Intimacy, Performance, and the Lied in the Early Nineteenth Century
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Intimacy, Performance, and the Lied in the Early Nineteenth Century


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161 pages

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The German lied, or art song, is considered one of the most intimate of all musical genres—often focused on the poetic speaker's inner world and best suited for private and semi-private performance in the home or salon. Yet, problematically, any sense of inwardness in lieder depends on outward expression through performance.

With this paradox at its heart, Intimacy, Performance, and the Lied in the Early Nineteenth Century explores the relationships between early nineteenth-century theories of the inward self, the performance practices surrounding inward lyric poetry and song, and the larger conventions determining the place of intimate poetry and song in the public concert hall. Jennifer Ronyak studies the cultural practices surrounding lieder performances in northern and central Germany in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, demonstrating how presentations of lieder during the formative years of the genre put pressure on their sense of interiority. She examines how musicians responded to public concern that outward expression would leave the interiority of the poet, the song, or the performer unguarded and susceptible to danger. Through this rich performative paradox Ronyak reveals how a song maintains its powerful intimacy even during its inherently public performance.

List of Abbreviations
1. Safeguarding the Self
2. Breathing Subjectivity
3. Serious Play in the Salon
4. The Poetic Public Sphere
5. Lieder in an Aria's Clothing
6. Mignon as Public Property



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Date de parution 10 septembre 2018
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780253035790
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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Dana Marsh, Editor
Jennifer Ronyak
Indiana University Press
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© 2018 by Jennifer Ronyak
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Ronyak, Jennifer, author.
Title: Intimacy, performance, and the Lied in the early nineteenth century / Jennifer Ronyak.
Description: Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 2018. | Series: Historical performance
Identifiers: LCCN 2018019395 (print) | LCCN 2018025312 (ebook) | ISBN 9780253035806 (e-book) | ISBN 9780253035776 (cl : alk. paper) | ISBN 9780253035769 (pb : alk. paper)
Subjects: LCSH: Songs—Germany—History and criticism. | Music—Germany—19th century—History and criticism.
Classification: LCC ML1629.4 (ebook) | LCC ML1629.4 .R55 2018 (print) | DDC 782.421680943/09034—dc23
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Publication of this book was supported by the AMS 75 PAYS Endowment of the American Musicological Society, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
1 2 3 4 5 23 22 21 20 19 18
For Mark, who loves lieder
List of Abbreviations
1 Safeguarding the Self
2 Breathing Subjectivity
3 Serious Play in the Salon
4 The Poetic Public Sphere
5 Lieder in an Aria’s Clothing
6 Mignon as Public Property
T HIS BOOK WOULD not be possible without the many intimate exchanges, moments of formative sociability, and public events and institutions that underlie it. I received financial support from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, the American Association of University Women, the Izaak Walton Killam Foundation, the Thomas Hampson Fund of the American Musicological Society, and the University of Texas at Arlington’s Research Enhancement Program, Charles T. McDowell Center, and College of Liberal Arts. The final publication of this book was also made possible by the AMS 75 PAYS Endowment of the American Musicological Society, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Kunstuniversität Graz assisted me with costs as well. Numerous helpful archivists and additional staff at the following institutions also made this project possible: the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Preussische Kulturbesitz); the Goethe und Schiller Archiv in Weimar (Klassik Stiftung Weimar); the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig; and the Stadtarchiv Leipzig. I especially wish to thank the staff members at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin who rescanned a number of sources for me after my flash drive went missing on the streets of Berlin. Marco Kuhn at the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig also made sure I did not get lost on my hurried way to find sources that, at the last minute, were discovered to have been relocated across town.
My work also benefitted from the ongoing input of mentors, colleagues, and friends who engaged in supportive acts of sociability in person and on the page. Holly Watkins and David Gramit provided wise and witty mentorship and feedback. Celia Applegate, Hermann Danuser, Mary Ann Smart, and Fred Maus offered sharp insights and additional support at crucial moments in the progress of this work. Laura Tunbridge has provided invaluable guidance concerning the final form of this manuscript, and a number of my earlier ideas came to full fruition with the input of Berthold Hoeckner and Nicholas Mathew.
I also wish to thank the many close colleagues and friends who read earlier and later drafts of chapters, including Zoë Lang, Marie Sumner Lott, Martin Nedbal, Kira Thurman, Kristen Meyers Turner, Deidre Loughridge, and Alexander Stefaniak. A number of additional attendees at conference presentations I gave at the National Meeting of the American Musicological Society, the Biennial Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music, and the Biennial North American Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music also contributed to the improvement of my arguments.

Much of the discussion of past performances and performance ideals within this book is speculative. With respect to this aspect of my work, I am grateful to Benjamin Binder for the invitation to be faculty for the Song Scholarship and Performance Program at the Vancouver International Song Institute in June of 2014. There I was able to work with live performers concerning my claims. I was also inspired by the contributions of the students and faculty there. This second group included Cameron Stowe, Harald Krebs, Sharon Krebs, Susan Youens, Deborah Stein, Richard Kurth, and Jane K. Brown.
I was also supported in the task of bringing my private musings into the public sphere by mentors and colleagues who offered advice on the publishing process, including Ralph Locke and Heidi Hardt. Paul Posten and Joseph Jakubowski did expert work on the musical examples, Josh Rutner prepared the index with skill, and Janice Frisch shepherded this project to a successful conclusion. I am thankful to Amy Speier for many mornings spent writing and talking through things both personal and professional, to Samantha Inman, Rebecca Geoffrey-Schwinden, Peter Mondelli, George Chave, Scott Pool, Lorri Dow, and Vagner Whitehead for their ongoing support, and to Alexandra Monchick and Katherine Hutchings for their feedback and friendship. I am grateful for the unwavering support of my parents, David and Sharon Ronyak, and my brother, Jonathan.
In the years I have been thinking about intimacy in relationship to the lied, I have often come back to a short phrase I once found in a passage by Henry Miller: the idea that it is a “fugitive value,” a thing that slips from one’s grasp. While the exact location of intimacy in the sphere of lied performance may remain uncertain, however, it has not been so in my life. I am thankful for the love and support of my husband, Mark Maynor, for whom this concept has never been a mystery.
Several segments of chapters 1 and 3 appeared earlier in my article “‘Serious Play,’ Performance, and the Lied: The Stägemann Schöne Müllerin Revisited,” 19th-Century Music 34, no. 2 (2010): 141–67; this material is reworked with the kind permission of the University of California Press. Oxford University Press granted permission for the reuse of a portion of my article, ““Beethoven within Grasp: The Nineteenth-Century Reception of Adelaide ,” Music & Letters , 97, no. 2 (2016): 249–76, in chapter 5. Georg Olms Verlag has extended the permission to repurpose a portion of my earlier essay, “Anna Milder-Hauptmann’s ‘Favorite Lied’: The Domestic Side of a Monumental Simplicity,” Jahrbuch Musik und Gender 2013. Vol. 6. Liedersingen: Studien zur Aufführungsgeschichte des Liedes im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert , edited by Dr. Katharina Hottmann, 93–108, in chapter 4. Translations of German prose and poetry throughout this book are my own, unless otherwise indicated.
Abbreviations KGA Schleiermacher, Friedrich. Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher: Kritische Gesamtausgabe . Edited by Hans-Joachim Birkner et al. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1984. MA Goethe, Johann Wolfgang. Sämtliche Werke nach Epochen seines Schaffens, Münchner Ausgabe . Edited by Karl Richter in conjunction with Hubert G. Göpfert, Norbert Miller, and Gerhard Sauder. Munich: C. Hanser, 1985–1998.
In the case of the following three periodicals, I frequently refer to correspondent reports and reviews that summarize multiple concerts. For example, correspondents for the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung frequently summarized the musical activities in a city over a month or more. Local reviewers in Berlin’s Vossische Zeitung and Spener und Haude’sche Zeitung occasionally referred to very specific events, although they also sometimes simply titled their contributions “Music” or “Concert.” Given this frequently generalized coverage, I refer to specific reports and articles only in the endnotes and not separately in the bibliography. AmZ Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung . Various editors. Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1798–1865. SH Spener und Haude’sche Zeitung . Shorthand for Berlinische Nachrichten von Staats- und gelehrten Sachen . Various editors. Berlin, 1740–1872. VZ Vossische Zeitung . Shorthand for Königlich Privilegierte Berlinische Zeitung von Staats- und gelehrten Sachen . Various editors. Berlin, 1721–1934.
I N A 2013 interview with Südwest Presse Online , baritone and acclaimed lied interpreter Christian Gerhaher reflected on the genre, which primarily consists of settings of German Romantic poetry for solo voice and piano. The interviewer, Burkhard Schäfer, offered that “the Romantic art song is something very intimate, not to say inward, yet even these concepts sound [somehow] out-of-date.” Gerhaher responded: “I do not consider these ideas to be wrong. I would even say that Schumann’s art is very strongly inwardly oriented. [This is] something to which the manner of performing [his] Lieder does not necessarily correspond, since [performance] is actually expressive [and] outwardly directed. One can even say that Schumann developed an art form of ‘inwardly oriented being’ that is unique. I do not believe, however, that intimacy is something that people do not want or find embarrassing.” 1
This conversation rehearses the most dominant characterization of the lied since the genre’s first full, Romantic flowering around the year 1800: the world of German art song is an inward-facing one. 2 Gerhaher’s remarks, however, also point to a fundamental problem within this otherwise accurate description of the lied. He notes that the manner of performing “inwardly oriented” lieder “does not necessarily correspond” to this ideal, since performing is an “outwardly directed” action.
This book focuses on this performative paradox. While there is a basic contradiction between outwardly directed performance and inwardly oriented artistic content in general, the German lied has been singled out so often for its particular inwardness that it presents an intensified case. By the start of the nineteenth century, the lied frequently combined an aesthetic and moral emphasis on simplicity with the musico-poetic portrayal of interiority. These traits related to the genre’s earlier roots in the Enlightenment and changes that emerged in response to the Romantic lyric poetry on which it was increasingly based. The association of lieder with inwardness reflects aspects of the poetic and musical orientation of such songs and their basic status as small-scale musical works, which has traditionally made them suitable for performance in the intimate gathering spaces of the home and salon. These aspects of lieder also relate to broader claims about the deep or inward nature of the German character prominent around 1800 and that have remained a thread in transhistorical discussions. 3 These ideals continued to feature in definitions of the genre throughout the nineteenth century. Since then the nineteenth-century lied has remained a potent symbol of an interiority that thinkers as diverse as Thomas Mann and Roland Barthes, not to mention performers such as Gerhaher, would invoke. 4
These writers, performers, and, indeed, most music scholars have insisted on the lied’s interiority without fully investigating the power of performance to challenge it. In response this study looks at the cultural practice of performing lieder in northern and central Germany in the first few decades of the nineteenth century, where lieder made up a major share of the sheet music marketplace and inwardness was an important aesthetic value cultivated in their composition. Composers of lieder in this arena set to music the Romantic lyric poetry of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Wilhelm Müller, Friedrich Matthisson, and others. I will demonstrate how performances of lieder—instead of just their composition or publication—animated the formation of and struggle over the concept of lieder as inward during these foundational years.
In domestic performances, salon performance contexts, and early, larger-scale public concerts for a ticket-buying public, performances of lieder put pressure on the sense of interiority already ostensibly inscribed in the performed songs. These performances were also met with some anxiety. Expressing interiority outwardly via performance (i.e., what I will call intimate expression) threatened to leave the essential interiority of a poet, a song, or a performer unguarded and trampled on. This concern also extended to the broader intimate connections that might be made with small or larger audiences in performance. Lied performances during the period show how the inward can turn public and the public can become inward. They also underscore the strong sense of intimacy a given song can generate, and that intimacy maintains some power even when challenged.
The study of performance in this book primarily serves to interrogate the ideology of interiority surrounding the lied, but performance also comes first for broader musicological and interdisciplinary reasons. I break with a decades-long tradition of studying lieder primarily from their status as musical works that exhibit complex relationships between poetry and music—i.e., as hybrid musico-poetic works to be subjected to hermeneutic readings apart from their performance. The case studies presented here instead show how performance can overwrite meanings thought to be inherent in songs themselves. This focus on performance supports the goal of presenting a broader social history of the lied during its foundational Romantic decades in northern and central German centers. Beyond chronicling works and ideas of poets and their (sometimes) collaborating composers, this book introduces a variety of amateur and professional performers—including a number of prominent literary and musical women—active in the homes, salons, and concert halls of Weimar, Leipzig, and Berlin. This critical account—like the lied during this period—is as much a literary one as a musical one. I consider the act of singing lieder an extension of declaiming Romantic lyric poetry in domestic, salon, and public concert contexts. This study therefore contributes also to a new direction in scholarship on German Romantic poetry, putting performance first to broaden our understanding of classic lyric texts.
Writing About Past Performances of Lieder
Putting performance first in the study of lieder and interiority, I revise and repurpose aspects of work-centered text-music hermeneutic methods, which have been the dominant mode of studying lieder for several decades. A look at a few representative examples of scholarship on lieder illustrate the longstanding trend. For example a comparison of Thrasybulos Georgiades’s Schubert: Musik und Lyrik from 1967 with Blake Howe’s “The Allure of Dissolution: Bodies, Forces, and Cyclicity in Schubert’s Final Mayrhofer Settings” (2009) reveals that, despite the over four decades of separation and significant difference in contextual perspective between the studies, the basic work-centered hermeneutic focus and tools are the same. 5 As the starting point for their arguments concerning style (in the case of Georgiades) and disability (in the case of Howe), both authors apply close-reading techniques to the relationships they find between the poetry and the music.
In contrast to this traditional subdisciplinary approach, I start my inquiries into the quandary of intimate expression that touches the lied with performance. Performance and its social contexts are foundational to questions of meaning, not sites for realizing meanings already fixed in the text. Performance comprises events that enjoy a heightened particularity, contingency, and connection to individual bodies. In the case of lieder, such performances engender meanings that are often quite different from those that would be ascribed first and foremost to the text-music relationships within a work. This is not to say that I eschew hermeneutic close-reading of songs; rather, such readings serve a different purpose within my project. Rather than a means to interpretive end-results, close reading provides a means to explore the possibilities afforded by text-music relationships and thereby assists in addressing questions that pertain to the aesthetic, social, and cultural act of performance. 6
Franz Schubert is normally the center of discussions of lieder between 1800 and the 1830s. He is more an inheritor of the discursive and performance issues this study examines than a central object of inquiry. This shift of historical focus serves several goals. It situates the problem of outwardly performed inwardness in the literary and philosophical milieu where it was articulated most clearly: the realm of Goethe, Schiller, Friedrich Schlegel, Friedrich Schleiermacher, and other central figures within early nineteenth-century Romanticism and Idealism. Where the centrality of Schubert to the musical canon has led previous scholars to emphasize the distance of Schubert’s Viennese circle from northern and central German Romantic trends, this study instead focuses on the main realm of Goethe and his most immediate sphere of influence. 7
I also step away from Schubert’s songs because they have been the primary force in inspiring the work-centered hermeneutic tradition I seek to set aside. In breaking with both this methodology and the songs most intertwined with it, I offer a contrasting account of the place of performing lieder on intimate texts with respect to a varied repertoire that does not immediately call these methods to mind. 8 Schubert’s songs easily attract work-centered analysis; the semiotic density of the resulting language-music relationship in many of his songs often seems to demand extensive close reading. I take my historical performance study of the lied back to a northern German context during the first three decades of the century, in a part of Germany where Schubert’s songs had not yet fully gained entrance. 9 Because much of this northern repertoire—including that of Zelter and his contemporaries—was composed with a still strong aesthetic of Einfachheit (simplicity) or Volkstümlichkeit (“folklikeness” or “folksiness”) in mind, it resists explication through techniques built for Schubertian songs. 10 What these songs do offer, however, are ways to direct the expressive resources of the performer through suggestive details for performance. When analyzed from this standpoint, pre-Schubertian lieder can yield a great deal of information concerning the role of and approaches to performance without demanding attention to work-centered correlations between musical and poetic structure. Upon understanding these dynamics via an escape from patterns in Schubertian song studies, it might then be possible to return to the performance and social contexts involved in Schubert’s songs and their reception with a fresh framework in mind.
This study also seeks to advance an emerging effort within literary studies and German studies to understand lyric poetry as a unique and broadly relevant literary mode. 11 For example at the recent seminar, “Lyric Matters,” prominent scholars of German lyric poetry investigated the particular qualities of the lyric mode, including how it constructs time and space. In so doing they observed even the most material aspects of such texts as more a matter of the content of finished artworks than a feature related to performance. One collective discussion of Friedrich Klopstock’s hymn “Die Frühlingsfeier,” a canonical eighteenth-century text, exemplified the general text-centered focus. The participants compared different versions of the poem as it appeared with different orthography in multiple eighteenth-century editions. In some cases it took the more irregular stanzaic form of the hymn genre; in others it had been cast in regular, metrical stanzas as an ode. Yet despite the fact that these changes could connect to performing practices for the poem (the poem was frequently declaimed, including on public concerts in the early part of the nineteenth century), the participants largely focused on the materiality of the example on the page apart from any historical performance circumstances. 12 This is, of course, in part a consequence of the available source materials.

One may hesitate to venture performance-based interpretations of texts in the absence of evidence for a specific performance occasion or event. Such evidence is often scant. But this again demonstrates why the study of performance is so crucial: while sources for a particular performance may be lacking, there is sufficient evidence to gain a sense of performance practices and to use those practices to develop informed interpretations of texts. This book introduces historically situated, performative, and embodied approaches that might be applied more widely to Romantic lyric poetry, considering texts first from the standpoint of their spoken and sung performances as documented and theorized during the period. In the words of Angela Esterhammer and Alexander Dick, scholars on Romantic “performativity” in practice and theory, I listen “to Romanticism speak with its mouth and its bodies” in order to attend to the material practice and theory of the lied in light of its important position in cultural history, as well its beloved place in the Western art music tradition. 13
The primary sources at the heart of this study include: the diary of the poet Wilhelm Müller; discussions of poetic and musical performances in private letters and public music criticism; autograph scores of lieder containing precise performance markings; treatises on singing; the printed scores of a number of songs unknown to the canon today; literary descriptions of poetic and musical performances; and a large number of concert programs for declamation-centered and music-centered concerts and theatrical events, some of which appeared in the daily paper of Berlin and remain archived in Leipzig. Despite the obvious wealth of information to be gathered from such sources, the relative scarcity of documentation of the various facets of any one performance and the lack of recording media present some challenges. And yet the distance between studying musical performance from, say, video or audio recording media and studying those around 1800 is not as great as it may at first seem. In both cases the instability of the moment of performance, and all of the particularity and contingency it entails, has receded from the scholar’s grasp. 14 The analyses here operate within the inevitable distance between past performances and the sources that point to them by treating the available sources as a combination of traces of past performances and scripts for possible ones in light of governing ideals and practices of the period. 15
Interiority and German Culture in the Early Nineteenth Century
The idea of Innigkeit (for interiority, inwardness, or sometimes intimacy) was a cultural constant in Germany around 1800 that is difficult to define, given that it is more often invoked than explained. In connection with the lied, the term appears in reviews of songs and lied performances in the first few decades of the nineteenth century and with some frequency as a performance direction. 16 For example Johann Friedrich Reichardt’s setting of Friedrich von Matthisson’s poem Naturgenuß , published in the Berlinische musikalische Zeitung in 1793, is designated to be performed innig . The song itself supports this performance direction through its poem and musical qualities: it supplies a lilting, often rising melody and simple accompaniment for a poem that invokes the speaker’s inner calm and peaceful wonder in response to the metaphysical joys of springtime. 17
As music theorists looked back on multiple decades of the German lied repertoire throughout the nineteenth century, claims of its Innigkeit eventually became common in lexical definitions and journal articles. By the late nineteenth century, these accumulated values were also exported as far abroad as Boston, Massachusetts. In Dwight’s Journal of Music in 1870, an author claimed true Innigkeit was to be found in German song, as opposed to in the operatic contributions of Verdi or other non-Germans. 18 Some of these sources also articulated the connection between theories of subjectivity and the self and a more specifically musical or poetic inwardness. August Reissmann, in the Handlexikon der Tonkunst in 1882, for example, couples the Innigkeit of the lied with the very definition of the interiority of a self: “We call the artistic form for the expression of pure subjective feeling ‘Lied.’” 19
In Metaphors of Depth in German Musical Thought: From E. T. A. Hoffmann to Arnold Schoenberg , Holly Watkins illuminates the conflation of the concepts of the inner and inward with thought on subjectivity and the self in nineteenth-century Germany. She explains that basic references to “‘inner’ or ‘inward’ impressions [across history] arise from the way thoughts and feelings seem to originate inside the body.” When these “impressions” have been specified as the “concepts of ‘interiority’ or ‘inwardness,’” however, these ideas have been defined as important qualities for “spiritual, intellectual, moral, and aesthetic reasons.” In German Romanticism, one case in which the investment in these aspects of inwardness was great, “the fluid distinction between inside and outside [tended] to harden into a dogmatic opposition.” 20 Within German Romanticism, prizing interiority went hand-in-hand with defining a series of outer borders to contain it. Regardless of how precisely one can define either the contents of or borders surrounding interiority in a given case, the problem nevertheless persists that the very idea—or perhaps better, reality—of interiority is predicated on the contradiction between outward-oriented expression and Innigkeit . Looking beyond the outwardly oriented expression inherent in poetic or musical performance, it is also true that as a personal quality, inwardness in general only gains full reality through some form of outward expression. Interiority is performative—taking the latter term in its broadest possible practical and theoretical senses. 21
This sense of interiority as both performative and as part and parcel of early nineteenth century German self-understanding is supported by Jürgen Habermas’s classic work, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere . Despite the historical near-ubiquity of the concept of innerness, certain aspects of social life and the discourses attending it intensified the importance of interiority and intimate expression in the decades surrounding 1800. Much of this change had to do with the establishment of the family and its domestic space as private spaces for emotional life. As Habermas explains, as economic processes moved outside of the family by the eighteenth century, the family underwent a transformation into a private emotional unit set apart from the outside economic world. This iteration of the family secured the patriarch’s fitness for participating in the separate economic sphere and any allied public political activities. More importantly for the present investigation, Habermas also notes that the crystallizing emotional unit of the family fostered a subjectivity that was “oriented to an audience.” 22 Within the emotional unit of the family, subjectivity took on the character of what Habermas calls a “saturated and free sense of interiority,” a quality given reality to the degree that it was on display for the other members of the family. Additionally to the extent that such interiority was on display to the outside observer, it sealed the private individual’s suitability to participate as a “private individual in the public sphere.” 23 This audience-oriented subjectivity was thus the indispensable operating property during the latter eighteenth and early nineteenth century behind any German writer’s or performer’s account or display of his own inward nature.
Habermas also claims that literary practices in semiprivate and public contexts that featured displays of audience-oriented subjectivity—or, using the terminology I will define in the next section and employ throughout this book, the intimate expression of one’s own interiority—served as an important training ground for individuals who came to participate as private individuals in political discussion in the public sphere of coffee houses and similar establishments. Following this last idea further, it is possible to view such discursive practices as letter writing, poetic expression, and other intimate communications as the fundamental cause of such a focus on the inner self and its expression instead of the effect of an already assumed inner subjectivity, a phenomenon that Habermas addresses but does not fully explore. 24
We can also see inwardness and the practices involving its expression less as matters of true and fundamental subjective content and more as a near fiction propagated by the politics and discursive technologies of the period. Friedrich Kittler’s analysis of the same cultural period, focused completely on Germany, takes this position. 25 In Discourse Networks 1800/1900 Kittler builds on Michel Foucault’s ideas concerning how discourse engenders one’s sense of self within a specific culture. Kittler takes the position that technologies of the body and the letter—in relation to the interests of the Prussian state around 1800—inscribed the dominant beliefs of the period concerning the reality and importance of inwardness for the self onto educated Germans. Kittler places canonical literary figures, including Goethe, E. T. A Hoffmann, and numerous others, within this context. He connects their own varied literary preoccupations with ideologies of domestic language instruction for children, the importance of handwriting to self-expression and personality, and other overall writing-based practices in the culture. He shows how the practice of hermeneutics during this period in German thought coincides with the overarching ideology of the inner or inward self; it always looks for a deeper, more inner or true meaning in a text, as well as for the inner person of the author under the surface of texts. 26 For Kittler all these positions arise from state-serving discourses and technologies. The focus on contingent, embodied performances in this book in part interrogates the reach of Kittler’s deterministic concept of media and technologies. The flexible, contingent act of performance introduces some important, if nevertheless momentary, instability into his rather rigid claims concerning the formative and governing power of the Prussian discourse of the inner self.
Women involved in German literary culture around 1800 are assigned a specific set of limited roles in Kittler’s account of interiority and the discourse network that produced it and gave it importance. In Kittler’s telling women functioned as either educators, muses, or readers for men. They did not occupy the full authorial position constructed by the discourse network around 1800. 27 While Kittler is right about the limitations set out for women within discourse, particular individuals and performative moments introduced important points of untidiness into the picture. While such moments of liberation for women were often brief or questionable, women nevertheless presented real challenges to ideologies and conventions meant to limit their role in literary and musical culture, as well as to contain interiority and intimate expression. 28 For example, a number of the women I discuss in the first half of this book were influential in salon contexts. In this group of women are salonnières (especially Henriette Herz, Rahel Levin-Varnhagen, and Elisabeth von Stägemann), promoters of Romantic literature and lyric poetry (including, additionally, Bettine von Arnim and Sara von Grotthuss), and live performers or authors of lied poems and songs based on them (including Johanna Schopenhauer, Luise Hensel, and Caroline Bardua).
Women discussed in the second half of this book include female performers who positioned intimate lieder on the public stage. They lent their voices, and sometimes personas and business acumen, to the process (especially in the case of Anna Milder-Hauptmann). Throughout these cases discursive limits and proto-feminist actions collide. Prominent salonnières challenged traditional expectations for women even while they were often seen only as hostesses; young female poets and salon attendees contended with the pressure to or the choice of whom to marry; and operatic divas asserted their stardom as powerful women while catering to stereotypes concerning domesticity and virtue.
It also can be tempting to conflate the very concept of inwardness—or the related term, “intimacy”—with the feminine. When used as a synonym for the domestic sphere, for example, the idea of the intimate can signify the supposedly traditional sphere of women in the nineteenth century. 29 Yet here too the realities of practice do not allow the association between femininity, intimacy, and the realm of women to be such a simple one. Men indulged in interiority and its outward expression in ways that could either entail a cooption of the feminine they themselves recognized, or the evasion of this gendered notion altogether. Men and women both engaged in the outward expression of interiority, and these acts could highlight or ignore any connection of the practice to main cultural concepts surrounding what was properly or essentially feminine.
Intimate Expression, Intimate Lyric Poetry, and a Series of Protective Enclosures
Performance, then, is foundational to the construction of inwardness and interiority. The particular kind of performance that is the main subject of this book, which I call “intimate expression,” is of special importance in Germany around the year 1800. The term “intimate expression” highlights, at a basic level, the performative necessity of expressing interiority in some way in order to give it shape and reality. Much as in the case of Habermas’s “subjectivity oriented to an audience,” intimate expression implies that outwardly sharing or even performing one’s interiority is a basic matter of both individual psychology and social life. Intimate expression furthermore encapsulates the inherent tension involved in the opposite concepts of inwardly oriented qualities and outwardly directed expression. The concept also can involve several modes of expression that may occur at once or separately. It is the necessarily outwardly directed expression of one’s own inner thoughts, sentiments, or even sense of self; the sharing of the inner or private sentiments found in a lyric poem with an audience of one or many more; or the performance of those inner sentiments expressed in a song involving such poetry for an audience that can vary in size.
To a certain point the contradictory practice of intimate expression was ubiquitous during the early nineteenth century, and intimate expression has also been implicated in understandings of the Western self since well before that time. As Charles Taylor traces in Sources of the Self , the changing relationship between concepts of inwardness and the need to explore one’s inner self through interlocutors is one of the central stories in Western thought on the self from Plato and St. Augustine through modernity. 30 Even though expressing interiority outwardly has both a necessary and ubiquitous psychological dimension, Romantic thinkers around 1800 did not find the contradiction unproblematic. Lyric poems that featured intimate expression, much like some lyric poems made into lieder, provoked the following fragment from Friedrich Schlegel in 1797:
Sapphic poems must grow and be discovered. They can neither be produced at will, nor published without desecration. Whoever does so lacks both pride and modesty. Pride: because he tears his inmost essence out of the holy stillness of his heart and throws it into the crowd . . . and it will always be immodest to put oneself on exhibition, like an original painting. 31

Schlegel’s manifest purpose here is to compare different types of archetypical lyric poetic models from antiquity. Considering that contemporaneous poets were taking Sappho as one lyric model, however, the points also apply to Romantic aesthetics in a more general way. Schlegel’s guarded ideal, of course, could never be reality. Instead, it points to the threat that outwardly oriented practices presented to maintaining interiority as a valued quality. In actual practice he himself published poems that featured intimate expression, praised similar poems of his contemporaries, and could only pass judgment on Sappho herself through reading a published edition. 32 Whether spoken or sung in the form of lieder, the performance of such lyric poems would have strained Schlegel’s ideal further.
Part of Schlegel’s concern here has to do with distinctions between more private or public poetic genres and their suitability for more private or public contexts. He seems to imagine a poetizing scenario where a poem featuring intimate expression is cultivated in private solitude—between the poet and the manuscript—or an opposite scenario where the entire public world is let in on the text. Actual performances of lyric poetry via lieder occurred within three main spaces, each of which entails a specific relationship to the terms “private” and “public” as I will use them. First lieder were sung in the home, as part of the most private context I will mention. When I refer to this context as private, I primarily mean the individuals present were most likely intimately known to each other and that there would be no manifest record of the event in materials intended to be read by a wider, open portion of the general public. Given this issue of documentation, private performance circumstances will not feature as often in my study as the next two categories. Second lieder were performed or otherwise engaged with in the salons of the period, which constituted a semipublic venue. While salons were gatherings in the home, they often involved uninvited guests (those who knew someone who regularly attended). They also involved prominent individuals and were thus documented to a certain degree—at least in publications that themselves have a semipublic character (e.g., published memoirs and published letters, which document experiences at first thought to be of private concern). Lastly lieder were performed in public concerts during the period, which allowed entry to anyone who could buy a ticket and were advertised and reviewed in the daily paper and other publications.
Thinking about the poetic devices involved in the intimate poetry Schegel so wished to defend is helpful for understanding the complex contradictions involved in intimate expression through lyric poetry and lieder based on that poetry. Literary theorists working on lyric poetry explain poetic devices that include performativity and modes of address that contribute to the impression of interiority in such poetry and its relationship to outwardly directed intimate expression. I will use this work here to define the term “intimate lyric poetry,” which I will use throughout this study to delineate a specific subset of lyric poems that connect to the Romantic concept of the inward self and the practice of intimate expression that frequently serve as the basis for lied settings during the early nineteenth century. Though some recent discussions call the overall concept of lyric poetry into question across Western literary history, when Schlegel speaks about “Sapphic poems” above, he does articulate a Romantic understanding of lyric poetry that was held in common by German poets at the start of the nineteenth century. 33 Goethe, too, articulated this category, opposing it to dramatic (to be acted) and epic poetry (that which narrates past events). The early nineteenth-century philosopher Georg Friedrich Hegel also theorized lyric poetry in his Aesthetics . 34 In Hegel’s emblematic definition, in lyric poetry “content is not the object but the subject, the inner world, the mind that considers and feels.” Lyric poetry could thus be dubbed the art form that gives fullest expression to the subject via one’s inner world. 35
Modern theorists of lyric poetry who prefer to operate with a transhistorical lyric category take a number of cues from Hegel’s Romantic theory; they also move beyond it, employing more recent linguistic theory. Such theorists, including Käte Hamburger, Jonathan Culler, Klaus Hempfer, and David Wellbery, assign a central place to the construction of the subjectivity of a “lyric I” within much such poetry. Unlike the Romantics they do not assume this “I” to reflect the pure experience of the poet but invoke theories of performativity and other related speech acts to refine Hegel’s earlier attempt to define the essence of the lyric. Jonathan Culler presents a capacious poetics of the lyric, which includes German Romantic examples, that focuses heavily on the nature of address in much lyric poetry. Culler’s discussion of address is consonant with many of the concerns surrounding intimate expression in this study, and it informs my definition of “intimate lyric poetry.” Lyric poems—especially those that construct a “lyric I” through their discourse—engage in what Culler calls “triangulated address.” In this sort of address, the poet, speaker, or some other aspect of the text addresses one or more types of addressees within the poem in order to communicate indirectly with the reader or listener. Such addressees may be unnamed, a trusted friend or beloved, or an object or person who cannot at all be expected to respond (including natural surroundings and dead individuals). And, as Culler points out in several individual analyses, address in lyric poetry is often not stable. One sort of address may be simultaneously understood to be another. 36
Although such triangulated addresses do not always imply intimate expression, many Romantic lyric poems—and especially those often set as solo lieder for voice and piano—use these techniques in an intimate fashion. These devices frequently indicate: (1) that the subjective contents of the speaker’s utterances are precious and deeply held; (2) they are not necessarily appropriate as a broad, public declaration or as a matter of public concern; and (3) they nevertheless must be disclosed somehow, to someone, to be understood by another and therefore be real. Many lyrics that have such a tone of interiority or intimacy also involve an address to mute natural surroundings, a single trusted interlocutor, or a present or distant beloved; the triangulation of such addresses to the reader or audience relates first to this primary mode of address. With the complexity of the issues of interiority and implied addressees always in mind, I define “intimate lyric poems” this way throughout this book: poems that give the strong impression of expressing the inner sentiments of a “lyric I,” usually through a process of triangulated address involving a trusted (or invisible) addressee and a less clearly emphasized, but significant, address to the reader or audience. I consider the performative implications within such poetry, both as spoken without music and as sung in a variety of more intimate and more publicizing lieder and performance venues.
Before I go further with this argument, a short word about one subgenre of poetry that is important to the lied and that I do not include in the term “intimate lyric poetry”: the ballad. Given that the overall, longstanding association of lieder with interiority or intimacy connects most clearly to examples involving intimate lyric poems, I confine this study to such lieder and leave aside the different subgenre of the ballad. Ballad lieder, too, are sometimes considered under the umbrella of the intimate lied, but in this case, the categorization primarily refers to their often small performing forces of solo voice and piano. Poetically they feature a narrative or mixed narrative and dramatic mode and connote a much more public form of expression, not having much to do with the speaker’s inner world. The performance evidence concerning ballads also bears their more public character out. For example early public concert performance programs were more likely to feature the occasional spoken ballad or ballad in the form of a lied than a song on an “intimate lyric poem.” 37 Overall, then, ballad lieder form the exception to early nineteenth-century concerns about intimate expression with respect to poetic performance and the performance of lieder, instead of the central case.
When it comes to the inner self, intimate lyric poems, and lieder based on them, Schlegel’s concern echoes subtly throughout Romantic discourse, the salon life that attended it, and public concert conventions of the early nineteenth century. Literary and philosophical contemporaries wondered how intimate expression could be carried out without opening up oneself to being trampled on by an array of unpredictable outer forces. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schleiermacher, among others, even offered theories of poetry, performance, and social communication that might work as a protective measure, updating a traditional German impulse to construct a citadel around the inner self. 38 And for individuals within German culture who were not as overtly engaged with Romantic ideologies, such as the professional singers and actors who appeared on German concert stages, concerns surrounding intimate expression nevertheless inflected their programming choices in the form of concert conventions that nearly kept both intimate poetry and lieder off the stage. Within this arena of Romantic discourse and public concert practices, performances and performance ideals for lieder at times sought to validate these constraints, even as they also threw them into relative confusion.
The governing discourses and conventions affecting intimate expression during the early nineteenth century and the main performance venues in which they operated structure the chapters of this book. The six chapters look at lied performance as it was practiced in a series of gradually enlarging, protective enclosures: from a sense of autonomous boundaries around the self, a poetic work, a song, or an audience member; to the larger, idealized enclosure of the Romantic salon; to strategies for enclosure that emerged in poetic and concert programming practices and some aspects of compositional structure, as lieder on intimate poems made their way into the largest enclosure, the public concert hall. I introduce several models of enclosure in chapters 1–3 based on amateur, domestic performances as they could have occurred in private homes, as well as amateur performances within the semipublic salons. In chapters 4–6, the venue shifts to what I dub the “poetic public sphere,” which encompasses the way the daily paper, spoken and sung performances in public concerts by professionals, and public reviews of such concerts and events engaged poetry. Within each of these enclosures, intimate expression was sometimes guarded or sometimes publicized, but in all cases, the act of performing poetry and music presented challenges to the solidity of any walls surrounding interiority.
In chapter 1, “Safeguarding the Self,” I examine two contrasting models for enclosing the valued, inward aspect of the self: Goethe’s focus on the autonomy of the self and Friedrich Schleiermacher’s concept of free sociability. Goethe’s and Schleiermacher’s ideals enjoyed great interest among the salon-going community in Berlin, Leipzig, Weimar, and nearby cities, where lieder would have sometimes been performed. Nevertheless, women’s reading and social practices presented unruly challenges to these two idealized positions, and in some corners of the press, philosophizing about interiority and subjectivity received skeptical and sometimes satirical coverage.
Chapter 2, “Breathing Subjectivity,” looks at how Carl Friedrich Zelter’s settings of Goethe’s intimate lyrics sought to promote Goethe’s ideal of autonomy, as well as how performances of these settings could have run afoul of this ideology. I argue that Zelter’s settings of Goethe’s intimate poems often encode a performance ideal that brings to life a Goethean emphasis on the autonomy of poet, work, performer, and related values, such as sincerity. Certain aspects of these same lieder, such as their resemblance to dramatic arias or their detailed expression markings, often left room for a performance that traversed the barriers of protective autonomy in the service of individual, embodied expression. In sum Zelter’s performance ideal both supported Goethe’s position on autonomy and introduced permeability into Goethe’s framework.

In chapter 3, “Serious Play in the Salon,” I move beyond the consideration of Goethean autonomy as a protective strategy for intimate expression to look at how the performance of intimate lyrics as lieder might have functioned within a more intersubjective practice of free sociability in a particular salon. Now bringing Friedrich Schleiermacher’s ideal salon sociability tothe forefront of my discussion, I analyze the participation of two young poets, Wilhelm Müller and Luise Hensel, in a liederspiel (spoken play with lieder) that they helped to improvise, write, and, potentially, perform in the Berlin salon of Elisabeth von Stägemann in 1816–17. The salon participants adapted aspects of Schleiermacher’s free sociability within the artifice of assuming fictional roles associated with the liederspiel, as opposed to within free-flowing conversation, which Schleiermacher would have preferred. In this context acts of intimate expression were bound tightly to social roles dependent on the different genders of the two young poets.
Chapter 4, “The Poetic Public Sphere,” contextualizes the practice of performing lieder on intimate lyric poems in concert settings within the expectations of what I call “the poetic public sphere.” Within northern and central Germany during the period, where poetry was an especially pervasive part of cultural life, the poetic public sphere comprised an interrelated series of conventions that determined what types of verse were considered publicly appropriate. Singers (including especially the soprano Anna Milder-Hauptmann) who wished to show an intimate side to their personas through performing songs on intimate texts and concert programmers who sought to feature the prized, yet intimate verse of Goethe, Schiller, Friedrich Klopstock, or other respected poets had to contend with the resistant conventions of this poetic public sphere. To do so they relied on several protective strategies to ameliorate the naked qualities of such verse in public performance.
In chapter 5, “Lieder in an Aria’s Clothing,” I focus on the most prominent strategy for presenting intimate lyric verse as song in concert during the period: dressing up such lieder in the form of an operatic aria, which was normally the genre standard for solo vocal music on public concerts. Operatic arias suited performers on the public concert stage; by choosing arias, singers could place the already public, dramatic character portrayal central to opera on the miscellaneous programs that were regular concert fare. Two songs on intimate lyric texts that were heard repeatedly during concerts in the first few decades of the nineteenth century, however, could be viewed as both lied and aria at once: Ludwig van Beethoven’s setting of Friedrich von Matthisson’s poem “Adelaide,” and Andreas Romberg’s orchestral setting of Friedrich Schiller’s “Sehnsucht.” Through a discussion of the performance and reception history of both songs during the period, this chapter demonstrates the power musical settings and concert performance contexts have to turn intimacy public and publicness inward.
Chapter 6, “Mignon as Public Property,” further considers some of the central themes of chapter 5 with respect to one of the most public intimate lyrics of the period: Goethe’s “Mignon’s Lied,” (“Kennst du das Land”) from his novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre ( Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship ). The chapter chronicles how the text itself and the nature of Goethe’s celebrity made the rather intimate poem a site for increasingly publicizing performances, culminating in its use as a musico-poetic linchpin in a theatrical memorial celebration for Goethe after his death in 1832. The tendency to publicize Mignon’s more intimate confession for the concert hall reached its apotheosis when the playwright and actor Karl von Holtei placed Mignon’s lied in a crucial position at the conclusion of a concert that celebrated Goethe and his poetry as symbols of the German national spirit. This type of intense publicization of interiority was an extreme case of intimate expression as shouted to the crowd. The sense that public performances of certain songs in some way annihilate their intimate character has remained a source of tension throughout the performance history of the genre ever since.
The aforementioned Mignon has two important associates in Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre : the Harper and Wilhelm (the novel’s title character). An early encounter in the novel between the two men can serve to introduce the fluid boundaries between (1) intimate expression to an absent addressee from a position of solitude, (2) guarded intimate expression for a small audience, and (3) slightly more public concepts of performance and how they operate in chapters 1–3, which concern private and semi-private contexts for lieder.
Early in the novel, Wilhelm narrates an experience that he had of listening in private circumstances to the performance of lieder by the unusual Harper, who at this point is described as a mysterious and emotionally tortured stranger. Throughout much of this novel, the Harper, like Mignon, expresses himself in lieder, presented as lyric poems on the page and described by Wilhelm according to their musical and emotional effects. The most salient features of the Harper’s songs are solitude and longing. Goethe’s accounts of these performances reference their inward character while indicating the potential consequences of involving a small audience or a larger public in relationship to inwardly oriented lieder.
Goethe describes a scene in which Wilhelm listens to the Harper’s initially solitary singing in several stages of increasingly public exposure. At first Wilhelm waits silently at the Harper’s door mid-song, while the Harper sings “Wer nie sein Brot mit Thränen ass” (He who never ate his bread with tears). 39 Wilhelm’s experience of mutual feeling while listening leads him to announce himself, after which Wilhelm convinces the timid Harper to sing another lied just for him. Following the song Goethe’s narrator speaks at a greater remove to comment on the mutually beneficial action. To do so he uses a metaphor that expands the idea of their intimate concert of two into a much larger, if still intimately connected, community of individuals:
Anyone who has been present at an assembly of pious people seeking a degree of purer, richer, more spiritual edification than is to be found within the church, will have some idea of the nature of this encounter. He will recall how the leader will adapt to what he is saying the verse of some hymn which directs the mind to where he himself is tending in his homily. Then someone in the group will break in with a different tune, a verse from another hymn. Then a third person will add something from still another hymn, with the result that the community of ideas in these various hymns is evoked, and each individual passage by reason of these associations takes on a new light, as if it had just been composed. A new synthesis is evolved out of familiar ideas and hymns and verses for this particular audience, in the enjoyment of which they are edified, quickened, and fortified. In a similar way the old man wove together for his guest well-known and unknown songs and snatches, and thereby set moving a complex of recent or more remote feelings, waking and slumbering, pleasant and painful emotions, from which only good could be expected for our friend in his present state. 40
Goethe invokes a larger community or audience here; yet it is contained within the protective space of a religious gathering among trusted individuals. In the three possibilities in Goethe’s scenario—of singing to no one (and being overheard); of singing openly for one other; and of singing for many, but nevertheless within a protected, even sacred, enclosure—Goethe traces out several possible dynamics that can attach to performances of lieder in private and semiprivate settings during the early nineteenth century and some of their implications. Goethe’s religious simile, even as it takes place within the safeguards of this community, suggests how the boundaries between the solitary, the private, the more widely sociable, and—by extension—the public can be traversed once songs begin moving audibly across physical and social space in performance. The scene simultaneously involves internal thought processes within Wilhelm, the mixing of subjective input among the different songs drawn on by the Harper, and the involvement of diverse individuals in a much larger group. Intimate expression shows itself to be essentially guarded, or sometimes even oddly sacred, in its orientation. Yet it is ultimately oriented toward an audience that can expand to embrace increasingly larger and even public dimensions. The question that cannot so easily be answered throughout such cases concerns where intimacy may still lie when the outwardly oriented nature of intimate expression puts so much pressure on it.

1 . Schäfer, “Innigkeit ist nicht peinlich,” interview with Christian Gerhaher.
2 . Additional discussions in this introduction and notes below will document various appearances of this conception of the lied throughout music history. Here I would like to address the characterization of 1800 as a central date for the lied’s “first full, Romantic flowering.” Although the nineteenth-century Romantic German lied has important antecedents in what has traditionally been called the “first Berlin school” (including the work of C. P. E. Bach and J. A. P. Schulz), as well as earlier eighteenth-century composers, throughout this text I treat the lieder of the “second Berlin school” (from the 1790s through the early 1800s, including J. F. Reichardt and C. F. Zelter) as the start of the lied tradition as we now canonically understand it. I do this for several reasons. First this generation of composers (especially in northern Germany, but to a certain extent also in the south and in the Vienna of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven) was the first to directly engage the poetry of Goethe, Schiller, the Schlegels, and others that might broadly be considered Romantic and that remains a touchpoint throughout the entire Romantic lied canon. Second the solo lied during this period began more often to move away from purely folk-like settings that could just as often imply choral singing as solo singing, and do not so often demand a focus on interiority, toward songs that could be thought of as expressing intimacy within intimate performance contexts. For more on the difficulties inherent in chronicling and evaluating the eighteenth-century history of the lied, see Parsons, Cambridge Companion to the Lied .
3 . Mann, “Deutschland und die Deutschen.” Mann argues throughout that the German propensity for inwardness had roots in Martin Luther’s positions during the Reformation and had significant implications for the rise of Nazism.
4 . Mann makes the connection between German inwardness and the German lied as its standard bearer clear in “Deutschland und die Deutschen,” 1142. The text was originally designed as a talk for the Library of Congress, May 19, 1945. Roland Barthes also refers to and encircles the trope in his famous texts concerning art song performance and, also, the music of Robert Schumann in general, although he is less fully enthusiastic about the ideology of innerness and an inward soul than his German predecessor. See Barthes, “Grain of the Voice.”
5 . Georgiades, Schubert: Musik und Lyrik .
6 . See also Ronyak, Colloquy: “Studying the Lied.”
7 . Several studies have focused on Schubert’s interest in Goethe as a song composer and beyond; however these studies have also naturally highlighted the fact that this encounter was secondhand, in that the two men never met. Byrne and Farrelly, Goethe and Schubert ; Gramit, “The Intellectual and Aesthetic Tenets.”
8 . In addition to Georgiades, above, see Lewin, “‘Auf dem Flüsse’” and multiple books by Youens, including Retracing a Winter’s Journey ; Schubert, Müller, and Die schöne Müllerin , and Schubert’s Late Lieder . See also Kramer, Franz Schubert ; and Kurth, “Music and Poetry.”
9 . For example while several of Schubert’s important opuses had already been published in the 1820s, only three of them were documented in Berlin performances by 1830. These performances were also the work of one soprano, Anna-Milder Hauptmann, who championed his works in that city. See chapter 4 for a more extensive discussion of Anna-Milder Hauptmann’s public performances of lieder.

10 . Schwab, Sangbarkeit, Popularität und Kunstlied . Schwab documents how these ideologies affected the composition of lieder during the period.
11 . While the study of lyric poetry, including German lyric poetry, has always included attention to the material elements of the text and how they might be spoken (whether currently or historically), this perspective usually does not go so far as to consider lyric poems primarily from the perspective of a declaimed or sung performance. Meanwhile experts in German literature often treat pre-Schubertian lieder dismissively, failing to consider their cultural importance in the engagement with the texts of Goethe and others. Boyle, Goethe , 271. Boyle primarily has the following to say about Goethe’s collaboration with the composer Carl Friedrich Zelter on lieder: “There proved to be hidden merits in mediocrity.”
12 . Bäumel, Eldridge, and Mergenthaler, Seminar: “Lyric Matters.” The discussion of “Die Frühlingsfeier” took place on Sunday, October 2, 2016. I wish to thank Hannah Eldridge, who granted me permission to attend as an unofficial auditor, despite the fact that I did not have an official contribution to the seminar.
13 . Esterhammer and Dick, “Introduction,” 4.
14 . Auslander, Liveness . Auslander demonstrates how the concept of live performance is inextricably connected to the various media present in contemporary culture. In contrast Abbate in “Music—Drastic or Gnostic?” embraces the concept of live performance as momentary, singular, and ephemeral. In so doing, however, she is left to provide several personal, close readings of memories of live performances (in the absence of relying on recordings or video documentation). This perspective thus demonstrates the close relationship between the merely remembered performance and the faintly documented one from a previous century.
15 . Cook, “Between Process and Product.” Cook introduces the concept of the musical score as a script.
16 . Singers’ performances are described using the term innig with some frequency. For example see the concert review in VZ , April 1, 1818, where Anna Milder-Hauptmann’s performance is referred to as “Der innig liebliche Gesang.” Innig is also used as a performance direction already as early as J. F. Reichardt, “Der Abend,” a setting of Friedrich von Matthisson’s Naturgenuß , which describes a metaphysical, religious joy in springtime in imagery that invokes inner peace and calm. Reichardt, “Der Abend” (Lied).
17 . Ibid.
18 . “‘Innigkeit’ in Music,” 272.
19 . Several late-nineteenth-century lexicon definitions of the lied suggest that the genre gradually came to be defined by its association with intimate expression as the nineteenth century wore on. Reissmann, Handlexikon der Tonkunst , 243. Reissmann begins the definition thus: “We call the artistic form for the expression of pure subjective feeling ‘Lied.’” (“Die künstlerische Form für den Ausdruck der rein subjectiven Empfindung nennen wir Lied.”) Though “Innig” itself does not feature prominently here, the impression of access to a deep and pure subjectivity is at the forefront. Interestingly the earlier, 1876 edition of this same lexicon (edited by Hermann Mendel and Reissmann), gestures also briefly toward something inward before dedicating much of its space toward the praiseworthy German character of the lied, and song-like ways of the German people (unsurprisingly in the wake of 1870–71). Reissmann and Mendel, Musikalisches Konversations-Lexicon , 322–24.
20 . Watkins, Metaphors of Depth , 2–3.

21 . One of the most influential recent critiques of what is termed the “inner/outer binary” is found in Butler, Gender Trouble , 171–80. (In this particular passage, Butler also builds on Foucault’s earlier critique of the notion of interiority.) Since the publication of Butler’s ideas, as well as their expansion in later works, a wide discourse has emerged to continue the critique. Given these valuable theoretical developments for understanding subjectivity, performativity, gender and the body, I do not mean through my own discussion of an inner/outer conundrum in intimate expression to fully reinforce a binary that has been proven to be highly problematic at best. To the extent that these recent critiques of the Western discourse of the subject inform aspects of my discussion of performance and at times performativity in this book, I discuss such work later in this introduction and in the relevant chapters. Nevertheless I will operate most often throughout this book with a notion of subjectivity that conforms (1) to Romantic theories of the self and (2) to the continuation of central aspects of this same conception in our current approaches to the lied and, indeed, most colloquial discussions of the self in contemporary prose.
22 . Habermas, The Structural Transformation , 28–29.
23 . Ibid.
24 . Ibid., 49–51.
25 . Kittler, Discourse Networks 1800/1900 .
26 . Ibid., esp. 3–24.
27 . Ibid., esp. 124–47.
28 . Head, Sovereign Feminine . Head similarly argues that women enjoyed symbolic positions of power based precisely in their perceived feminine qualities within musical discourse of the late eighteenth century.
29 . The concept of the separate domestic and public spheres, supposedly conforming to the activities of women and men, respectively, was active in both Western Europe and much of North America during the nineteenth century and was laid out in countless didactic texts on gender. See Woltmann, Das Lebensgesetz , for one German primary source from 1842. Most recent scholarship has sought to demonstrate the limits of this ideology in practice in economic, literary, and other activities, especially involving women. See Beachy, Craig, and Owens, Women, Business and Finance ; Elbert, Separate Spheres No More ; and Weckel, Zwischen Häuslichkeit und Öffentlichkeit .
30 . Taylor, Sources of the Self , esp. 127–42 and 177–98.
31 . Schlegel, Kritische Friedrich Schlegel Ausgabe , 162; English translation adapted from Schlegel, Philosophical Fragments , 14.
32 . Schlegel’s statements concerning the lyric also participate in the notion that true literary works should inhabit an autonomous sphere, a value that had become salient in part because of changes in literary patronage and the need for writers to compete in a troubling, if also empowering, marketplace. Applegate, “How German Is It?,” 281–87. Applegate explains that musicians and musical critics at the start of the nineteenth century in Germany transferred this literary assignment of autonomy of the artwork to music in order to grant greater intellectual respectability to their profession in a time when old forms of patronage were giving way to greater independence (and thus social and financial freedom and insecurity) for musicians.
33 . Jackson and Prins, “General Introduction,” 1–10, discuss ways in which the “New Lyric Studies” has sought to question traditional, transhistorical assumptions about lyric poetry as an entity, bringing greater historicization to genres and writing and reading practices. They also (2–3) summarize Goethe’s and Hegel’s basic contributions to the theory of the lyric.
34 . Ibid., 3.
35 . Culler, Theory of the Lyric , 92.
36 . Ibid., 186–243.
37 . Kravitt, “Lied in 19th-Century Concert Life”; Loughridge, Haydn’s Sunrise, Beethoven’s Shadow , 123–62. Loughridge describes how another publicly oriented ballad, Johann André’s setting of Gottfried Bürger’s Leonore , was performed in public concerts with the visual support of shadow-play elements.
38 . Berlin, Roots of Romanticism , 44; Christman, Inner Citadel . Also Watkins, Metaphors of Depth , 27.
39 . Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship , 78. MA , vol. 5, 136.
40 . Ibid., 79. MA , vol. 5, 136.
1 Safeguarding the Self
T HE SCENE FROM Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre introduced at the end of the introduction focuses on singing in solitude and for one other person; it only refers to a larger group of friends through a fictive religious metaphor concerning community. In contrast this chapter and the two that follow focus on real-life social institutions in which novels like this one would have been read and discussed: literary salons in Germany at the start of the nineteenth century. Salons were one of the most important and documentable secular venues where the dynamics of the inner self and sociability could play out.
Salons were domestic gatherings that primarily involved a city’s elites. These individuals could include local or visiting members of the bourgeoisie and aristocracy who took a non-professional interest in the arts and sciences, as well as professional artists, writers, musicians, philosophers, scientists, and the like. 1 Salons were semipublic, as opposed to fully private, in that both friends and more distant acquaintances would be present to discuss current intellectual trends and indulge in the arts and games. Early nineteenth-century German salons engaged with the contributions of Goethe and a number of other poets and philosophers during the period. Salon-goers read texts in salon company and discussed the ideas involved. Prominent literati and thinkers were frequent guests. Salon hostesses and salon-goers also read intimate poetry aloud for the group and sometimes sang such poems in the form of lieder.
For some salon hostesses and salon-goers, it was also important to embody or to work toward ideals concerning the inner self articulated by the writers whose work they read and with whom they interacted. Individuals within the salons encountered two significant and related, although divergent, schools of thought concerning the self and its relationship to activities involving intimate expression. The two groups of writers who propagated these positions divided along the following rough lines, although they were neither fully antagonistic to one another nor so simply divided in all their ideologies or efforts: Goethe and Schiller, sometimes referred to as the Weimar Classicists, and the early Romantic circle, which included Friedrich Schlegel and Friedrich Schleiermacher and which was centered in Jena and Berlin. Regarding the self, inwardness, and intimate expression, the Goethean camp and the Romantic circle offered overlapping but distinctive perspectives concerning the relative importance of solitude, autonomy, and sociability. The depth and integrity of the inner self was central to both positions, but there were noticeable differences in opinions concerning where to place borders on inwardness so as to guard it. In general Goethe and Schiller suggested that an individual’s own autonomy could serve as the desired, primary enclosure for inwardness. Schlegel, Schleiermacher, and additional members of their group demonstrated a greater willingness to set aside this narrow boundary around the self to allow for a freer intersubjectivity in social interaction. Schleiermacher posited that a safe boundary might be moved from one that directly surrounds the inner self to one that enclosed an idealized social group—the walls of the ideal salon. The authority of these influential figures in early nineteenth-century German thought not only reached the salons but permeated their cultural practices. And sometimes these men exerted such authority in person. For example at one gathering at which Goethe was present, the painter Caroline von Bardua (1781–1854) sang one of Hummel’s or Zelter’s lieder on a poem of Goethe. The poet was quick to vex the amateur singer “not a little” if she did not deliver his words clearly. 2
This example only shows Bardua to have been making some technical errors. Yet in the salons—which were, by definition, women-led institutions—women’s approaches to the work of Goethe, Schiller, and the Berlin/Jena Romantics presented larger and ongoing challenges to their ideologies regarding inwardness. Women in the salons questioned ideologies of autonomy and a freer intersubjectivity through their activities as hostesses, readers, performers, and writers—whether meaning to do so or not. Furthermore the live, unpredictable social interactions of the era’s salons found an analogue in the periodical pages of Berlin and other northern and central German cities. Both serious journals and lighter, entertainment-oriented magazines reported on the work of Goethe, Schlegel, and others, and satirical pieces also appeared with some frequency, demonstrating that the conversations salon-goers likely had concerning lofty claims about autonomy or sociability may have turned derisive. The public nature of women’s practices in salons and the lively, often not very serious conversations concerning ideologies of the self in the press exemplify how lived practice could challenge ideologies of innerness and how to enclose it. To perform lieder in salon contexts was to encapsulate these larger tensions within the concentrated space of a single song.
Efforts to enclose innerness were, nevertheless, ongoing and important. They were the only way of setting apart innerness as a valued cultural quality. The persistence of this project signals the extent to which the inner self was also sensed to be fragile and undeveloped. This aspect of interiority connected it to the German inflection of the idea of self-cultivation, known as Bildung , that Goethe and others theorized and that formed part of the general cultural outlook of the bourgeoisie in general. Setting some kind of an enclosure around the inner self or around an ideal social gathering thus allowed the self-in-progress to grow in a way that would be beneficial to the individual and society in general. Singing intimate lyric poems in the form of lieder had a role to play in this process as well.

Autonomy as a Protective Enclosure: Goethe and Schiller
In the scene first introduced at the end of the introduction, the Harper sings alone and then privately for Wilhelm in Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre . Goethe’s description of the relative roles of solitude, fellow feeling, and even an imagined broader sociability can at first give the reader the impression that these states might all have equal importance for the inner self. Yet the Harper’s second song emphasizes an autonomous version of self-protection in solitude to such a degree that it overtakes the other perspectives:
Wer sich der Einsamkeit ergibt
Ach! der ist bald allein,
Ein jeder lebt, ein jeder liebt,
Und lässt ihn seiner Pein.
Ja! lasst mich meiner Qual!
Und kann ich nur einmal
Recht einsam sein,
Dann bin ich nicht allein.
Es schleicht ein Liebender lauschend sacht,
Ob seine Freundin allein?
So überschleicht bei Tag und Nacht
Mich Einsamen die Pein,
Mich Einsamen die Qual.
Ach werd’ ich erst einmal
Einsam im Grabe sein,
Da lässt sie mich allein! 3
He who turns to solitude
Alas! He is soon alone,
Each one lives, each one loves,
And leaves him to his pain.
Yes! Leave me to my torment!
And if I can just once
Truly dwell in solitude
Then I will not be alone.
A lover softly creeps and listens,
Whether his beloved is alone?
And so come creeping, day and night
To me, in my solitude, my pain,
To me, in my solitude, my torment.
Oh, when I will finally be
In my solitary grave
Then my sorrow will leave me alone!
The Harper’s slant on solitude is full of despair and even pathological; however, Goethe nevertheless gestures here toward a view of solitude he means to praise. Though he begins the song “He who turns to solitude / Alas! He is soon alone,” he concludes the stanza with an ironic twist on this conceit: “And if I can just once / Truly dwell in solitude / Then I will not be alone.” Perhaps more painfully, but also decisively, he similarly concludes the second stanza: “Oh, when I will finally be / In my solitary grave / Then my sorrow will leave me alone.” The poem depicts the Harper’s pathological suffering, but it also validates solitude (the state of being “einsam,” as opposed to “allein,” or lonely) to a significant degree. One’s inner self is one’s own most important companion, whether in peace or in pain.

The concern for autonomy, and even solitude, that surfaces in the poem of the Harper has parallels in a number of Goethe’s other poems and plays, as it does in Schiller’s literary and philosophical output. Autonomy even appears as a guiding notion for both thinkers in the place where it would seem to be most alien: in the way the two friends styled their formative relationship with one another in their correspondence. While each man emphasized that the other was in some way a perfect foil for his thoughts and creative processes, this double mirror also foregrounded the two poets’ relative autonomy and distance from one another. They implied the existence of a protective barrier that kept the autonomous inner core of each man intact. Both Schiller and Goethe spoke at times as if their original natures were independent, autonomous, and even incommensurable. There were of course basic personal reasons for this rhetoric, including the difference in age between the men (Goethe was born in 1749, while Schiller was born in 1759). Yet given their philosophical postures elsewhere, it is also unsurprising that they framed their inspiring encounters in this way. The two writers indicate their interaction shaped and further refined their character and abilities and indeed extended and enlarged their faculties, but it did not, in their view, introduce foreign content into their autonomous inner selves.
One poignant exchange of thanks between the two men features guarded autonomy, even as it points toward the value each placed on the insights and personal developments resulting from their friendship. While he was working on parts of his Wallenstein trilogy, as well as Über die ästhetische Erziehung des Menschen in einer Reihe von Briefen (Letters on the aesthetic education of man), Schiller tells Goethe that he owes his literary improvement to “knowing” Goethe. He then pinpoints the nature of their relationship, as he sees it:
For only the prolonged and frequent contact with a mind of a nature so opposed to mine and objectively set apart from me, and then the intense movement which draws me to it and the combined effort which I apply to contemplate it and simultaneously assimilate it in thought—only this fortunate circumstance could render me able to move back so far and in all directions the boundaries of my own nature. 4
Schiller concludes by acknowledging a process in which he “assimilates” Goethe’s very different nature into thought. The German text indicates that he struggles to “think” Goethe’s nature, and thereby “moves back” the boundaries of his own nature. Throughout this passage, he frames this activity as an autonomous act of contemplation of a distant, outside force. Despite all of the camaraderie the two poets had come to enjoy, Schiller describes the fundamental principle of this encounter in terms of a lasting distance. He “can consider” Goethe’s nature “at a distance to be an objective reality”; though he is drawn to it, he only “contemplates” it and “assimilates it in thought” with effort. Through a lens adjusted to emphasize autonomy, Schiller thus renders an otherwise sociable and likely fun collaboration as an effort-laden exercise in aesthetic contemplation. This posture would accord well with his extended account of the autonomous contemplation of autonomous works of art in his own aesthetic theory.
Goethe, referring to Schiller’s tendency toward reflective philosophical speculation as a poet as against his own more objective instincts, also gives primacy to autonomous contemplation as the result of their collaborations:
If I rendered you the service of being for you the representative expression of a good number of objective realities, in return you have brought me back from a too rigorously objective observation of the external world and its laws to withdrawal into myself. You have taught me to look with more attention at the complexity of the inner man, you have procured me a second youth and made of me once again the poet I had practically ceased to be. 5
Goethe acknowledges Schiller’s vital effect on his worldview, gesturing toward an objective versus subjective distinction between the two poets made famous as part of Schiller’s concept of the naïve and the sentimental in poetry. Yet he also frames the interaction as an outer influence on his own unchangeable inner core. Goethe treats the intersubjective aspect of his conversations with Schiller as an important but secondary waystation on a journey that begins with his own autonomous self and ends with “withdrawal into” that same autonomy as its goal. Correlatively he learns to contemplate (like Schiller, always at some distance) “the complexity of inner man” in others for the sake of writing about them. Given this tone it is perhaps no surprise that on the first full publication of the Goethe-Schiller correspondence in 1828, the reviewer for the Blätter für literarische Unterhaltung (Pages for literary conversation) found this rhetorically maintained distance striking. He points out Goethe’s own commitment to a more distanced, “practically based” friendship, quoting the poet’s own remarks in the journal Über Kunst und Altertum ( On Art and Antiquity ). The reviewer, however, then assures potential purchasers of the publication that the affection between the two men was plain, despite the distance maintained in the service of professionalism and, I would add, the project of autonomy. 6
Louis Dumont excavates this particular exchange from the letters in The German Ideology to point out the dual concern Goethe and Schiller had for the notion of self-cultivation, or Bildung , in the years shortly preceding 1800. 7 In 1795–96, the two authors produced overlapping projects thematizing the subject: Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre and Schiller’s Über die ästhetische Erziehung des Menschen in einer Reihe von Briefen . In Dumont’s view, Bildung encapsulates a German worldview in which the inner core of the self, as inherited from the Pietist tradition in Protestantism, must be developed through an intricate relationship between the individual and the larger totality; the totality might be rendered as a larger religious whole, a secularized aesthetic totality, the notion of community (e.

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