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With a foreword by the legendary accompanist, Gerald Moore, Eric Sams’ study (Faber 1961, revised 1983) is a notable landmark in the establishment of Wolf as one of the supreme masters of German song. Comprehensively revised and enlarged in 1983, the main subject matter remains the 242 published songs that Wolf wrote for voice and piano, though the Ibsen songs for voice and orchestra are also discussed.
English translations are provided and the backgrounds to the original poems by Morike, Eichendorff and Goethe, as well as the Italian and Spanish sources from which the songbooks were drawn, are fully explored. Each song is dated, its keys identified and vocal range determined.
‘This is the most important book in the English language on the songs of Hugo Wolf since Ernest Newman proclaimed the composer’s genius in 1907 . . . To the English-speaking student this work is a treasure to which he will find himself returning again and again: it is indispensable to those of us anxious to gain a deeper knowledge of Wolf.’ Gerald Moore
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