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Helmine von Chezy is perhaps best known as the librettist of Weber's opera Euryanthe, the production of which in October 1823 brought her to Vienna from Paris (her second husband, de Chézy, was French), and thus into Schubert's ken. It is well known that Schubert did not like Euryanthe, and told Weber so to his face (only when asked by him), saying that he much preferred Der Freischütz. This transparent honesty cost him dear. Weber's enthusiasm for Schubert's work suddenly dried up, and offers of preferment for his works at the opera house in Dresden were no longer forthcoming. Deutsch also believed it likely that at some point Weber warned Schubert against getting involved artistically with Madame von Chézy. Both her grandmother and mother had been recognised poets, and her life and travels throughout Europe all betoken rather a fruitless quest to live up to her vision of herseif as a great writer. She numbered Adalbert von Chamisso (poet of Schumann's Frauenliebe und -leben) among her lovers. Schubert's friend Bauernfeld described her as 'extremely good-natured, somewhat ridiculous; cleanliness not her cardinal virtue'.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1990
|Schubert: The Complete Songs|
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