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A Guide to the Solo Songs of Johannes Brahms cover
  • ISBN: 9780253328915
  • ISBN10: 0253328918

A Guide to the Solo Songs of Johannes Brahms

by Lucien Stark

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Replica Books
  • Publish date: 10/01/1995
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Description
Johannes Brahms composed songs throughout his creative life. While many of them are among the best-loved in the art song repertoire, dozens remain virtually unknown. For singers reluctant to explore unfamiliar territory, A Guide to the Solo Songs of Johannes Brahms eases the task by providing translations and a wealth of commentary and analysis. In an introductory chapter, Lucien Stark discusses Brahms as a song composer - his indebtedness to folk song and to the songs of Schubert, his elevation of the piano to equal partnership with the voice, and his continual striving to create the musical equivalent of the poetry. Brahms published 196 songs in 32 groups of, typically, five or six; two individual songs without opus number; and solo versions of eight of the Zigeunerlieder quartets - a total of 206 songs for solo voice with piano, all of which are analyzed here in detail. For each song, Stark provides the original German text, indicating its source and any significant alterations made by Brahms; a prose translation in idiomatic English; the date and place of composition and details of the song's earliest performance, if known; a description of its structure; the role of the piano; and commentary on the relationship between the text and the music. Stark also quotes relevant reactions from Brahm's friends, including Clara Schumann, Elisabet von Herzogenberg, and Theodor Billroth. Brief biographies of the poets and translators are given in an appendix, and the book concludes with a bibliography and a complete index of titles and first lines.
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