It's probably safe to say that this book--originally published in 1980 and now out in its first paperback edition--is the definitive volume on the 19th-century oeuvre of French art song as practiced by Chausson, Debussy, Duparc, and Fauré. Meister offers an intelligent overall discussion of the anti-Wagnerian aesthetic of these four masters of the art song, and examines each of their song settings in loving and well-informed detail. Translations are provided from French to English (and, as in the case of a French version of a Shakespeare song, back again from French for a surprisingly different view), along with observations on the flow of the song and interpretations. Although bound to be of interest to a small audience, Nineteenth-Century French Song
will prove invaluable to anyone with a regard for this delicate art form, and particularly the singers and pianists who perform it.
About the Author
Barbara Meister is an accompanist, chamber musician, solo pianist, and lecturer on art songs.