Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe's Singspiele

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), the premiere German literary figure in most European genres of his time, influenced German music, especially the “song” or “Lied”. A number of scholarly studies have explored the topic of “Goethe and Music”, but they have yielded no consensus on the importance of connections between music and his literature, or on how much musical talent or knowledge he possessed. Opinions have also been mixed regarding his early musical dramas or “Singspiele”. These pieces present prose or verse dialogue, interspersed with songs performed by individuals, couples, trios, or choruses.

According to Ferdinand van Ingen in “Goethes Singspiele: Literarischer Anspruch und Autonomie der Musik”, they have evoked “Verlegenheit” (embarrassment) in

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Citation: Saur, Pamela S.. "Goethe's Singspiele". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 August 2017 [, accessed 21 June 2024.]

35883 Goethe's Singspiele 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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