Biography: Clara Schumann


Clara Wieck

Clara Schumann, nee Wieck (1819-1986), was a German musician and composer, and considered one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era. Continue reading

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History Lesson: German Lied

Franz Schubert (1797 - 1828) - one of the early pioneers of lied

Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828) – one of the early pioneers of lied

German lied (Ger: “song”, plural lieder) is – at its most basic – German poetry set to music, typically of the romantic era, spanning the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Lied can be considered the German language equivalent to English art song. The earliest lied has often been tied to Franz Schubert (1797-1828), who was undoubtable an influence to Brahms and the Schumanns in the creation of their own lieder. Other notable composers of lieder include Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Liszt, Hugo Wolf, Gustav Mahler, and Richard Wagner.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) - A German poet and writer whose literature was often set to music

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) – A German poet and writer whose literature was often set to music

With the rise of German literature – including literary greats such as Goethe and von Schiller – composers were influenced to set the text to music to honour the beauty of love and romanticism that was becoming ever-prevalent in 18th century German discourse. In fact, the earliest influences of romantic lied can be seen in the compositions of Mozart and Beethoven, who both wrote vocal music with accompaniment. It is Franz Schubert, however, who is considered the pioneer of popularizing and standardizing lied as a musical art form.

By the time Brahms and the Schumanns were composing lied, the form was heavily solidified and structured thanks to prolific composers including Schubert and Mendelssohn. The versatility of lied can seen in its popularity throughout the past three centuries – including the 20th Century when experimental Austrian composers (Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern of the Second Viennese School, to name a few) adapted the format to new and exciting possibilities.

Lied was also not restricted to the German language. The English art song, the French melody, and the songs of Russia can all be traced back to similar origins and concepts.

Recommended Listening

Schubert: Der Erlkönig (Find it in the collection: catalogue link)

Mahler: Kindertotenlieder (Find it in the collection: catalogue link)

References / Recommended Reading

Norbert Böker-Heil, et al. “Lied.” Grove Music OnlineOxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 13 Nov. 2013. <>

S. Youens: Schubert’s Poets and the Making of Lieder (Cambridge, 1996)

E.F. Kravitt: The Lied: Mirror of Late Romanticism (New Haven, CT, 1996)

H. Platt: Text-Music Relationships in the Lieder of Johannes Brahms (diss., CUNY, 1992)

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Closed – Remembrance Day

The library will be closed Monday, November 11th for Remembrance Day.
ImageInterlake University will hold a Remembrance Day Ceremony at the Cenotaph on Buhler Green at 10:45am.

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Library Spotlight: Journals and Databases

Print journals?! We have the latest (last 5 years) of any publications still offering print, so you can sit comfortably and flip pages in the library!

Print journals?! We have the latest (last 5 years) of any publications still offering print, so you can sit comfortably and flip pages in the library!

So you’ve begun your research project with some preliminary research (hopefully starting with the great Oxford Music Online database), but now you need some more recent literature from the latest journal issues on your topic. Luckily, the Flatland Music Library has you covered!

The Flatland Music Library subscribes to several databases that index and abstract thousands of scholarly journals. A quick look at our web site will show direct links to the most often used databases. Here is what you will find and what you should know about each resource:


JSTOR (Journal STORage) is a digital library containing digitized academic journals from over 900 publishers with over 1,900 journal titles. Subjects go beyond just music into several other academic disciplines from the natural sciences to the fine arts and humanities. JSTOR originally restricted its collection to back-issues of journals, but now includes current issues as well as various books and primary sources. For the music student, JSTOR is a great database for nearly any research project, especially those of an interdisciplinary slant due to the variety of subjects covered.

The Music Index

Music Index, by Halmonie Park Press, is a database that indexes abstracts and articles from over 475 serial publications, as well as book reviews, obituaries, and news. This database is an excellent tool due to its indexing of popular press and journals. The Music Index, however, does not contain full-text items, though some database entries will link to full-text articles available through the library. Don’t be afraid to ask a librarian for help!

The library has several workstations for you to access databases.

The library has several workstations for you to access databases.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature

RILM (Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale – International Repertory of Music Literature) is a bibliography of writings relating to music with an international flavour – publications vary in 214 languages from over 146 countries. The content is limitless in its variety – ranging from popular music to ethnomusicology to music education and theory. RILM is an excellent database to search for just about every research project.

IIMP – International Index to Music Periodicals

IIMP indexes and abstracts hundreds of music journals from over 20 countries and contains full-text articles as well. IIMP is an excellent database for the most up-to-date publications, though its archives go back to 1874! IIMP is a must-visit database for any research project.

Hints and Tips

Searching databases and finding the right resources can be a difficult and frustrating task. Knowing where to start takes time and experience. It doesn’t help that many databases contain different and complicated search tools. If your research is taking you nowhere and you are getting frustrating finding that right article, do not hesitate to ask a librarian to assist you in your research.

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Links & Listens: The Schumann-Portal

The Schumann Portal

The grave and memorial of Robert Schumann, 1810-1856

The grave and memorial of Robert Schumann, 1810-1856

The Schumann Portal is a German website created for the 150th anniversary of Schumann’s death in 2006 and his 200th birthday in 2010. Funded by various government agencies, the website and the organization behind it (The Schumann Network) aim to raise public awareness and perception of the life and music of Robert Schumann.

The site contains plenty of biographical information on both Robert and Clara Schumann, as well as providing information on primary sources, discographies, bibliographies, photos and chronologies. Both scholars and the general public will find The Schumann Portal a helpful website for general information or research.

Be warned that the translation from German to English is not perfect nor comprehensive for the entire web site.

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Links & Listens: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons – “Winter”

Ice and snow have hit the Interlake region today. Take care in getting to and from school today!

Why not enjoy some weather-appropriate music?

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Concert Promotion: Piano Trio Ménage à trois

Clara, Robert and JohannesJoin us this week (Tuesday, November 5th) for a delightful evening of some of the finest chamber music of the romantic era. Students and faculty of the Flatland School of Music will be performing three great works by our featured composers: Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, and Clara Schumann. In this “ménage à trois” of piano trios (one by each composer), the Flatland School of Music’s resident music librarian will provide some thought-provoking background information on both the compositions and the interesting lives of the composers.

Admission is $10 and free for Interlake University students and children. The concert will begin at 7:30pm sharp. Coffee, tea and dainties will be served between performances during the lecture portion of the concert.


~Introduction Lecture~
Lukas Miller, Flatland Music Library

Schumann, R. – Piano Trio No. 3 in G minor, Op. 110 (1851)
Anthony McMillan, piano
Kate Telemann, violin
Walter Peters, cello

~Intermission & Lecture~
Lukas Miller, Flatland Music Library

Schumann, C. – Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 17 (1847)
Avril Harrison, piano
Kate Telemann, violin
Allison Newton, cello

~Intermission & Lecture~
Lukas Miller, Flatland Music Library

Brahms – Piano Trio No. 1 in B major, Op. 8 (1854)
Anthony McMillan, piano
Angus Miller, violin
Catherine Roberts, cello

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