A distinguished musicologist explores nineteenth-century French art songs in this fascinating study of the melodies of Berlioz, Liszt, Bizet, Saint-Saëns, Franck, Fauré, and others. The songs are described and analyzed in terms of structure, style, prosody, and melo-harmonic features. Sensitive evaluations of the melodies include more than 250 musical examples.
Author Frits Noske was the first musicologist to fully trace the origins and early development of the French art songs known as mélodie. He discusses the forms from which the genre evolved, intermediary compositions by Niedermeyer and Monpou, and the effect of Thomas Moore's Irish Melodies. Additional topics include Berlioz's contribution to the emerging form, the influence of German song, the special problems of French-language prosody, and the changing role of the accompaniment. Music history and voice majors, musicologists, and music enthusiasts of all ages will appreciate this valuable guide to an unjustly neglected musical genre.
Reprint of the North-Holland Publishing Company, Amsterdam, and the Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1954 edition.
"Invaluable as a work of reference, in addition to being full of sound judgments and happy suggestions." — Jacques Barzun, MLA Notes