An Mignon (Goethe) aus J.Fr

An Mignon (Goethe) aus J.Fr. Reichardt Lieder von Liebe und von der Einsamkeit


Johann Friedrich Reichardt is mostly known for his lieder in the late Classical era. As a precursor of Schubert, Reichardt's music ends up having a fairly strong influence on Schubert's. Reichardt was heavily involved in the operatic traditions, particularly Opera Buffa, and served as the director of the Berlin Opera (Robbins 2011). Some of the most important lieder composed by Reichardt are those set to the texts by Goethe (Bonds 2010). 


Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 5.26.48 PM

Written in 1809, this music falls within the late Classical period and is not as forward thinking towards the Romantic period as Beethoven or Schubert. As the majority of Classical music, An Mignon is homophonic, with melody always taking precedence over the accompaniment underneath. In this way, the piano music throughout is very simple, employing a basic chordal structure with repeated arpeggios underneath the melody in the vocal part. As part of the late Classical period, accidentals are not as abundant as in Romantic music or composers who bridge the two musical eras. The rhythms are strait forward and simple. Typical to lieder, the work is also strophic, with the music staying the same while different verses are sung over the accompaniment. 


Compared to Schubert's , there are many similarities but also several differences. Regarding the similarities, the two works are both homophonic, with the emphasis on melody. The rhythms in both are simplistic and strophic. Differences are found primarily in chordal structure and accompaniment. Schubert uses more varied chords in the accompaniment, particularly through the use of diminished and augmented chords. 


I enjoyed looking at Reichardt's An Mignon as an example of late Classical music rather than the more Romantic music presented by Schubert. This analysis helped me more clearly see differences in Classical and Romantic characteristics. Historically, it is interesting to know some of what influenced Schubert.

Works CitedEdit

"An Mignon (Goethe) Aus. J.Fr. Reichardt: Lieder von Liebe und von der Einsamkeit." YouTube video, 2:40. Posted by "Georg Ott," upload October 31, 2013.

Mark Evans Bonds. A History of Music in Western Culture. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice-Hall, 2013.

First Edition. Book 1. Creative Commons Attribution.'s_Lieder,_Oden,_Balladen_und_Romanzen_(Reichardt,_Johann_Friedrich)

Allison Robbins. (2011, February) Classical Period. Musicology 220. Lecture conducted from University of Tennessee, Knoxville.