To this day, the compositions of Josephine Caroline Lang (1815-1880) are often overlooked. In her time she was not only extremely successful as a pianist and singer, but was also considered one of the leading composers in Germany. In this blog article we want to focus on her personality as a vocal composer.
Lang's works are characterized by a deep sensitivity and a sensitive speech melody. Her lyrics are carefully chosen and set to music in such a way that their meaning plays an essential role. She was not a traditionalist, but was always looking for new forms of expression. Their music features subtle accompaniment, often consisting of just piano accompaniment, while the melodies are lyrically singable and often have a simple structure. Lang has composed songs in many different languages, including German, English, Italian and French, which is why she can be heard in very different cultures.
Many of her songs are about love, longing and pain. The composer succeeds in capturing the emotions of the texts in the music and bringing them closer to the listener. The melodies are characterized by great intimacy and invite you to concentrate on the lyrics and their meaning. Even if the music does not always sound spectacular at first glance, it is characterized by its delicacy and subtlety.
Lang was a woman who lived for her art. She asserted herself against the expectations of her time and fought for the recognition of her work. She performed regularly as a pianist and singer and had a solid audience in her hometown of Munich that stood behind her and her work. She was a strong personality who stood up for her beliefs and didn't let anything stop her. In addition, she was close friends with the composer Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, who supported her in her career. Both shared a passion for vocal music and performed together or gave concerts with works by the other. This amicable relationship between Lang and Mendelssohn demonstrates the importance of mutual support and collaboration at a time when women were often disadvantaged in the music industry.
Nowadays Josephine Caroline Lang's compositional work is often overlooked, although it is of great quality for the history of music. Nevertheless, more and more people are interested in the composer's music and are rediscovering it. Through her compositions we can let ourselves be carried away into a world of sensitivity and sensitive speech melody. The composer's work is an important legacy that needs to be preserved and that still has a lot to say to us today.