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Lieder der Goethezeit für Gesang und Harfe

Begriff und Geschichte der Vertonung in the Goethezeit –
The German song: historic concept

In order to be fully able to understand the uniqueness of the Harfenvertonungen, or the German songs for harp, it is necessary to comprehend the literay and musical genre of the German song or Vertonung. This is the main aim of this chapter, which is divided in three sections:

The first one is titled Historische Entwicklung – Historic development. It shows the evolution of the German song from its very beginning at the end of the 17th century until today.

The second section, Relevanz und gesellschaftliche Rolle der Vertonung – Relevance and social role of the German song, seeks to explore the role and function of the song in the German society of the 18th and 19th centuries. It will focus on private and public concerts, as well as on music-making at home.

Finally, the section Gründe der Kompositionsmode "für Pianoforte oder Harfe" – Compositions "for pianoforte or harp" seeks to explain a composition trend which arouse at the end of the 18th century. Many songs of the time were composed with an accompaniment dor either keyboard (pianoforte, fortepiano, etc.) or harp. However, this trend got extended to soloist repertoire. The most famous piece is perhaps Ludwig van Beethoven´s Variations on a Swiss Theme, which were originally written for pianoforte or harp.

The piece you are listening to is "An den Mond". It is the second composition of the lied-cycle "Drei Hebräischen Gesängen", composed by Robert Schumann (1810-1856) with texts by Lord Byron (1788-1824). Although it can be played either with a harp or a piano ("mit Begleitung der Harfe oder des Pianoforte"), it is one of the best-known lieder for harp and voice. María García Iglesias is musicologist, art historian and soprano. She especializes in opera and German lieder and lives in Salamanca (Spain). Anna T. Macías García plays all accompaniments on a double-action harp. Recorded in September 2007 at Yenimusic (Casar de Cáceres, Spain).  Sound Engineer and Producer: Eugenio Álvarez Tovar.

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