Rufus Hallmark's book explores Robert Schumann's beloved yet controversial song cycle Frauenliebe und Leben and the poems of Adelbert von Chamisso on which it is based, setting them in the context of the challenges and social expectations faced by women in early nineteenth-century Germany. Hallmark provides the most extensive English-language study of Chamisso, a poet little known today outside Germany, including a biographical sketch and excerpts from his other poetry. He examines a range of poems about women, by Chamisso and others, and discusses the reception of the poetic and musical cycles, including illustrated editions, contemporary reviews, and other musical settings. Based on new studies of Schumann's manuscript sources and on comparative analyses of his songs and settings by Carl Loewe, Heinrich Marschner, Franz Lachner and others, Hallmark provides fresh musical and interpretive insights into each song.
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