chapter  5
61 Pages

Crosscurrents in Song: Six Distinctive Voices

WithJürgen Thym

The historiography of the German Lied has been aptly described (MarxWeber 1977, 177) as a hike through the high-peak area of a mountain landscape where the trail along the ridge leads from one glorious peak to the next. The present volume is no exception. Its organization confirms the ascent of Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Wolf, and, to a lesser extent, Mahler and Strauss to the Parnassus of Lied composers. To stand on the mountaintops with these canonical figures-whose long reception history sustains critical discourse of considerable sophistication-engenders a feeling of elation and offers breathtaking perspectives on the terrain below. But ravines and trees often obscure this broader view, and the explorer of these nether regions cannot always rely on trails. Much bushwhacking is needed to reach a clearing or an intermediate elevation where orientation is possible.