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A collaboration of composers: Considering the compositional effectiveness of the Liszt and Heller piano transcriptions of four Schubert songs ("Die Forelle", "Lob der Tranen", "Erlkonig", and "Die Post")

Elizabeth J Grimpo, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Franz Liszt is the leading figure in the area of piano transcriptions---in quantity and quality. In recent years a fair amount of exploration and study has been devoted to his transcriptions. However, many of his contemporaries’ transcriptions have been largely ignored, under the assumption that they are inferior. Objectively, this may be true. Subjectively, this is debatable since transcriptions were often written for very different purposes or with very different intentions. This document compares four common piano transcriptions (Schubert’s Die Forelle, Lob der Tränen, Erlkönig, and Die Post) of Liszt and his contemporary, Stephen Heller, in order to illuminate the effective compositional traits of each---and thus determine their validity. The first chapter offers scholarly support for transcriptions in general and explains the two forms that transcriptions can take: literal or paraphrased. The second chapter gives a pertinent historical account of Stephen Heller’s life. It also describes the musical life of Paris during the years in which Liszt and Heller were active, and perhaps how their various musical paths influenced their individual transcription processes. The third chapter is analytical and observes how the transcriptions were constructed in relation to the original songs. Details of melody, harmony, accompaniment, structure, piano texture, piano virtuosity, performance and pedagogical intentions are illuminated. Chapter four makes concluding remarks and offers specific ways that these very different transcriptions can be best used within the pianist’s repertoire.^

Subject Area

Music

Recommended Citation

Grimpo, Elizabeth J, "A collaboration of composers: Considering the compositional effectiveness of the Liszt and Heller piano transcriptions of four Schubert songs ("Die Forelle", "Lob der Tranen", "Erlkonig", and "Die Post")" (2006). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3237872.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3237872

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