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Track(s) taken from CDD22010

Vom mitleiden Mariä, D632

First line:
Als bei dem Kreuz Maria stand
composer
December 1818; first published in 1831 in volume 10 of the Nachlass
author of text

The Songmakers' Almanac, Ann Murray (mezzo-soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: November 1983
St Barnabas's Church, North Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: March 1997
Total duration: 3 minutes 27 seconds

Cover artwork: Party Games of the Schubertians (Gesellschaftspeilungen der Schubertianer) by Leopold Kupelwieser
 
Lebensmut: The Romantic Struggle
1

Other recordings available for download

Edith Mathis (soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)

Reviews

'Impossible to imagine anyone not deriving enormous pleasure from this collection' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Reviewers have long since run out of adjectives to describe Graham Johnson's superb complete Schubert song series for Hyerion. Now, for the Schubert centenary year, comes a re-release of a Schubertide which while not part of the series is certainly in the same spirit. "Back catalogue" at Hyperion means caskets of jewels rather than dusty shelves. There are so many matchless performances on this set that you could operate the player blindfold and pick a winner every time. All conjure up memories of superb evenings in the concert hall where this group could justifiably claim to have set a new standard for the presentation of song' (The Singer)
This is another of those Schubert songs with a sense of historical style which borders on pastiche, as much of a stylisation as the previous song on this disc, but inhabiting a different world of expression. The composer was reasonably well acquainted with what we now term 'early music'; a letter written to him by his brother Ferdinand tells us that Schubert played Bach fugues. He was easily able to write in a variety of 'old' styles (the Bachian Agnus Dei of the first Mass D105 for example) and certain song texts also prompted this response. Here, the austere three-part texture and the restless chromaticism suggest Passion music of another age. Schubert would have perhaps known the Gellert and Cramer settings of C P E Bach and it is the style of those religious odes for voice and piano which this setting brings to mind. Schubert's study of three-part counterpoint with Salieri stood him in good stead for a type of writing where the voice and each hand of the pianist form a trinity of intertwined equality.

We do not know for certain whether Schubert met Friedrich Schlegel, who had lived in Vienna since 1809, but it seems probable that from the end of 1818 the composer was drawn into his circle via Franz von Bruchmann. That Schubert went though a phase of great enthusiasm for Schlegel's poetry in the following two years suggests something of a personal connection. Schlegel was a Roman Catholic convert whose viewpoint on religion was very different from that, for example, of Schubert's father. The oppressive link between Church and State seems to have been at the root of the composer's distaste for organised religion, but in Schlegel the composer found a poet whose religious feelings were deployed in an astonishingly wide and liberal philosophical context. Schlegel's words here encourage a moving musical response to the human tragedy of the crucifixion and a mother's grief. The self-imposed hieratic austerity of the 'old' music still allows for the inner glow of Schubertian compassion.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1994

Other albums featuring this work

Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/4040CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 21 – Edith Mathis
CDJ33021
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