Composer: Franz Schubert (b. 1797 - d. 1828)
Performance date: 02/07/2013
Venue: St. Brendan’s Church
Composition Year: c.1822-1828
Recording Engineer: Damian Chennells, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation: S-solo, pf
Ruby Hughes -
Julius Drake - [piano]
Schubert, as a true Romantic was always
drawn to night-time subjects and these four songs illustrate different facets
of this fascination. Arguably the best-loved serenade in music, Ständchen
is a setting of a poem by Ludwig Rellstab [1799-1860] and probably dates from
the last year of his life. Goethe wrote his Wanderers
Nachtlied in 1780 when he
was staying in the Thuringian forests and mountains near Ilmenau. It is not clear when Schubert set it to
music, possibly at the end of 1822, but it captures a nocturnal mood superbly.
Der Wanderer an den Mond dates from 1826 and is probably the composer’s
best moonlight song: I on the earth, you in the sky… I wander homeless but you are always at home. Finally Mayrhofer’s Nachtstück – a magnificent hymn to nature, sung by an
old man with a harp: soon I shall sleep
the long sleep and nature promises to cover his final resting place.
Schubert’s biographer Alfred Einstein describes it fondly, noting the lovely
harp-like effects matching the words.
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