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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDJ33001
Recording details: February 1987
Elstree, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: December 1987
Total duration: 2 minutes 10 seconds

'Dame Janet is in glorious voice' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'One of the loveliest records even Dame Janet has made' (The Guardian)

'A generous and revelatory recital of Goethe and Schiller settings. Janet Baker breaks the champagne bottle over one of the most important recording projects of the half century' (The Times)

Der Fischer, D225
First line:
Das Wasser rauschtí, das Wasser schwoll
published in 1821 as Op 5 No 3
author of text

Schubert had an endless ability to invent different types of water music. In the first song (Das Wandern) of his Schöne Müllerin cycle he finds a motif which serves both to suggest the happily trudging miller lad and the water doing its work, driving the millstones. Inventing versatile accompaniments is the secret of writing a good strophic song. Der Fischer is in the same key of B flat as Das Wandern, and is also water music that serves more than one purpose, for this is a strophic song par excellence. Goethe thought it wrong that 'a false interest in detail' should be 'demanded and aroused' in song composition. This dogmatic statement makes durchkomponiert (through-composed) songs sound like musical pornography. But even Goethe (who ignored the compositions Schubert sent to him, this song among them) could not have objected to something as simple and direct as Der Fischer. The tune is a sturdy one; the accompaniment stirs up a storm but with the help of a few mordants and emotive horn-call bass lines can suggest the blandishments of the Lorelei-type mermaid in the middle verses. The fisherman's disappearance at the end is as peremptory as the all-purpose postlude. There is a very German strength and sweetness in all this simplicity and Schubert faithfully matches Goethe in his folk-song vein. Although the composer often created discursive and experimental songs, he was also capable of writing concise, no-nonsense music.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1988

Other albums featuring this work
'Schubert: The Complete Songs' (CDS44201/40)
Schubert: The Complete Songs
MP3 £130.00FLAC £130.00ALAC £130.00Buy by post £150.00 CDS44201/40  40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)  
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