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Belgian symbolism in the art song

This research wants to study the repertoire of Belgian symbolic art songs. Studies on music from the Belgian blooming period of late Romanticism always make a distinction between different movements. They literally talk about ‘schools’ based on the imitation of masters (Van den Borren C.e., 1921). This study investigates if there is a repertoire within late Romantic Belgian music that has its own common characteristics. More specifically, it concerns a study of art songs by Belgian composers on texts by eight Belgian symbolist authors: Verhaeren, Maeterlinck, Lerberghe, de Ghelderode, Hellens, Mockel, Elskamp and (Georges) Rodenbach.

For each song, Lebbe will search for the message behind the text and how the music relates to the text. The thus collected properties are then systematized and synthesized, and tested against the existing paradigms about symbolism in music and on symbolism in Belgium. Then she will look for a description of the aesthetic framework of Belgian symbolism in the song, which intersects the traditional distribution schools. The output consists of a paper describing the individuality of symbolism in the Belgian song, the publication of an anthology of symbolic songs by Musikproduktion Höflich and a lecture recital in de Singel.