Date of Graduation
Lisztâ€™s Mullerlieder, based on six songs from Schubertâ€™s Die schone Mullerin, deserves to be incorporated more often both as performance repertoire and as pedagogical material. Background information about the composer Franz Liszt precedes the comprehensive study of Mullerlieder. It is followed by a detailed analysis of both Schubertâ€™s Die schone Mullerin and Lisztâ€™s Mullerlieder. Individual songs are analyzed in terms of form, tempo, melody, harmony, texture, and structure. In addition, the placement of melodies and the use of accompaniment figures in Lisztâ€™s version are also addressed. Lisztâ€™s respect and appreciation for Schubertâ€™s music is particularly evident in Lisztâ€™s transcriptions of Schubertâ€™s lieder. Lisztâ€™s piano transcriptions have three purposes: (1) to promote particular composersâ€™ works; (2) to demonstrate advanced piano technique; and (3) to provide attractive concert repertoire. Schubertâ€™s music was unfamiliar to many listeners outside his close circle of friends. Following his death, Schubertâ€™s music gradually gained importance. Schubertâ€™s reception in France is closely related with Liszt, who performed Schubertâ€™s chamber music and introduced Schubertâ€™s lieder as piano transcriptions. Lisztâ€™s talent as composer and pianist can be observed throughout Mullerlieder , which demonstrates his mature compositional technique and advanced piano technique. By combining the third and fourth songs to a ternary form, Liszt created five works from the original six songs. Using this combined work as a center, Liszt planned the order of the remaining keys of each song and created a unified set with B-flat major as the tonality of the set. Mullerlieder displays Lisztâ€™s virtuosic piano technique as well as expressive and colorful characteristics of his piano music. As a teacher, Liszt stressed a playing technique emanating from the wrist in conjunction with finger technique. Liszt also highly emphasized interpretation and singing tone to his students. These pedagogical aspects can be taught through Mullerlieder. Despite the popularity of Schubertâ€™s Die schone Mullerin , Lisztâ€™s piano transcription of this song cycle is not well known. In time, I believe Mullerlieder will grow in popularity as many more pianists and teachers look to the past to find inspiration.
Clark, Solee Lee, "Franz Liszt's pianistic approach to Franz Schubert's songs: "Muellerlieder" LW. A128." (2008). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8640.