Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Finson, Jon W. "The Reception of Gustav Mahler's Wunderhorn Lieder." Journal of Musicology 5 (Winter 1987): 91-116.

The reception during Mahler's lifetime of his songs based on the Wunderhorn texts was unusually varied. As explanation for this, Mahler's use of the texts may be linked with a debate, which began with the publication of the texts of Des Knaben Wunderhorn in 1805-8 and spanned the nineteenth century, between those who wished to preserve the German folk heritage in its purest form and those who saw it as a malleable commodity for a politico-cultural end. Art, too, exhibited this tension between "folk" and "folk-like" material, and Mahler's Wunderhorn songs, which manipulate pre-existing folk material in a "high-art" setting, fall on the latter side of the debate. It was sensitivity to his place within that tension that informed the reception of the songs by contemporary critics.

Works: Mahler: Lieder aus des Knaben Wunderhorn.

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Susan Richardson

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