Researching for an accademic paper on the development of the Art song has brought me to Amazon and it's great prices and selection. I bought this book based on the description, assuming that I would find some good resources for my paper and for future research.
When I got this book, I was astonished at the heft of the thing! This book is huge, and is much more than just information on a few songs or composers. "Song" gives a basic introduction to the idea of the Art Song, and then gives ideas on researching and studying the song that is being studied. from there, and for the vast majority of the book, the author completes a thorough, systematic survey of songs, grouping into location of origin (German, French, etc), then by composer in a chronological (earliest to latest) order.
Each of the most important composers of Art Songs is included here, with no glaring omissions that I have found. Each composer is presented, with valuable information on the individual, influence and styles. Then, the most important of that composer's songs (or song cycles) is given the same, thorough, systematic treatment, with more than a page of information and insight into each song.
I will doubtless use this book over and over in order to research my repertoire pieces I am studying, and those I am assigning to my students. I will also be passing this on to my own teacher and my mentor for their libraries.