Bruchmann, devoted to the poet in almost a romantic manner, kept in touch with Senn, and lent him money. He regarded Senn as something of a Christ-like figure, who had been sacrificed to pay for the sins of the entire Schubert circle; but the friendship between these two men utterly different in temperament dissolved as Bruchmannís political and religious beliefs became more right-wing and hard-line. Before this happened, however, Bruchmann visited Senn in September 1822; he brought back two of the poetís manuscripts and passed them on to Schubert for musical setting. (It is interesting that it was also Bruchmann who was the middle-man in arranging for two of Platenís poems to be set; he emerges as something of a secret agent engaged in subterfuge with political and sexual outcasts.) Senn later served as soldier and journalist, but far from Vienna he had no means of making money from his writings and he eventually turned to drink. We do not know a great deal about Schubertís feelings for Senn, but he must have regarded his old friend with the admiration reserved for those who share oneís own beliefs and suffer monstrous ill-treatment on that account Ė Ďthere, but for the grace of God, go Ií. The poetís reputation no doubt took on something of a mythical status with this group of angry young men, ashamed that they, unlike Senn, had been cowed into submission by the state. Nevertheless, it seems that the group kept in close clandestine touch with the poet for some years after his exile, and that his thoughts and opinions continued to exert an influence on the Schubertians. Schubertís loss of interest in Friedrich von Schlegel and his works (see Volume 27) may well have been influenced by Senn as late as 1825. (For these details about the poetís life after 1820 I am indebted to the researches of Lisa Feuerzeig.) If Senn had remained in Vienna the whole balance of the composerís circle would have been different; it is even possible that Franz von Schober would not have achieved quite the same influence over Schubert if Senn had been there to challenge him. The poetís autobiographical sketch written in 1849 mentions Schubert with nostalgia, and Senn also wrote a sonnet on the composer.
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 11 – Brigitte Fassbaender
Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40CDJ33011
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 28 – Maarten Koningsberger & John Mark Ainsley
Last few CD copies remainingCDJ33028
Alphabetical listing of all musical works
|Schwanengesang, D744 (Schubert)|
|Selige Welt, D743 (Schubert)|