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Malcolm MacDonald

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172010

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172010.001.0001

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The Songs

The Songs

(p.235) Chapter Eleven The Songs

Malcolm MacDonald

Oxford University Press

Schoenberg composed one immortal song cycle, but he is not usually ranked among the great Lieder composers. His songs with piano have been less influential than his works in other media. His finest Lieder may be found among the Gurrelieder and in the Op. 22 Orchestral Songs. Nor was song writing a continuing passion: in the last half of his life, Schoenberg seemed virtually to have “outgrown” the medium, with the result that the really mature songs are comparatively few. But neither are his songs negligible. At least, they throw interesting sidelights on his literary taste. He wrote nearly 40 songs before 1900, not counting many more that he abandoned. Yet only seven of these were published in his lifetime, in his collections Opp. 1, 2, and 3.

Keywords:   Lieder composers, Schoenberg’s songs, Brahms, Sommermüd, Op. 22, Orchestral Songs

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