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    ‘Johanna Kinkel’s Trinklied für Männerchor: A Reactive Response to Nineteenth-Century Music Criticism?’

    Bunzel, Anja (2016) ‘Johanna Kinkel’s Trinklied für Männerchor: A Reactive Response to Nineteenth-Century Music Criticism?’. The Musicology Review, 9. ISSN 1649-6108

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    When Johanna Kinkel (1810–1858) published her first set of Lieder, Sechs Lieder opus 7 in 1838, they were received with great enthusiasm by such renowned music critics as Ludwig Rellstab (Iris im Gebiete der Tonkunst), Gottfried Wilhelm Fink (Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung) and Oswald Lorenz (Neue Zeitschrift für Musik). Despite this, all three reviewers included some remarks of astonishment about Kinkel’s gender in their critiques, as they would not have expected such compositions to come from a woman. Johanna Kinkel’s aversion to such gender biases is revealed in her memoirs, letters and many of her theoretical and fictional writings. However, the seriousness with which Kinkel approached gender discrimination and injustice can best be understood by examining Kinkel’s short but significant correspondence with Robert Schumann (1810–1856). When Schumann asked Kinkel to contribute to the musical supplement of his Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, Kinkel sent him an affectionate letter along with the wild composition, Trinklied für Männerchor (Drinking Song for Male Voices) in G minor, composed exclusively for the purpose of ‘immensing [the reviewer] with the soft and tender’.2 Here, Kinkel ironically refers to characterisations Oswald Lorenz had previously used to describe Kinkel’s Lieder in reviews published by the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. In his review of Kinkel’s drinking song, Robert Schumann explains Kinkel’s rather stubborn drinking song as a sign of the times and refers back to Kinkel’s earlier Lieder publications and their ‘musical and indeed feminine nature’.3 Using Kinkel’s letter to Schumann and contemporary reviews of her early Lieder compositions as a starting point, this paper aims to analyse Johanna Kinkel’s Trinklied für Männerchor by examining the gendered context within which it was composed and reviewed. Firstly, I will contextualise Kinkel’s first Lieder opus by exploring its public reception. Secondly, I will compare the compositional and textual features of these early Lieder with Kinkel’s drinking song and will argue that Kinkel attempted to avoid using musical features associated with female authorship in her Trinklied. Finally, I will place Kinkel’s Trinklied within the context of the reception of her later Lieder.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Johanna Kinkel; Trinklied für Männerchor; Reactive Response; Nineteenth-Century Music; Criticism;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Music
    Item ID: 9034
    Depositing User: Anja Bunzel
    Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2017 10:54
    Journal or Publication Title: The Musicology Review
    Publisher: University College Dublin
    Refereed: No
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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