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date: 16 December 2019

Albumleaf (Ger. Albumblatt; Fr. feuille d’album).locked

  • Maurice J.E. Brown
  • , revised by Kenneth L. Hamilton

Extract

(Ger. Albumblatt; Fr. feuille d’album).

A composition originally written in the album of a friend or patron and usually dedicated to him or her. The style was therefore simple and the dimensions slight. Examples are Schubert’s Albumblatt in G, d844, written for Anna Hönig, and Liszt’s Adagio in C, based on a theme from his Après une lecture du Dante (Années de pèlerinage, book 2) and written into the album of an unidentified female acquaintance in 1841. But the form of the albumleaf was undefined, and in time its original purpose was lost sight of: substantial pieces such as Beethoven’s Für Elise were dedicated to friends but no longer written in albums. During the 19th century ‘albumleaf’ became merely a convenient title among many others. Sometimes series of such pieces were published as albums: Schumann, besides his Albumblätter, op.124, composed an Album für die Jugend, op.68, Tchaikovsky an Album pour les enfants, op.39, consisting of 24 pieces, and Anton Rubinstein two separate albums of 12 and 6 pieces respectively. In time such a piece was simply called ‘Blatt’; thus Schumann’s well-known ...

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