Goethe Settings By Johann Friedrich Reichardt and Carl Friedrich Zelter: Text, Music and Performance Possibilities

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The connection between text, music, and performance in the lieder of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries is an integral aspect to fully comprehending the style and performance of the genre. It is also essential in order to understand the full development of the lied in its totality. The era represented a transitional period in musical development, influenced by Enlightenment values of elegance, good taste, simplicity, and naturalness which sought to eradicate the overly decorative “excesses” of the high-Baroque. In this study, emphasis is placed upon the unique development of the lied in the northern German regions by the ... continued below

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Moore, Wes C. August 2012.

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  • Moore, Wes C.

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The connection between text, music, and performance in the lieder of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries is an integral aspect to fully comprehending the style and performance of the genre. It is also essential in order to understand the full development of the lied in its totality. The era represented a transitional period in musical development, influenced by Enlightenment values of elegance, good taste, simplicity, and naturalness which sought to eradicate the overly decorative “excesses” of the high-Baroque. In this study, emphasis is placed upon the unique development of the lied in the northern German regions by the composers Johann Friedrich Reichardt and Carl Friedrich Zelter and their musical settings of the lyric poetry of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The study also addresses the overall development of the genre as it progressed from the Baroque through Classicism/Neo-Classicism, Sturm und Drang, and into Romanticism exploring the musical settings and performance possibilities both then and now in the context of the various treatises and correspondence between the composers and poet. It seeks to effectively address the notion that these early songs were composed and performed by those versed in the ideal of music being an improvisatory/dramatic vehicle for expressing emotion and textual meaning. In opera, and to a lesser extent other vocal idioms, musico-dramatic excesses occurred in the late Baroque and the cult of the singer reigned. However, the reforms which led to the new aesthetic of naturalness did not suddenly end this improvisatory vocal performance practice. The musical complexity of the lied was gaining in prominence but not yet to the detriment of the priority of the poetic text and its effective rendering.

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  • August 2012

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  • March 4, 2013, 2:02 p.m.

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  • Nov. 16, 2016, 12:05 p.m.

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Moore, Wes C. Goethe Settings By Johann Friedrich Reichardt and Carl Friedrich Zelter: Text, Music and Performance Possibilities, dissertation, August 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149641/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .