German Song Onstage

German Song Onstage

Lieder Performance in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
Edited by Natasha Loges and Laura Tunbridge, translated by Jeremy Coleman
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 04/01/2020
ISBN: 978-0-253-04703-8
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A singer in an evening dress, a grand piano. A modest-sized audience, mostly well-dressed and silver-haired, equipped with translation booklets. A program consisting entirely of songs by one or two composers. This is the way of the Lieder recital these days. While it might seem that this style of performance is a long-standing tradition, German Song Onstage demonstrates that it is not. For much of the 19th century, the songs of Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms were heard in the home, salon, and, no less significantly, on the concert platform alongside orchestral and choral works. A dedicated program was rare, a dedicated audience even more so. The Lied was a genre with both more private and more public associations than is commonly recalled. The contributors to this volume explore a broad range of venues, singers, and audiences in distinct places and time periods—including the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Germany—from the mid-19th century through the early 20th century. These historical case studies are set alongside reflections from a selection of today's leading musicians, offering insights on current Lied practices that will inform future generations of performers, scholars, and connoisseurs. Together these case studies unsettle narrow and elitist assumptions about what it meant and still means to present German song onstage by providing a transnational picture of historical Lieder performance, and opening up discussions about the relationship between history and performance today.

Author Bio

Natasha Loges is Head of Postgraduate Programmes at the Royal College of Music. She is author of Brahms and His Poets: A Handbook. She is also editor (with Katy Hamilton) of Brahms in the Home and the Concert Hall: Between Private and Public Performance and Brahms in Context, as well as editor (with Anja Bunzel) of Musical Salon Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century.

Laura Tunbridge is Professor of Music at the University of Oxford. She is author of Schumann’s Late Style, The Song Cycle, and Singing in the Age of Anxiety: Lieder Performances in New York and London between the World Wars and editor (with Roe-Min Kok) of Rethinking Schumann.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Restaging German Song / Laura Tunbridge

1. "Eine wahre Olla Patrida [sic]:" Anna Milder-Hauptmann, Schubert, and Programming the Orient / Susan Youens

2. Song in Concert as Observed by the Schumanns: Toward the Personalization of the Public Stage / Benjamin Binder

3. From Miscellanies to Musical Works: Julius Stockhausen, Clara Schumann and Dichterliebe / Natasha Loges

4. Natalia Macfarren and the English German Lied / Katy Hamilton

5. "For Any Ordinary Performer It Would Be Absurd, Ridiculous or Offensive": Performing Lieder Cycles on the American Stage / Heather Platt

6. The Concert Hall as a Gender-Neutral Space: The Case of Amalie Joachim, née Schneeweiss / Beatrix Borchard, Translated by Jeremy Coleman

7. Nikolai Medtner: Championing the German Lied and Russian Spirit / Maria Razumovskaya

8. From the Benefit Concert to the Solo Song Recital in London, 1870–1914 / Simon McVeigh and William Weber

9. German Song and the Working Classes in Berlin, 1890–1914 / Wiebke Rademacher

10. Lilli Lehmann’s Dedicated Lieder Recitals / Rosamund Cole

11. "Eine Reihe bunter Zauberbilder": Thomas Mann, Hans Pfitzner, and the Politics of Song Accompaniment / Nicholas Attfield

12. Performers’ Reflections / Natasha Loges and Laura Tunbridge