The Beethoven song companion

By Paul Reid

The Beethoven song companion


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7571-1
  • Pages: 324
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £19.99
  • Published Date: October 2010
  • BIC Category: Music, Musicians, singers, bands & groups, Composers & songwriters, Anthologies: general, MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Classical, LITERARY COLLECTIONS / European / General, Classical Music (C 1750 To C 1830), The arts / Individual composers & musicians, specific bands & groups


This is the first full-length, published study of Beethoven's songs. All the composer's songs with piano are included, with full German texts and translations, together with comprehensive notes on the poetry and the music. The inclusion of unfinished songs gives a fascinating insight into Beethoven's compositional methods.

An introductory essay considers reasons for the relative neglect of the songs, the significance of Beethoven's choice of texts, his crucial role in the development of German art-song and specific aspects such as choice of key. Throughout the book, poetic and musical texts are discussed in their historical context, and in the overall context of Beethoven's life and music.

It is anticipated that this book, like its predecessor The Schubert Song Companion, will encourage the performance and study of an important but comparatively neglected aspect of the work of the world's most celebrated composer.


Paul Reid's Beethoven Song Companion reveals not only Beethoven's indispensable achievements in Lieder, but also the broad range of his unrealised ambitions in the genre. In sketching settings of many poems that he did not bring to musical completion (all of them documented here), the great composer emerges as a more fastidious song enthusiast than anyone has hitherto realised. With the appearance of this book, a worthy 'prequel' to the Schubert Song Companion by Reid's mentor, the late John Reed, there is no longer any excuse to underestimate Beethoven's ability to write for the voice, and his crucial place in the history of song.


Foreword by Barry Cooper
Author's Preface
The Songs
The Poets
Appendix 1 - Publication of the Songs
Appendix 2 - Der Gute Fürst


Paul Reid is Chairman of the Schubert Institute (UK)

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