Cover image for Singing Schumann : an interpretive guide for performers
Singing Schumann : an interpretive guide for performers
Miller, Richard, 1926-2009.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge ; New York : Oxford University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiv, 245 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
MT121.S38 M55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Singing Schumann is likely to become the standard introduction to some of the best-loved songs in the singer's repertoire. Written by a distinguished performer and internationally known teacher, the book offers astute, practical advice for bringing Robert Schumann's Lieder to life inperformance. Richard Miller guides the reader through the interpretation of all of Schumann's solo and duet songs, drawing thoroughly on Schumann's compositional style and its historical background. In addition to covering the "familiar forty"--the much-performed songs Schumann composed in and around 1840 whiletrying to win the hand of Clara Wieck--Miller takes an in-depth look at the lesser known early and later songs. In particular, he focuses on the rich and varied repertoire of Schumann's later years, challenging the conventional view that these works reflect a decline in the composer's creativepowers. Singing Schumann begins with an overview of Schumann as a song composer and then proceeds to survey the entire repertoire, song by song. It features the well-known cycles, including the Eichendorff Liederkreis, Frauenliebe und -leben, and Dichterliebe, as well as the Liederalbum fur die Jugend andsettings of texts by Goethe, Burns, Ruckert, and Kulmann. Using numerous musical examples, Miller uncovers Schumann's characteristic compositional devices and describes his novel and experimental approaches to the interpretation of texts, often achieved through exceptionally colorful keyboardaccompaniments. Musically sensitive and eminently readable, Singing Schumann is an invaluable guide for teachers, coaches, pianists, and singers.

Author Notes

In addition to his long and distinguished performance career, Richard Miller is internationally known for master classes in systematic vocal technique and artistic interpretation. He is both Director and Professor at the Otto B. Schoepfle Vocal Arts Center at Oberlin College, and has alsowritten several books and articles.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

During the course of his career, Miller (Oberlin College) has identified himself as a writer chiefly on the art and science of vocal pedagogy (The Structure of Singing, CH, Mar'87; Training Tenor Voices, CH, Sep'93; On the Art of Singing, 1996; and National Schools of Singing, CH, Nov'97). The present book might seem a departure unless one remembers that the purpose of a pedagogy is to permit an artist to respond to what art demands. Miller has not imitated the numerous recent manuals designed to aid the practicing singer (he provides few texts and no translation or transcriptions). Instead he provides both a closely reasoned argument for "salvaging marvelous song from the critical dust bin" and a deeply felt diary revealing a mature, intellectual, and passionate performer's and pedagogue's life experience with Schubert's songs. Miller's primary sources are the scores themselves; secondary sources include both positive and negative 20th-century Schumann song criticism of Stein, Sams, Fischer-Dieskau, Reinhard, Hallmark, Komar, et al. Miller adds his own strong and convincing point of view, along with some practical suggestions for performance. An important wake-up call for students of singing and for scholars who have not explored beyond the obvious masterworks of 1840, this book is a new classic, recommended for all academic and professional collections. M. S. Roy; Pennsylvania State University, University Park Campus

Table of Contents

Why This Book Was Written
1 Robert Schumann as Song Composer
2 Performance Practices in the Schumann Lieder
3 Liederkreis (Heine), Opus 24
4 Myrten, Opus 25
5 Kerner Lieder, Opus 35
6 Reinick Lieder, Opus 36
7 Ruckert Lieder (Zwolf Gedichte aus ""Liebesfruhling""), Opus 37
8 Liederkries (Eichendorff), Opus 39
9 Funf Lieder (Andersen and Chamisso), Opus 40
10 Frauenliebe and -leben, (Chamisso), Opus 42
11 Dichterliebe (Heine), Opus 48
12 Opus 45 and Opus 57
13 Opus 53
14 Some Other Early Lieder: Opuses 27, 30, 31, 49
15 Opus 127 and Opus 142
16 Opus 51
17 Opus 64
18 Opus 77
19 Liederalbum fur die Jugend, Opus 79
20 Opus 83 and Opus 87
21 Sechs Gesange, Opus 89 (von der Neun), and Opus 90 (Lenau)
22 Drei Gesange (Byron), Opus 95, and Opus 96
23 Lieder and Gesange aus Wilhelm Meister (Goethe), Opus 98a
24 Sieben Lieder (Kulmann), Opus 104, Opus 107, and Vier Husarenlieder (Lenau), Opus 117
25 Opus 119, Opus 125, and Maria Stuart Lieder, Opus 135
26 Solos and Duets from the Ensemble Collections: Opuses 29, 34, 37, 43, 74, 78, 79, 101, 103, 112, 138
27 Provenzalisches Lied, #4, Ballade, #7, Opus 139, and Der Contrabandiste, Opus 74, App.