Hugo Wolf and the Wagnerian Inheritanceby Amanda Glauert

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Hugo Wolf and the Wagnerian Inheritance by Amanda GlauertReview by: Edward F. KravittNotes, Second Series, Vol. 57, No. 1 (Sep., 2000), pp. 138-140Published by: Music Library AssociationStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/899794 .Accessed: 15/06/2014 09:18Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. .Music Library Association is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Notes.http://www.jstor.org This content downloaded from 185.2.32.141 on Sun, 15 Jun 2014 09:18:58 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=muliashttp://www.jstor.org/stable/899794?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspNOTES, September 2000 NOTES, September 2000 general readers and specialists. While the book's scope and readability may cause some to regret missing the conference it- self, such regret simultaneously has been made unnecessary. RoYJ. GUENTHER George Washington University Hugo Wolf and the Wagnerian Inheri- tance. By Amanda Glauert. Cam- bridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. [vii, 161 p. ISBN 0-521-49637-3. $54.95.] Will Crutchfield maintained in the New York Times (15 July 1999) that Hugo Wolf and others "had to wait a century or more for Fischer-Dieskau to show that [their lieder] held more than specialized appeal." Yet today, Wolf's songs are hardly known outside of Germany and Austria. Amanda Glauert accepted a challenge in advancing her controversial thesis concerning Wolf. In chapter 1, Glauert raises the problem faced by late-romantic composers in Germany and Austria who were dominated by the "Wagnerian inheritance." She para- phrases Friedrich Nietzsche: "a composer was powerless once he came too near to Wagner" (p. 13). Though it might have been possible to separate oneself from Wagner's influence, the critics- Wagnerians mainly-argued that one should not stray too far from the master. Innovative composers thus faced a double dilemma. Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler, whom Glauert often compares to Wolf, achieved their separation in the "big public genres of opera and symphony"; Wolf selected "artistic escapism ..'. into musical miniatures," away from the wider public, and he won his separation by choos- ing "the easiest medium ... in Nietzsche's words: 'what can be done well today ... is only what is small'" (ibid.). Having desig- nated Wolf's era as "post-Wagnerian," Glauert submits this twofold thesis: Wolf "worked directly with the details of Wagner's style, exploring his language of il- lusion," but "his explorations also repre- sented some of the most potent criticisms of Wagner's music and the claims made for it" (p. 14). Chapter 2, "Wagner of the Lied?" may surprise the reader. It addresses Wolf's general readers and specialists. While the book's scope and readability may cause some to regret missing the conference it- self, such regret simultaneously has been made unnecessary. RoYJ. GUENTHER George Washington University Hugo Wolf and the Wagnerian Inheri- tance. By Amanda Glauert. Cam- bridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. [vii, 161 p. ISBN 0-521-49637-3. $54.95.] Will Crutchfield maintained in the New York Times (15 July 1999) that Hugo Wolf and others "had to wait a century or more for Fischer-Dieskau to show that [their lieder] held more than specialized appeal." Yet today, Wolf's songs are hardly known outside of Germany and Austria. Amanda Glauert accepted a challenge in advancing her controversial thesis concerning Wolf. In chapter 1, Glauert raises the problem faced by late-romantic composers in Germany and Austria who were dominated by the "Wagnerian inheritance." She para- phrases Friedrich Nietzsche: "a composer was powerless once he came too near to Wagner" (p. 13). Though it might have been possible to separate oneself from Wagner's influence, the critics- Wagnerians mainly-argued that one should not stray too far from the master. Innovative composers thus faced a double dilemma. Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler, whom Glauert often compares to Wolf, achieved their separation in the "big public genres of opera and symphony"; Wolf selected "artistic escapism ..'. into musical miniatures," away from the wider public, and he won his separation by choos- ing "the easiest medium ... in Nietzsche's words: 'what can be done well today ... is only what is small'" (ibid.). Having desig- nated Wolf's era as "post-Wagnerian," Glauert submits this twofold thesis: Wolf "worked directly with the details of Wagner's style, exploring his language of il- lusion," but "his explorations also repre- sented some of the most potent criticisms of Wagner's music and the claims made for it" (p. 14). Chapter 2, "Wagner of the Lied?" may surprise the reader. It addresses Wolf's opera Der Corregidor (1895), not his songs. The reason is to show that Wolf could break away from the great magician, even with opera. In Der Corregidor, Wolf escaped "'from the sombre world-redeeming spec- tre of a Schopenhauerian'" Ring into the Spanish world of "'strumming guitars [and] moonlit nights'" (p. 20; quoted from Hugo Wolfs Briefe an Oskar Grohe [Berlin: C. Fischer, 1905], 30-31; translation from Frank Walker, Hugo Wolf, 2d ed. [London: Dent, 1968], 268). This "alternative view of opera" (p. 20) is built on a lied framework, broadened extensively into operatic struc- ture; analysis of scenes from Der Corregidor, its characters, and Wolf's use of motives leads Glauert to conclude that the opera was "fuelled by dissatisfaction with Wagner" (ibid.). During its composition, however, Wolf wrote to his librettist, Rosa Mayreder, that "without the 'Meistersinger' the music to 'Corregidor' could not have been com- posed. Yes, the 'old magician' showed us youngsters the path we may follow" (Wolf, Briefe an Rosa Mayreder [Vienna: Rikola, 1921], 23; my translation). The paths of Die Meistersinger and Der Corregidor are both far away from the "Schopenhauerian" Ring. Moreover, Wolf could not refrain, as he confided to his librettist, from "always adding new contrapuntal lines" within Corregidor (Wolf, Mayreder, 44; my transla- tion), thus developing in this opera a style akin to the magnificent polyphony of Die Meistersinger. In chapter 3, Glauert introduces a debate concerning the late-nineteenth-century lied -the opposition of folklike ideals to freely dramatic styles influenced by Wagner. Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann, among others, deplored composers who abandoned the "ideal" lied, the folk song. The cause for this abandonment was the music drama. It encouraged lied composers -little-known Wagnerians whom Glauert cites-to write "overflowing piano parts to swallow up the voice and dry declamation to replace living song" (p. 37). Wagner himself hinted at another course for the lied in Die Meistersinger; here he "lays out an aesthetic of song on various oppositions between 'closed' and 'free forms'" (p. 39); Glauert identifies Sachs's "Cobbling Song" as a natural, songlike expression and Walter's song in act 1 as free-flowing: "The ideal of song takes centre stage in Meister- opera Der Corregidor (1895), not his songs. The reason is to show that Wolf could break away from the great magician, even with opera. In Der Corregidor, Wolf escaped "'from the sombre world-redeeming spec- tre of a Schopenhauerian'" Ring into the Spanish world of "'strumming guitars [and] moonlit nights'" (p. 20; quoted from Hugo Wolfs Briefe an Oskar Grohe [Berlin: C. Fischer, 1905], 30-31; translation from Frank Walker, Hugo Wolf, 2d ed. [London: Dent, 1968], 268). This "alternative view of opera" (p. 20) is built on a lied framework, broadened extensively into operatic struc- ture; analysis of scenes from Der Corregidor, its characters, and Wolf's use of motives leads Glauert to conclude that the opera was "fuelled by dissatisfaction with Wagner" (ibid.). During its composition, however, Wolf wrote to his librettist, Rosa Mayreder, that "without the 'Meistersinger' the music to 'Corregidor' could not have been com- posed. Yes, the 'old magician' showed us youngsters the path we may follow" (Wolf, Briefe an Rosa Mayreder [Vienna: Rikola, 1921], 23; my translation). The paths of Die Meistersinger and Der Corregidor are both far away from the "Schopenhauerian" Ring. Moreover, Wolf could not refrain, as he confided to his librettist, from "always adding new contrapuntal lines" within Corregidor (Wolf, Mayreder, 44; my transla- tion), thus developing in this opera a style akin to the magnificent polyphony of Die Meistersinger. In chapter 3, Glauert introduces a debate concerning the late-nineteenth-century lied -the opposition of folklike ideals to freely dramatic styles influenced by Wagner. Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann, among others, deplored composers who abandoned the "ideal" lied, the folk song. The cause for this abandonment was the music drama. It encouraged lied composers -little-known Wagnerians whom Glauert cites-to write "overflowing piano parts to swallow up the voice and dry declamation to replace living song" (p. 37). Wagner himself hinted at another course for the lied in Die Meistersinger; here he "lays out an aesthetic of song on various oppositions between 'closed' and 'free forms'" (p. 39); Glauert identifies Sachs's "Cobbling Song" as a natural, songlike expression and Walter's song in act 1 as free-flowing: "The ideal of song takes centre stage in Meister- 138 138 This content downloaded from 185.2.32.141 on Sun, 15 Jun 2014 09:18:58 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspBook Reviews singer, but only in the end to be absorbed as a metaphor for the language of music drama" (p. 41). Wolf, particularly in his Italienisches Liederbuch, questioned the kind of effect "closed boundaries" might leave "open" for musical expression: "Instead of limiting the potential for dramatic enact- ment of a text, excluding dramatic tensions to beyond the boundaries of song, Wolf made a closed formal boundary a cue for their inclusion within the immediate devel- opment of the material. The battle to find a balance between formal symmetries and formal expansion was drawn up within song, rather than around it" (p. 46). In chapter 4, on Morike-Lieder, Glauert states that Wolf "clearly relished the oppor- tunitv to use some of [Morike's] psycholog- ically tormented poems as vehicles for Wagnerian chromatic harmony" (p. 49). Her long excursion into the Tristanesque harmony of "An den Schlaf" fits her theses well. Wolf honored "the specific images of Morike's poem," which "is quite distinct from Wagner's Tristan" (p. 71), with Wagnerian harmony. But Glauert does not demonstrate here how Wolf's harmonic ex- plorations are potent criticism of Wagner, perhaps because Wolf began here, in this first masterwork, to "carve out an addi- tional role for himself" (p. 78). Yet Wolf created radical harmony beyond Wagner then (1888) and earlier. Upon hearing the first chord of "Seemans Abschied," Anton Bruckner asked Wolf, "where the devil did you get that chord?" (quoted in Max Auer, Anton Bruckner [Vienna: Amalthea-Verlag, 1923], 274; my translation). In chapter 5, on Goethe-Lieder, Glauert turns to Wolf's greatest challenge, to match musically the fine balance of form and con- tent in Goethe's poems-a challenge that earlier composers, to Goethe's dismay, al- most invariably failed. Attention in this chapter, the book's longest and most suc- cessful, is on poet and composer in analyses of songs of diverse styles. Here Wagner re- cedes into the background, only to reap- pear centrally in the final chapter-a com- parison of lieder by Mahler, Strauss, and Wolf-which concludes that Wagner's in- fluence marks the lied in "the post- Wagnerian era." The twentieth-century identification of the fin de siecle period as the post- Wagnerian era is dated. It overlooks Brahms's stature at that time, the Brahms-Wagner controversies, and the anti-Wagnerian, pro-Brahms bias of the great German conservatories (e.g., in Berlin under Heinrich Herzogenberg, in Frankfurt under Iwan Knorr, and in Munich underJoseph Rheinberger). It also fails to recognize that Mahler, Strauss, and Wolf proceeded well beyond Wagner's in- fluence to create early-twentieth-century modernity. And we forget today that the lied, especially between 1900 and 1914, had enormous-rather than only "specialized" -appeal in Germany and Austria. Of more than fifty composers active during those years, nearly all wrote lieder; many com- posed hundreds. The outstanding accom- panist Michael Raucheison reckons that, in Berlin alone, an average of twenty Lieder- abende were offered weekly, and these were generally sold out (Edward F. Kravitt, The Lied: Mirror of Late Romanticism [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996], 20). Wolf's influence on Max Reger, Engelbert Humperdinck, Arnold Schoenberg, Joseph Max, Alban Berg, Othmar Schoeck, and Yryo Kilpinen (Kravitt, p. 5ff.), as well as on lesser-known masters (see Edgar Istel, "Ludwig Thuille," Musical Quarterly 18 [1932]: 467 and Theodor Kroyer, Walter Courvoisier [Munich: Drei Masken, 1929], 34), had become overwhelming. More serious is that Glauert omits from her thesis the far-reaching influence of Robert Schumann on the mature songs of Mahler, Strauss, Hans Pfitzner, Reger, and Wolf. She refers only to Susan Youens's chapter on the subject, "'Too Much like Schumann': The Apprenticeship of a Lieder Composer," in Youens's book Hugo Wolf: The Vocal Music [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992]); Walker had de- tailed this influence, providing the provo- cative phrase "Too much like Schumann" -Wolf's own self-criticism (Walker, 63ff.). Nor does Glauert mention other influ- ences, such as Carl Loewe's on Wolf's bal- lads and that of fin de siecle trends. Some of the evidence for Glauert's thesis is questionable. She maintains that Wolf re- garded Bruckner's symphonies "as the aridly constrained forms of Brahms's sym- phonic works" (p. 82). But Wolf's review (28 March 1886) states precisely the oppo- site: Bruckner's Seventh Symphony is a "[colossus] compared to the mole hills of 139 This content downloaded from 185.2.32.141 on Sun, 15 Jun 2014 09:18:58 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspNOTES, September 2000 NOTES, September 2000 the Brahms symphonies" (Henry Pleasants, ed. and trans., The Music Criticism of Hugo Wolf [New York: Holmes & Meier, 1978], 202). And late in life (1897), Wolf con- fessed: "I play this masterwork [Bruckner's "Romantic" Symphony] almost from mem- ory with the greatest pleasure" (Briefe an Oskar Grohe, 270-71; my translation). Glauert cites my 1996 book rather than Carl Dahlhaus for her remark that "as ... Dahlhaus has observed, the notion of the [Wagnerian] leitmotif was itself based on a 'suspension of time that flows'" (p. 117). But I discussed Jugendstil in the passage cited, not leitmotivs: "Dahlhaus concludes that 'the paradox of a suspension of time that flows ... inspired the flowing line of Jugendstil art'" (Kravitt, 168). Though her Wagner-Wolf thesis is over- stated, Glauert's discussion of fin de siecle Wagnerism is well researched. It is com- mendable as well that many of her interest- ing analyses are provided with the songs printed in their entirety, along with the complete poetry in German and in English translation. EDWARD F. KRAVITT Lehman College, City University of Neiu York Saint-Saens: A Critical Biography. By Stephen Studd. London: Cygnus Arts, 1999. [x, 356 p. ISBN 1-900541-65-3. $49.50.] Camille Saint-Saens was arguably the most famous and influential composer in France at the turn of the last century, a fact that might surprise many who know little of his music and even less about his life and work. Like his near contemporaries Gabriel Faure and Vincent d'Indy, Saint-Saens suf- fered profound neglect for most of the twentieth century, his achievements and stature diminished as a result of the fierce polemical debates that dominated French musical life during the decades immedi- ately before and after the First World War. The dust cast up by these rhetorical battles has seriously distorted our image of late- nineteenth-century French music history, and it is only in recent years that scholars have begun to take a fresh look at the per- sonalities, institutions, and events that shaped this important era. the Brahms symphonies" (Henry Pleasants, ed. and trans., The Music Criticism of Hugo Wolf [New York: Holmes & Meier, 1978], 202). And late in life (1897), Wolf con- fessed: "I play this masterwork [Bruckner's "Romantic" Symphony] almost from mem- ory with the greatest pleasure" (Briefe an Oskar Grohe, 270-71; my translation). Glauert cites my 1996 book rather than Carl Dahlhaus for her remark that "as ... Dahlhaus has observed, the notion of the [Wagnerian] leitmotif was itself based on a 'suspension of time that flows'" (p. 117). But I discussed Jugendstil in the passage cited, not leitmotivs: "Dahlhaus concludes that 'the paradox of a suspension of time that flows ... inspired the flowing line of Jugendstil art'" (Kravitt, 168). Though her Wagner-Wolf thesis is over- stated, Glauert's discussion of fin de siecle Wagnerism is well researched. It is com- mendable as well that many of her interest- ing analyses are provided with the songs printed in their entirety, along with the complete poetry in German and in English translation. EDWARD F. KRAVITT Lehman College, City University of Neiu York Saint-Saens: A Critical Biography. By Stephen Studd. London: Cygnus Arts, 1999. [x, 356 p. ISBN 1-900541-65-3. $49.50.] Camille Saint-Saens was arguably the most famous and influential composer in France at the turn of the last century, a fact that might surprise many who know little of his music and even less about his life and work. Like his near contemporaries Gabriel Faure and Vincent d'Indy, Saint-Saens suf- fered profound neglect for most of the twentieth century, his achievements and stature diminished as a result of the fierce polemical debates that dominated French musical life during the decades immedi- ately before and after the First World War. The dust cast up by these rhetorical battles has seriously distorted our image of late- nineteenth-century French music history, and it is only in recent years that scholars have begun to take a fresh look at the per- sonalities, institutions, and events that shaped this important era. Stephen Studd has contributed to this re- assessment with his new biography of Saint- Saens, the first to appear in English since the 1920s (if one discountsJames Harding's Saint-Samns and His Circle [London: Chap- man & Hall, 1965], which, as the title im- plies, is not exclusively devoted to the com- poser). For his material, Studd draws heavily on previous biographical accounts (most written by friends and acquaintances in the years immediately after the com- poser's death), other secondary sources, and Saint-Saens's own published reminis- cences and essays. Although the important primary materials housed at the Saint-Saens Museum in Dieppe have been inaccessible for some time, Studd was able to examine the large collection of Saint-Saens's letters to Auguste Durand housed in the Biblio- theque Gustav Mahler in Paris, as well as the somewhat smaller collection found at the Bibliotheque nationale. (Included with the text are a short selection of Saint- Saens's essays and poems, a worklist, and a selected discography that includes both current and historical recordings.) The result is a skillfully written, engaging synthesis that provides an interesting, if somewhat flawed, introduction for the gen- eral reader and an occasional nugget for the specialist interested in new primary ma- terial. The author, ajournalist and amateur pianist, deftly integrates discussion of Saint- Saens's music into his recounting of bio- graphical events, and while his commentary is short of technical detail (there are no music examples), it is both perceptive and elegant, whetting one's appetite for further study of many of the works under consider- ation. There are problems, however, of both style and substance. While citations are nu- merous, there is an occasional quotation, reference, or direct observation for which no source is provided. For example, Studd informs us that "the critic Emile Destranges thought [Proserpine] his best stage work since Samson and wrote a detailed analysis of its merits" (p. 163), yet no citation is given, and we are left to wonder just where this detailed analysis can be found. We are told that when Dejanire was premiered in Beziers in 1898, the sound was "reinforced by the preponderance of wind instruments over strings, but any heaviness in the scor- ing was, by chance or calculation, counter- Stephen Studd has contributed to this re- assessment with his new biography of Saint- Saens, the first to appear in English since the 1920s (if one discountsJames Harding's Saint-Samns and His Circle [London: Chap- man & Hall, 1965], which, as the title im- plies, is not exclusively devoted to the com- poser). For his material, Studd draws heavily on previous biographical accounts (most written by friends and acquaintances in the years immediately after the com- poser's death), other secondary sources, and Saint-Saens's own published reminis- cences and essays. Although the important primary materials housed at the Saint-Saens Museum in Dieppe have been inaccessible for some time, Studd was able to examine the large collection of Saint-Saens's letters to Auguste Durand housed in the Biblio- theque Gustav Mahler in Paris, as well as the somewhat smaller collection found at the Bibliotheque nationale. (Included with the text are a short selection of Saint- Saens's essays and poems, a worklist, and a selected discography that includes both current and historical recordings.) The result is a skillfully written, engaging synthesis that provides an interesting, if somewhat flawed, introduction for the gen- eral reader and an occasional nugget for the specialist interested in new primary ma- terial. The author, ajournalist and amateur pianist, deftly integrates discussion of Saint- Saens's music into his recounting of bio- graphical events, and while his commentary is short of technical detail (there are no music examples), it is both perceptive and elegant, whetting one's appetite for further study of many of the works under consider- ation. There are problems, however, of both style and substance. While citations are nu- merous, there is an occasional quotation, reference, or direct observation for which no source is provided. For example, Studd informs us that "the critic Emile Destranges thought [Proserpine] his best stage work since Samson and wrote a detailed analysis of its merits" (p. 163), yet no citation is given, and we are left to wonder just where this detailed analysis can be found. We are told that when Dejanire was premiered in Beziers in 1898, the sound was "reinforced by the preponderance of wind instruments over strings, but any heaviness in the scor- ing was, by chance or calculation, counter- 140 140 This content downloaded from 185.2.32.141 on Sun, 15 Jun 2014 09:18:58 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspArticle Contentsp. 138p. 139p. 140Issue Table of ContentsNotes, Second Series, Vol. 57, No. 1 (Sep., 2000), pp. 1-280Front Matter [pp. 1-232]The New Grove, Second Edition [pp. 11-20]The Genesis of a Music Library: SUNY at Buffalo [pp. 21-45]Henry Cowell at the New York Public Library: A Whole World of Music [pp. 46-58]A Visit to Pianopolis: Brazilian Music for Piano at the Biblioteca Alberto Nepomuceno [pp. 59-87]Notes for NOTES [pp. 88-90]Book ReviewsReview: untitled [pp. 91-93]Review: untitled [pp. 93-95]Review: untitled [pp. 95-97]Review: untitled [pp. 97-99]Review: untitled [pp. 99-101]Review: untitled [pp. 101-103]Review: untitled [pp. 103-105]Review: untitled [pp. 105-106]Review: untitled [pp. 107-108]ReferenceReview: untitled [pp. 108-109]Review: untitled [pp. 110-112]Review: untitled [pp. 112-114]Review: untitled [pp. 114-115]Review: untitled [p. 116]Review: untitled [pp. 116-117]Eleventh to Seventeenth CenturiesReview: untitled [pp. 117-119]Review: untitled [pp. 119-122]Review: untitled [pp. 122-125]Review: untitled [pp. 125-127]Eighteenth CenturyReview: untitled [pp. 127-131]Nineteenth CenturyReview: untitled [pp. 131-133]Review: untitled [pp. 133-134]Review: untitled [pp. 134-136]Review: untitled [pp. 136-138]Review: untitled [pp. 138-140]Review: untitled [pp. 140-142]Review: untitled [pp. 142-143]Twentieth CenturyReview: untitled [pp. 143-144]Review: untitled [pp. 144-145]Review: untitled [pp. 145-148]Review: untitled [pp. 148-150]Review: untitled [pp. 150-151]Review: untitled [pp. 151-153]Review: untitled [pp. 153-155]Review: untitled [pp. 155-156]Review: untitled [pp. 156-157]Review: untitled [pp. 157-159]Review: untitled [pp. 159-160]Review: untitled [pp. 160-161]Review: untitled [pp. 161-163]Review: untitled [pp. 163-164]Books Recently Published [pp. 165-177]New Periodicals [pp. 178-179]Music Publishers' Catalogs [pp. 180-187]Music ReviewsReview: untitled [pp. 188-193]Review: untitled [pp. 193-195]Review: untitled [pp. 196-200]Review: untitled [pp. 200-205]Review: untitled [pp. 205-208]Review: untitled [pp. 208-211]Review: untitled [pp. 212-215]Review: untitled [pp. 215-218]Music Received [pp. 219-231]Communications [p. 233]Correction [p. 233]Back Matter [pp. 234-280]

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