context, degenerate into set pieces and formulas, required much prior calculation.

Christfried Schmidt , who set sophisticated literature to music, could not find a publisher for his equally demanding and serious works and was not given an exit permit to have his works performed abroad. Des Heaven's darker brother for baritone and ensemble, as well as the compositions by Siegfried Matthus and Georg Katzer, show an increasing talent for choosing texts that, in their ambiguity, gave no cause for complaint with regard to party-political guidelines, but were well understood by the audience. Known today is Udo Zimmermann , festivals and concerts organized with new music. With 5 chants for baritone and orchestra based on Wolfgang Borchert and the Neruda songs , he ventured into the border areas of censorship.

After German reunification in 1989, Germany became increasingly open to international guests. Younghi Pagh-Paan wrote Flammenzeichen for voice and percussion instruments alone and thus processed from a German-Korean perspective the internal German resistance against National Socialism in the figure of Sophie Scholl . Luca Lombardi , who was born in Italy and studied in Berlin as a composer, is represented with his Ophelia fragments , but in 1987 also coupled a scene from his opera Faust. Un travestimento , in which Schubert's famous Gretchen am Spinnrade is first quoted by an accompanying string quartet, then alienated. He wrote Yedid Nefesh for mezzo-soprano and guitar on Hebrew texts by Miriam Meghnagi .

Millennium change

The time after the turn of the millennium is characterized by great confusion, increasing globalization and a much faster worldwide exchange of information through the Internet . At the same time, the recording of the music means that an immense amount of musical works and performances is archived and accessible. The song as a genre is experiencing a renaissance and offers itself as a field of activity for composers who want to use the “voice instrument” on a small scale. A shift from graphic notation or typefaces with extensive legends to be studied in advance and experimental vocal thinking back to traditional musical notation and sound that takes into account the characteristics of the singing voice is emerging. The change between the singing and speaking voice remains one of the most frequently used stylistic devices in order not to fall back into an all-too-familiar conformity. However, the complexity of the pieces has remained the same or has increased.

Wolfgang Rihm continues to write most of his works in the genre of the song. After the turn of the millennium alone, 26 works for chamber music formations were created, including the traditional instrumentation of voice and piano. Aribert Reimann completes his works with the Rilke Fragments for soprano and piano printed in 2011 . In 2009, the Korean-German composer Il Ryun Chung wrote his almost 40-minute cycle BirnenBlütenRegen - from the life of a Ghisaeng on old Korean poetry for high soprano and ensemble. The texts revolve around the first contact with a potential customer who is a poet, a night of love, the sudden end of a relationship and the subsequent long-lasting feeling of loss. Although it is not clear whether the Ghisaeng always means the same lover or several, a parallel can be made to Schumann's “Dichterliebe”. The cycle presents considerable difficulties for the singing voice, both rhythmically and vocally, and has not yet been performed in its entirety.

The composer Thierry Escaich , who was influenced by church music, has created several song cycles since 2001, such as B. Guernesey for tenor and piano, Madre for soprano and piano or Les nuits hallucinées for mezzo-soprano and orchestra. In 2013 the song cycle Les Miroirs de la Ville was published for all vocal genres and piano or orchestra. The Korean-American composer Jonghee Kang wrote "Looking for Immortals", another cycle for voice and piano in English.

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: Art song  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Peter Jost:  song. In: Ludwig Finscher (Hrsg.): The music in past and present . Second edition, subject part, volume 5 (Kassel - Meiningen). Bärenreiter / Metzler, Kassel et al. 1996, ISBN 3-7618-1106-3 , Sp. 1259–1328, here: Sp. 1263 ( online edition , subscription required for full access)
  2. Peter Jost:  song. In: Ludwig Finscher (Hrsg.): The music in past and present . Second edition, subject part, volume 5 (Kassel - Meiningen). Bärenreiter / Metzler, Kassel et al. 1996, ISBN 3-7618-1106-3 , Sp. 1259–1328, here Sp. 1264 ( online edition , subscription required for full access)
  3. ^ Johann Christian Gottsched: Attempt at a critical poetry. Leipzig 1730, and Joh. H. Zedler: Universal-Lexikon. Vol. 17, Halle / Leipzig 1738, cited above. in: Peter Jost:  Lied. In: Ludwig Finscher (Hrsg.): The music in past and present . Second edition, subject part, volume 5 (Kassel - Meiningen). Bärenreiter / Metzler, Kassel et al. 1996, ISBN 3-7618-1106-3 , Sp. 1259–1328, here: Sp. 1264 ( online edition , subscription required for full access)
  4. ^ Joh. A. Scheibe: Der critische Musicus. New, increased and improved edition. Breitkopf, Leipzig 1745, p. 583 ( digitized in the Google book search)
  5. ^ Johann Georg Sulzer : General Theory of Fine Arts , Volume 2. Leipzig 1774, pp. 713–718 ( online at .).
  6. ^ Johann Georg Sulzer : General Theory of Fine Arts , Volume 2. Leipzig 1774, pp. 718–720 ( online at .).
  7. Hans Georg Nägeli: The art of songs. In: General musical newspaper. 19, 1817, col. 766; see. on this in detail W. Dürr 1984, cit. In: Peter Jost:  Lied. In: Ludwig Finscher (Hrsg.): The music in past and present . Second edition, subject part, volume 5 (Kassel - Meiningen). Bärenreiter / Metzler, Kassel et al. 1996, ISBN 3-7618-1106-3 , Sp. 1259–1328, here: Sp. 1265 ( online edition , subscription required for full access)
  8. Heinrich W. Schwab: Sangbarkeit, popularity and art song: studies on song a. Song aesthetics d. middle Goethe period. 1770-1814. Bosse, Regensburg 1965, p. 137, quoted from: Peter Jost:  Lied. In: Ludwig Finscher (Hrsg.): The music in past and present . Second edition, subject part, volume 5 (Kassel - Meiningen). Bärenreiter / Metzler, Kassel et al. 1996, ISBN 3-7618-1106-3 , Sp. 1259–1328, here: Sp. 1263 ( online edition , subscription required for full access)
  9. ^ Hermann Danuser (Ed.): Musical lyric poetry. Song and vocal ensemble art. Part 1: From Antiquity to the 18th Century / Part 2: From the 19th Century to the Present - Non-European Perspectives (= Handbook of Musical Genres Vol. 8), Laaber-Verlag, Laaber 2004. ISBN 978-3-89007- 131-2
  10. ^ Hugo Riemann: Musik-Lexikon, Verlag des Bibliographischen Institut, Leipzig 1882, p. 523.
  11. Reclam's song guide. P. 30.
  12. Reclam's song guide. P. 17 ff.
  13. song. on:
  14. dtv-Atlas Musik, p. 125.
  15. Music in the past and present. P. 1263, article "Lied"
  16. ^ Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau: Hugo Wolf: Life and Work. Henschel Verlag, 2003, ISBN 3-89487-432-5 .
  17. Werner Oehlmann: Reclam's song guide. P. 654.
  18. Werner Oehlmann: Reclam's song guide. P. 686.
  19. Werner Oehlmann: Reclam's song guide. P. 745.
  20. ^ Walter Braunfels works. ( Memento from March 2, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) on:
  21. Axel Bauni et al. a .: Reclam's song guide. P. 827.
  22. Bauni, Oehlmann u. a .: Reclam's song guide. P. 915.
  23. Bauni et al. a .: Reclam's song guide, p. 977.
  24. Ulrich Tadday (Ed.): Helmut Lachenmann. (PDF; 4.1 MB) on:
  25. Reclam's song guide. P. 1030.