1756-1791. 40 songs, in German, French, and Italian. "An Chloe", "Als Luise die Briefe ihres ungetreuen Liebhabers verbrannte" etc.
Ludwig van Beethoven

66 songs, 59 German, 7 Italian 

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Most important contribution to the development of Lied:
-expanded harmonic range
-first song cycle An die Ferne Geliebte ("To the distant love"), poet Aloys Jeitteles, 6 songs

Music and texts more congruent
Song cycle linked by piano into one continuous work
1st song returns at the end of the work

Aloys Jeitteles

(1794-1858) German poet, wrote "An die Ferne Geliebte", which Beethoven set into the first song cycle

German poetry

  • Use of unpretentious language
  • Poetry emerged from grass roots, no considered just an elitist passtime
  • popular appeal of german poetry is mirrored in the role of german poets as a political/social conscience


Franz Joseph Haydn

Oratorios: Creation, The Seasons

40 songs in German and English

first important composer to compose vocal music in 3 staves. Dynamics are in the piano, not voice, until Schumann

Johann Friedrick Reichhart

1000 Songs, doubled voice, harmonically adventurous, expanded strophic plan

Carl Friedrich Zelter

Composer most favored by Goethe

Music subservient to the words, inventive piano postludes

Johann Rudolph Zumsteeg


300 songs and singspiele, specialized in extended ballads

Franz Peter Schubert


1. "Gretchen am Spinnrade"

2. Reactive: limits the options of composers

3. Flowering of German Literature: Schubert had a voracious appetite for reading.

4. He did not have towering models of song before him, as opposed to symphonies (BEETHOVEN), chamber music (HAYDN), opera (MOZART)