Beginning several generations before Schubert, the Lied first appears as domestic entertainment. In the century that follows it becomes one of the primary modes of music-making. By the time German song comes to its presumed conclusion with Richard Strauss's 1948 Vier letzte Lieder, this rich repertoire has moved beyond the home and keyboard accompaniment to the symphony hall. This is a 2004 introductory chronicle of this fascinating genre. In essays by eminent scholars, this Companion places the Lied in its full context - at once musical, literary, and cultural - with chapters devoted to focal composers as well as important issues, such as the way in which the Lied influenced other musical genres, its use as a musical commodity, and issues of performance. The volume is framed by a detailed chrology of German music and poetry from the late 1730s to the present and also contains a comprehensive bibliography.
James Parsons is Associate Professor of Music History at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. He is the author of numerous essays on German song, including the article on the eighteenth-century Lied for the second edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. His article Deine Zauber binden wieder': Beethoven, Schiller, and the Joyous Reconciliation of Opposites', recently was published in Beethoven Forum, (2002) 9/1, 1-53. Other essays have appeared in The Journal of the American Musicological Society and Music Analysis.