The Songs of Clara Schumann
By Stephen Rodgers, Edmund A. Cykler Chair, School of Music and Dance
May 11, 2023
Focusing on Clara Schumann’s central contributions to the genre of the Lied (or German art song), this is the first book-length critical study of her songs. Although relatively few in number, they were published and reviewed favorably in the press during her lifetime, and they continue to be programmed regularly in recitals by professional and amateur performers alike. Highlighting the powerful and distinctive features of the songs, the book treats them as a prism, casting light not just on them but also through them to explore questions that foster a deeper understanding of the work of female composers. The author argues for the importance of taking Clara Schumann’s music on its own terms, the intimate relationship between text and musical form, and the vital role of musical analysis in recuperating the contributions of previously understudied composers.