Friday, December 11, 2009

David Krohn Performs Schubert's "Schwanengesang"

The layout of this blog cuts off part of the video. You can see the complete picture at Trinity Wall Street's website.

The songs of Schwanengesang, in the composer's original order, are:

* By Ludwig Rellstab:
o Liebesbotschaft ("Message of love"; the singer invites a stream to convey a message to his beloved)
o Kriegers Ahnung ("Warrior's foreboding"; a soldier encamped with his comrades sings of how he misses his beloved)
o Frühlingssehnsucht ("Longing in spring": the singer is surrounded by natural beauty but feels melancholy and unsatisfied until his beloved can "free the spring in my breast")
o Ständchen (Serenade)
o Aufenthalt ("Dwelling place": the singer is consumed by anguish for reasons we aren't told, and likens his feelings to the river, forest and mountain around him)
o In der Ferne ("In the distance": the singer has fled his home, broken-hearted, and complains of having no friends and no home; he asks the breezes and sunbeams to convey his greetings to the one who broke his heart)
o Abschied ("Farewell": the singer bids a cheery but determined farewell to a town where he has been happy but which he must now leave)
* By Heinrich Heine:
o Der Atlas ("Atlas": the singer, having wished for eternal happiness or eternal wretchedness, has the latter, and blames himself for the weight of sorrow, as heavy as the world, that he now bears)
o Ihr Bild ("Her image": the singer tells his beloved of how he dreamed (daydreamed?) that a portrait of her favoured him with a smile and a tear; but alas, he has lost her)
o Das Fischermädchen ("The fisher-maiden": the singer tries to sweet-talk a fishing girl into a romantic encounter, drawing parallels between his heart and the sea)
o Die Stadt ("The city": the singer is in a boat rowing towards the city where he lost the one he loved; it comes foggily into view)
o Am Meer ("By the sea": the singer tells of how he and his beloved met in silence beside the sea, and she wept; since then he has been consumed with longing — she has poisoned him with her tears)
o Der Doppelgänger ("The double": the singer looks at the house where his beloved once lived, and is horrified to see someone standing outside it in torment — it is, or appears to be, none other than himself, aping his misery of long ago)
* The last song based on a poem written by Johann Gabriel Seidl (1804 - 1875).
o Taubenpost ("Pigeon post"; the song that is often considered as a last lied that Schubert ever wrote. The song is included into a cycle by the first editor and is almost always included in modern performances)



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1 comment:

  1. Perhaps you mean to say the publisher's original order, because there doesn't seem to be any evidence Schubert conceived these songs as a cycle. They seem to have been grouped together by a publisher who hoped to capitalize on the success of Schubert's real song cycles, Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise.