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This book explores the way in which Schubert revolutionised the Lied, transforming folk song into art song through the mixture of dramatic and lyrical vocal genres. By introducing dramatic poetry and musical traits within solo song settings, he turned the Lied into a highly expressive musical medium capable of conveying the complexities and nuances of the new Romantic poetry. In so doing, he created an art form which attracted nearly every subsequent composer of the period. Schubert's numerous dramatic songs have baffled critics from his day to our own. Their unusual stylistic characteristics - through composed form, progressive tonal structures, declamatory vocal lines, illustrative accompaniments - fly in the face of traditional conceptions of the Lied. Dr Hirsch's discussion and analysis of selected dramatic Lieder illuminate Schubert's compositional innovation.
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