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SCHUBERT: Lied Edition 17 - Austrian Contemporaries, Vol. 2

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In 1816 Franz Schubert, together with his circle of friends,decided to publish a collection of all the songs which he had so far written.

Joseph Spaun, whom Schubert had known since his school days, tried his (and Schubert's)luck in a letter to the then unquestioned Master of the German language, JohannWolfgang von Goethe:


A selection of German songs will constitute the beginning ofthis edition; it will consist of eight volumes. The first two (the first ofwhich, as an example, you will find in our letter) contains poems written byyour Excellency, the third, poetry by Schiller, the fourth and fifth, works byKlopstock, the sixth by Mathison, Holty, Salis etc., the seventh and eighthcontain songs by Ossian, whose works are quite exceptional.


The Deutsche Schubert-Lied-Edition follows the composer'soriginal concept. All Schubert's Lieder, over 700 songs, will be groupedaccording to the poets who inspired him, or according to the circle of writers,contemporaries, members of certain literary movements and so on, whose worksSchubert chose to set to music. Fragments and alternative settings, providingtheir length and quality make them worth recording, and works for two or morevoices with piano accompaniment will also make up a part of the edition.


Schubert set the poetry of over 115 writers to music. Heselected poems from classical Greece, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, fromeighteenth-century German authors, early Romantics, Biedermeier poets,his contemporaries, and, of course, finally, poems by Heinrich Heine, althoughsadly the two never met.


The entire edition is scheduled for completion by 2006.

Thanks to the Neue Schubert Ausgabe (New Schubert Edition), published byBarenreiter, which uses primary sources - autograph copies wherever possible -the performers have been able to benefit from the most recent research of theeditorial team. For the first time, the listener and the interested reader canfollow Schubert's textual alterations and can appreciate the importance the writtenword had for the composer.


The project's Artistic Advisor is the pianist UlrichEisenlohr, who has chosen those German-speaking singers who represent the eliteof today's young German Lieder singers, performers whose artistic contribution,he believes, will stand the test of time.


Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828)

Settings of Poems by Austrian Contemporaries, Vol. 2


In May 1821 Schubert received a letter from Johann LadislavPyrker, the Patriarch of Venice: 'Honoured Sir, I accept with the greaterpleasure your proposal to dedicate to me the fourth volume of your incomparablesongs, in that there often now return memories of that evening when I was somoved by the profundity of your mind, also explicitly expressed in the music ofyour Wanderer ...'. Ladislav Pyrker, born in 1773, had an important careerin the Church, as Abbot and then Archbishop. Throughout his life he wassocially engaged. In Karlsruhe and Gastein he founded, during thewar with France, sanatoria for the war wounded, andhe wrote poetry. He appears at two important points in Schubert's artisticdevelopment. The two first met in 1820 through their common friend Matthaus vonCollin. The Opus 4 then dedicated to him by Schubert included theaforementioned famous Wanderer, really central for Schubert's creativecareer, a setting of verse by Schmidt von L??beck (Deutsche Schubert-Lied-Edition11, North German Poets). In 1825 they probably met again, when Schubert, withthe famous singer Michael Vogl, the most important interpreter of Schubert'ssongs during the latter's lifetime, undertook his third great journey to UpperAustria, staying in Linz, Steyr, Salzburg and Gmunden, and in Bad Gastein.

There he received from Pyrker himself the poems Die Allmacht (Omnipotence)and Das Heimweh (Homesickness), which gave Schubert texts for two of themost substantial songs included here. Schubert was profoundlymoved and inspired by his impressions of this journey, the landscape, nature,culture, and artistic and human encounters. This is evident from two unusuallycomprehensive and detailed reports of his travels to his brother Ferdinand.

Pyrker's poems directly or indirectly provide a theme for these impressions, DasHeimweh, the connection of the mountain people to the landscape, thegrandeur of which could not fail to impress him, Die Allmacht the praiseof a God who could create such a thing (and the people with all theirpossibilities and vicissitudes). This may explain the passionate engagement,the almost overheated intensity of both songs. The personal gift of the poemsby Pyrker may also have played a part, since they both seem to have held eachother in high esteem.


A further circumstance could similarly have brought aboutthe particular strength of feeling of Das Heimweh. The idea of longingis actually central to Schubert's songs, yet this longing is almost always directedtowards an ideal 'milderes Land' (gentler country), as Mayrhoferexpressed it, a 'bessre Welt' (better world) in the words of Schober, agoal beyond, unattainable on earth. Here, though, it is concrete, in thisworld, and precisely related to the mountains that so deeply influencedSchubert, a citizen of Vienna. Accordingly his music is direct,robust, concise and tightly constructed, filled with harmonic colours, melodicAlpine yodelling turns of phrase in his conception of the longed for land, butalso deeply sad, depressive and of high dramatic intensity in its depiction ofthe pain of parting. Die Allmacht gave him an opportunity to express hisform of piety and devotion: God manifests himself in the 'beating hearts' ofmen, not in the sermons of priests, experienced in nature, not in church. Fromthis directly approachable pantheism in the poem came one of the most dramatic ofall Schubert's songs, almost beyond comprehension, yet credible, in itsunbroken pathos untypical of the composer.


Like these two poems, all the other texts here belong to arelatively restricted contemporary and localised part of Schubert's life. Yet acharacteristic of this repertoire is its contrast of opposites, its almost unharmonicallyrealised heterogeneity: the profound philosophy of life of Die abgebl??hteLinde (The Faded Lime Tree) stands against the carefree Frohsinn (Joy)and Die Frohlichkeit (Joyfulness); heaven-storming pantheism in DieAllmacht alternates with Biedermeier songs in praise of the joys offriendship and of wine, women and song, in Der Zufriedene (The ContentedMan) and Skolie (Drinking Song); the individual, with a creed verging onthe exhibitionist in Der Ungl??ckliche (The Unhappy One) is in contrastwith the cliche-ridden genre picture of happy country people in Ferne vonder gro?ƒen Stadt (Far from the great city), and this again with thesensitive, individual, contemporary depiction of the homesick mountain-dwellerin Das Heimweh, the chauvinist political song of victory of Die Befreier Europas in Paris (The Liberatorsof Europe in Paris) with the hymn of Die erste Liebe
Item number 8557172
Barcode 747313217229
Release date 01/07/2004
Label Naxos Records
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Artists Detlef Roth
Ulrich Eisenlohr
Composers Franz Schubert
Producers Andreas Werner
Disc: 1
Die Frohlichkeit, D. 262
1 Der Ungluckliche, D. 713
2 Widerspruch, D. 865
3 Glaube, Hoffnung und Liebe, D. 955
4 Frohsinn, D. 520
5 Die abgebluhte Linde, D. 514
6 Der Flug der Zeit, D. 515
7 Das Heimweh, D. 851
8 Die Allmacht, D. 852
9 Labetrank der Liebe, D. 302
10 An die Geliebte, D. 303
11 Vergebliche Liebe, D. 177
12 Die Sterne, D. 176
13 Die erste Liebe, D. 182
14 Lob des Tokayers, D. 248
15 Der Zufriedene, D. 320
16 Der Sanger am Felsen, D. 482
17 Lied: Ferne von der grossen Stadt, D. 483
18 Skolie: Lasst im Morgenstrahl des Mai'n, D. 306
19 Die Befreier Europas in Paris, D. 104
20 Abschied (Leb wohl, du schone Erde), D. 829
21 Die Frohlichkeit, D. 262
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