PhD research

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Forgotten Lieder Composers


This particular topic has yet to be exhaustively covered. To do so, it is essential to first establish basic principles for delineating the term “Lied” in this study. Subsequently, “Lied” is defined in terms of its usage in dictionaries from and around the period in question and within the context of specific performance venues. Since concert organizers decided which programs were performed, their influence as well as reception from critics and in terms of publications is examined.

A portrayal of the concert scene over a fifty year period aids in narrowing the focus to a number of favored composers, performers and songs. In the interest of completeness, works of major composers are also included.

Forgotten individuals and their social positions are scrutinized. The gender perspective is of particular interest: the representation of female composers was fostered notably by the growing number of concerts. Thus, their presence coincided with the tendency towards specialization. Lieder became increasingly challenging and found, in the Musikverein, an appropriately elite performance venue. Those who managed to have their Lieder sung there had the best chance at non-transient, lasting reception.

In the section on music, poetry is surveyed in terms of its poets, texts by women, themes as well as thematic preferences and trends. Furthermore, musical settings of popular subjects as well as pieces by the most frequently performed composers are analyzed.

In terms of methodology, the treatment of language, the musical rhetoric, the weight given various musical parameters, the favored voice type and the challenge to the performers are discussed. This results in the exemplification of the progression from random poetry settings to the modern art song. A second, practical outcome is also expected: the enrichment of current art song repertoire through the addition of valuable Lieder. The appendix includes an index of composers and songs as well as key statistical tables and charts to aid comprehension.

Chanda VanderHart – pianist, chamber musician, art song accompanist, vocal coach.

In 2015, Chanda celebrates 15 years living in Vienna, Austria, the music capital of Europe where she has been acquiring a solid musical education, worked with world-class musicians and singers and developed exciting music related projects.


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.

Johann Sebastian Bach

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