Women and the Nineteenth-Century Lied: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Women and the Nineteenth-Century Lied

1st Edition

By Aisling Kenny, Susan Wollenberg


300 pages

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pub: 2016-03-18
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This book bridges a gap in existing scholarship by foregrounding the contribution of women to the nineteenth-century Lied. Building on the pioneering work of scholars in recent years, it consolidates recent research on women’s achievements in the genre, and develops an alternative narrative of the Lied that embraces an understanding of the contributions of women, and of the contexts of their engagement with German song and related genres. Lieder composers including Fanny Hensel, Clara Schumann, Pauline Viardot-Garcia and Josephine Lang are considered with a stimulating variety of analytical approaches. In addition to the focus on composers associated with history and theory of the Lied, the various chapters explore the cultural and sociological background to the Lied’s musical environment, as well as engaging with gender studies and discussing performance and pedagogical contexts. The range of subject matter reflects the interdisciplinary nature of current research in the field, and the energy it generates among scholars and performers. Women and the Nineteenth-Century Lied aims to widen readers’ perception of the genre and help promote awareness of women’s contribution to nineteenth-century musical life through critical appraisal of the cultural context of the Lied, encouraging acquaintance with the voices of women composers, and the variety of their contributions to the repertoire.


"This is an important book. (…) This rich collection assembled by Aisling Kenny and Susan Wollenberg is a ‘must-have’ for those interested in the history of lieder, the musical practices of women, and the social landscape of the nineteenth century." – Marcia J. Citron, Rice University.

"Women and the Nineteenth-Century Lied takes nineteenth-century music scholarship a considerable step closer toward a greater inclusiveness of repertoire, composers and methodologies, and for that it is profoundly welcome." – Laura K.T. Stokes, Brown University

"… a fine volume for lieder scholars…" - Susan H. Borwick, Journal of the International Alliance for Women in Music

Table of Contents

Part 1 Contexts for Women's Lieder, I:

Blurring the gendered dichotomies: issues of gender and creativity for the female Lied composer

Aisling Kenny

Absence and dialogue: Pauline von Decker in a performing and cultural context

Briony Cox-Williams

In pursuit of a single flame: Fanny Hensel's 'musical salon'

Lorraine Byrne Bodley

Part 2 Individual Composers and their Lieder, I:

Early 19th Century: 'Der Jungling und Das Madchen':

Fanny Hensel, Felix Mendelssohn and the Zwolf Lieder, op. 9

Angela Mace Christian

Functions of piano introductions in the Lieder of Josephine Lang

Harald Krebs

Clara Schumann's 'Liebst du um Schonheit' and the integrity of a composer's vision

Susan Wollenberg

Part 3 Individual Composers and their Lieder, II:

Later 19th Century: Pauline Viardot-Garcia's 'Ne poj, krasavica, pri mne' and the genre of Russian romance

Kadja Gronke

(Re)claiming space for Ingeborg von Bronsart's Wildenbruch Lieder, op. 16

Melinda Boyd

Cyclic organization, narrative and self-construction in Ethel Smyth's Lieder und Balladen, op. 3 and Lieder, op. 4, Cornelia Bartsch; Contrasting concepts of love in two songs by Alma Schindler(-Mahler) and Gustav Mahler

Kadja Gronke

Part 4 Contexts for Women's Lieder, II:

'Und das hat mit ihrem Singen, Die Lore-Ley gethan': subjectivity and objectification in two Heine settings

Caitlin Miller

Echoes of the Lied: women's vocal repertoire in 19th-century Ireland

Ita Beausang

Women composers of Lieder: selected sources

Tammy Hensrud, Aisling Kenny and Susan Wollenberg

About the Authors

Aisling Kenny lectures in musicology, music analysis and vocal studies at Dundalk Institute of Technology. A musicologist and soprano, her research interests include women’s music in the nineteenth century and text-music relationships in art song and choral music.

Susan Wollenberg is Professor of Music at the University of Oxford, Fellow and Tutor of Lady Margaret Hall and Lecturer at Brasenose College. She has published widely on various research interests, including women composers, historical keyboard music, social history of music in Britain and Schubert’s instrumental works.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / History & Criticism
MUSIC / Musical Instruments / General