jane's blog

Friday, October 19, 2007

Wolf, Strauss, Marx - Three Composer Intentions

In looking at the expressive intentions of three composers and their poet choices, it is quite fascinating to note that to which each composer devoted himself, in the expression of his composing priorities.
Hugo Wolf was obsessed with words, so text declamation is tantamount in the whole style make-up of his songs, with less intent on major vocal demands-though they can also be found in Hugo Wolf-and greater focus on poetry and poets.
On the other hand, Richard Strauss, greatly identified with Austria, but in fact a German, was intent on a great and soaring vocal line. His opera and song poet choices, therefore, have usually less to do with text declamation and more to do with indulgence in vocal demands and, more often than not, extreme vocal demands. Mostly, then, but not always, the poet choices Strauss made require less declamatory involvement, but his poet choices are constant in their offering of vocal possibilities and attractive word meaning.
Joseph Marx, looking further to another Austrian, wanted it all.
In addition to a Rachmaninoff-like piano accompaniment-often directly in competition with the singer-when we glance at Marx songs, we understand immediately that Marx had wide and eclectic poet interests and composing fantasies, and that he was surely not shy in the technical savvy he, therefore, demanded of his vocal artists.
While we might expect that the same composing priorities and rules would apply to each composer, it is wise to realize that the creative intentions and "creature nature" of each composer may have much, if not all, to do with his poet choices.
Two "live" Joseph Marx songs found at the following link exemplify the typical vocal demands Marx applies to his artists: http//www.janemarsh.com.audio2.html
Joseph Marx was an inventive composer, only just on rediscovery, and well worth all effort. This year of 2007 celebrates a Joseph Marx Anniversary

Powered by Blogger