Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Early Romantic Poetics: Fragmentation of Desire

Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Early Romantic Poetics: Fragmentation of Desire

Hardcover: 262 pages
 Cambridge University Press; 1st ed edition 2 Jan 2003
Reprint Paperback 242 pages
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 24 Sep 2007
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0521042453
ISBN-13: 978-0521042451

A complete study of this most famous and enigmatic Romantic works, Beate Julia Perrey offers a whole new theory of Romantic song via the poetics of Early Romanticism in order to understand the mysterious magnetism and singular imaginative energy that imbues Schumann’s musical language.

Close readings of many songs from Dichterliebe show the singer’s intense involvement with the piano’s voice. Seeing Schumann as the ‘second poet of the poem’ – here of Heine’s famous Lyrisches Intermezzo – this book explores essential issues of musico-poetic intertextuality, introducing into musicology a hermeneutic that seeks to synthesize philosophical, literary-critical, music-analytical and psycho-analytical modes of thought.

“One of the best introductions available on the nature of romanticism as a literary, cultural and musical phenomenon”

Arnold Whittall, Professor of Music, King’s College London

“Formidable and absolutely brilliant”

“A sustained, deeply sensitive, intellectually bold and ambitious study. We will all walk a little taller by climbing on the shoulders of Perrey’s work.”

John Daverio, Professor of Music, Boston University, Author of Robert Schumann: Herald of a New Poetic Age

“Some of the most rewarding writing in contemporary musicology.” 

Robert Pascall, Honorary Professor of Music, Cambridge University

“Perrey provides an enthralling and subtle account of Schumann’s creative background and character”

Arnold Whittall, Professor of Music, King’s College London

“A book that will produce a shift in how people think.”


Jonathan Dunsby, Professor of Music, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester

“Perrey’s analysis is nothing short of exciting. Systematic, well researched, and beautifully written [it is] an excellent study in music-text relationships and highly recommended.”

Rebekah Pryor Paré, Monatshefte für Literatur und Kunst

“Perrey’s interpretation will undoubtedly spark a healthy debate…. And her ideas about Schumann’s creative-critical readings of Heine will surely inspire new hearings of not only Dichterliebe but Schumann’s other Lieder as well.”

Julie Hedges Brown, Nineteenth-Century Music

“A refreshing and altogether new view of Schumann’s Dichterliebe.”

“Fascinating and powerful.”

Ian Bent, Professor of Music Theory, Columbia University

“A radical departure from conventional ideas about song cycles”

Lauri Suurpää, Professor of Music Theory at Sibelius Academy, Author of Death in Winterreise

“An impressively original, well-researched, powerfully-argued and remarkable piece of work.”

Arnold Whittall, Professor of Music, King’s College London