Jennifer Ronyak

Intimacy, Performance, and the Lied in the Early Nineteenth Century

Indiana University Press 2018

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in European StudiesNew Books in German StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in MusicNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network March 8, 2019 Kristen M. Turner

The Lied is one of the most important genres of nineteenth-century Romantic music, and one of the most intriguing. Balanced between public and private...

The Lied is one of the most important genres of nineteenth-century Romantic music, and one of the most intriguing. Balanced between public and private performance, an expression of both poetic and musical meaning, musicologists have tended to study Lieder by analyzing the connections between the music and text. In her new book Intimacy, Performance, and the Lied in the Early Nineteenth Century published by Indiana University Press in 2018, Dr. Jennifer Ronyak studies a set of Lieder with texts she identifies as “intimate lyric poetry” through the lens of performance using methodologies culled from literary studies, philosophy, and musicology. Delving deeply into German Romantic ideas about interiority and the self, Ronyak considers Lieder as an intimate expression of meaning for composer, lyricist, singer, and audience. She contextualizes this act of performance within the salon culture of several important German cities. By centering a philosophical inquiry into the paradox of the Lieder as the outward expression of inwardly facing ideas, Ronyak is able to de-emphasize the most famous Lieder composers of the period and bring in the voices and contributions of marginalized figures including women who functioned in a variety of roles: performers, intellectuals, salon hostesses, and writers.

Jennifer Ronyak is currently Senior Scientist in Musicology at the Institute for Musical Aesthetics at the University for Music and Performing Arts Graz, Austria (Kunstuniversität Graz). Her work has been published in The Journal of the American Musicological Society, 19th-Century Music, Music & Letters, The Journal of Musicology, and the Jahrbuch Musik und Gender; additional research is forthcoming in collections from Boydell & Brewer and Oxford University Press. She has also explored the implications of her research into song for current performing practices as a guest faculty member of the Vancouver International Song Institute and at the Kunstuniversität Graz.


Kristen M. Turner, Ph.D. is a lecturer at North Carolina State University in the music department. Her work centers on American musical culture at the turn of the twentieth century and has been published in several journals and essay collections.