In the opinion of many critics, Hugo Wolf (1860–1903) brought the 19th century German lied to its highest development. His more than 300 songs exhibit, in Donald Jay Grout's words, an "infinite variety of fine psychological and musical details." Wolf continued the German Romantic tradition of the solo song with piano accompaniment, while, influenced by Wagner, he sought a new equality of relationship between music and words. The result was an original and dramatic fusion of music and poetry in which neither was sacrificed to the other.
This volume contains two of the composer's most celebrated song collections. The Spanisches Liederbuch of 44 songs — largely religious or erotic — consists of settings of translations from Cervantes, Lope de Vega, and others. The Italienisches Liederbuch comprises 46 songs, full of masterly invention, set to Paul Heyse's polished translations of anonymous Italian poems dating back to the 16th century and earlier.
Reproduced from an authoritative C. F. Peters edition, these songs include many acknowledged masterpieces by a composer often compared to Schumann and Schubert in the quality and quantity of his lieder. Now devotees of art songs, admirers of Wolf's music, or any music lover can enjoy 90 of his finest lieder in this inexpensive edition and experience the "continuous discovery of new delights that study of the scores can bring."
Reprint of Spanisches Liederbuch nach Heyse und Geibel and Italienisches Liederbuch nach Paul Heyse, C. F. Peters, Leipzig, n.d.
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