Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Franz Liszt's pianistic approach to Franz Schubert's songs: "Muellerlieder" LW. A128
by Clark, Solee Lee, D.M.A., West Virginia University, 2008, 152; 3326473
Abstract (Summary)

Liszt’s Müllerlieder, based on six songs from Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, deserves to be incorporated more often both as performance repertoire and as pedagogical material. Background information about the composer Franz Liszt precedes the comprehensive study of Müllerlieder. It is followed by a detailed analysis of both Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin and Liszt’s Müllerlieder. Individual songs are analyzed in terms of form, tempo, melody, harmony, texture, and structure. In addition, the placement of melodies and the use of accompaniment figures in Liszt’s version are also addressed.

Liszt’s respect and appreciation for Schubert’s music is particularly evident in Liszt’s transcriptions of Schubert’s lieder. Liszt’s piano transcriptions have three purposes: (1) to promote particular composers’ works; (2) to demonstrate advanced piano technique; and (3) to provide attractive concert repertoire. Schubert’s music was unfamiliar to many listeners outside his close circle of friends. Following his death, Schubert’s music gradually gained importance. Schubert’s reception in France is closely related with Liszt, who performed Schubert’s chamber music and introduced Schubert’s lieder as piano transcriptions. Liszt’s talent as composer and pianist can be observed throughout Müllerlieder , which demonstrates his mature compositional technique and advanced piano technique. By combining the third and fourth songs to a ternary form, Liszt created five works from the original six songs. Using this combined work as a center, Liszt planned the order of the remaining keys of each song and created a unified set with B-flat major as the tonality of the set. Müllerlieder displays Liszt’s virtuosic piano technique as well as expressive and colorful characteristics of his piano music. As a teacher, Liszt stressed a playing technique emanating from the wrist in conjunction with finger technique. Liszt also highly emphasized interpretation and singing tone to his students. These pedagogical aspects can be taught through Müllerlieder.

Despite the popularity of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin , Liszt’s piano transcription of this song cycle is not well known. In time, I believe Müllerlieder will grow in popularity as many more pianists and teachers look to the past to find inspiration.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kefferstan, Christine
School: West Virginia University
School Location: United States -- West Virginia
Source: DAI-A 69/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music
Keywords: Hungary, Liszt, Franz, Muellerlieder, Pianistic, Piano transcriptions, Schubert, Franz, Transcriptions
Publication Number: 3326473
ISBN: 9780549789819
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