SC MUSC 110 - 20 Art Song (10 pages)

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20 Art Song



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20 Art Song

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Pages:
10
School:
University Of South Carolina-Columbia
Course:
Musc 110 - Introduction to Music
Introduction to Music Documents
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INSTRUCTOR S MANUAL CHAPTER 20 ROMANTIC MUSIC THE ART SONG COMPOSERS AND COMPOSITIONS SCHUBERT ERLK NIG A Historical background Schubert composed this work in 1815 when he was seventeen years old Schubert s longtime friend Josef von Spaun wrote a famous account of the ballad s composition We found Schubert all aglow reading the Erlk nig aloud from the book He paced up and down several times with the book suddenly he sat down and in no time at all just as quickly as one can write there was the glorious Ballad finished on the paper We ran with it to the Seminary for there was no pianoforte at Schubert s home and there on the very same evening the Erlk nig was sung and enthusiastically received Deutsch Memoirs 131 The Schubert scholar Maurice Brown believes Spaun s account is most likely a compression of several events especially since Schubert normally made preliminary sketches for his works Brown suggests that either his friends came upon him near the completion of a longer composition process or Schubert s performance at the college was based upon sketches which he later amplified into a complete score Brown 46 47 In any event audiences have been moved by this ballade for close to two hundred years not because of the rapidity of composition or the fact that Schubert wrote it at the ripe age of seventeen but because it evokes such a visceral response in the audience B Analysis A successful performance of Erlk nig requires the skills of professional musicians both as soloist and accompanist and even then disaster lurks in the wings To convey the difficulty of the technical requirements challenge students to play air piano in the privacy of their own room of course while listening to the recording They will find their wrists locking up about a third of the way through the ballade 1 The endurance required from the vocalist is different but no less significant While the range is not 1 Schubert himself found the accompaniment nearly impossible to play and altered the right hand triplets to eighth notes However Liszt was known to make the accompaniment even more difficult by playing certain passages in octaves Brown 47 abnormal spanning an octave and a fifth the singer must move to extreme ranges with little preparation and alter the character of his or her voice to suit the individual who is speaking During the nineteenth century it was not uncommon to have a quartet perform the work Ask students to consider the following questions What is it about the accompaniment that establishes a mood of menace and foreboding as well as suggesting a wild nighttime ride on horseback Aside from the low range how does the father s musical style convey his attempts to soothe the anxiety of his son no chromaticism use of antecedent and consequent phrases What musical features reflect the son s terror high range chromaticism responds immediately to the Elf King s statements phrases have weak cadences Why might Schubert have made each section sung by the Elf King sound different How are they reflective of the text Elf king tries different enticements each time ROBERT SCHUMANN Du Ring an meinem Finger from Frauenliebe und leben Schumann composed this song cycle over a two day period 11 12 July 1840 He based his setting on the poetry of Adelbert Chamisso a poet popular amongst middle class German readers during the nineteenth century In his poetry the idealized woman is innocent sentimental and selfless a portrait that makes the heroines of Jane Austin novels appear shockingly liberated in comparison After writing this song cycle about the love and life of a devoted woman Robert and Clara concluded the day with a bitter argument Certainly the love of Robert and Clara is unique in the annals of music history yet they did not live a storybook life It was difficult to mesh a relationship and a career between two extraordinary individuals Even today it is unusual with perhaps Bill and Hillary Clinton offering the closest parallel How were they to support the artistic aspirations of each other especially within the rather confining expectations of nineteenth century society The following diary entry is illuminating This separation 1842 drove home to me painfully the difficulty of my situation Should I neglect my talent in order to accompany you on your journey Is it right for you to neglect your own talent because I must work for the Zeitschrift and compose at the piano Now while you are young and energetic We found a solution you found a woman to travel with you while I returned to our child and to my work What will people say I do worry about these things but it is essential to find a way for both Schumann s emphasis of us to make the best use of our abilities quoted in Fischer Dieskau 118 It was not easy to make their relationship work especially within the expectations of nineteenth century society Schumann provided this song with a performance marking that indicates style but not tempo innig fervently The lyrical melody and flowing broken chord accompaniment lend a sense of loveliness to the text that is not disturbed but heightened by the subtle chromaticism such as that occurring at the end of the second line of text While there are no overt examples of text painting the concluding line of the second strophe B suggests the barren infinite space with a leap up to the dominant in the vocal line and chromatic movement in the accompaniment The style of accompaniment changes to repeated block chords for strophe C lending a greater urgency to the heroine s express desire to be in his presence CLARA SCHUMANN IF YOU LOVE FOR BEAUTY Clara began to compose songs in earnest in 1840 shortly after her marriage to Robert who had poured forth a torrent of great songs in the months preceding their marriage It was his idea to compose a joint collection of songs expressing their mutual love with poetry drawn from Friedrich R ckert s Liebesfr hling Springtime of Love The project was completed in the summer and fall of 1841 and given the title Twelve Songs from F R ckert s Springtime of Love Robert secretly arranged to have the songs published and presented a printed copy to Clara on her twenty second birthday Robert composed nine of the songs and Clara wrote three To underscore that Liebesfr hling like love itself was the combined work of two individuals they gave the composition two opus numbers it is listed on the title page as Op 37 12 the first number is Robert s the second Clara s One of Clara s contributions to the


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