Program music was one of the most flexible and contentious novelties of the long nineteenth century, covering a diverse range that included the overtures of Beethoven and Mendelssohn, the literary music of Berlioz and Schumann, Liszt's symphonic poems, the tone poems of Strauss and Sibelius, and compositions by groups of composers in Russia, Bohemia, the United States, and France. In this accessible Introduction, Jonathan Kregor explores program music's ideas and repertoire, discussing both well-known and less familiar pieces by an array of nineteenth- and twentieth-century composers. Setting program music in the context of the intellectual debates of the period, Kregor presents the criticism of writers like A. B. Marx and Hanslick to reveal program music's growth, dissemination, and reception. This comprehensive overview features numerous illustrations and music examples and provides detailed case studies of battle music, Shakespeare settings, and Goethe's Faust.
Jonathan Kregor is Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music. He is the author of Liszt as Transcriber (Cambridge University Press, 2010), winner of the inaugural Alan Walker Book Award from the American Liszt Society, as well as articles and reviews in numerous academic journals. Since 2012 he has been editor of the Journal of the American Liszt Society. His research interests in musical reproduction, confluences of virtuosity and gender, and music and memory have led to critical editions of works by C. P. E. Bach and Clara Schumann.
Introduction; 1. Characters, topics, and the programmatic battlefield; 2. Expression, musical painting, and the concert overture; 3. Berlioz and Schumann on music and literature; 4. Liszt and the symphonic poem; 5. The New German School and beyond; 6. Excursus: Faust; 7. Programmatic paths around the fin de siecle: Mahler and Strauss; 8. Programming the nation; 9. 'Ars Gallica'.