Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDJ33051/3
Recording details: March 2004
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: October 2005
Total duration: 13 minutes 47 seconds

'This enterprising, often revelatory set should intrigue and delight anyone interested in the development of the Lied' (Gramophone)

'Since making music with friends was Schubert's whole raison d'etre, this 3-CD box is an inspired idea … Led by the soprano Susan Gritton, the performances are pure A-list' (The Independent)

'Anyone who loves lieder will find here a rich, diverse, and delightful offering. There isn't a bad song among the 81 songs by 40 composers who wrote during Schubert's lifetime, and there's a lot of fine music here by well-known and also practically unknown composers and poets. The singing is consistently excellent… Anyone interested in this genre wll find here a broad-ranging and generous collection' (American Record Guide)

'If 81 songs are too many to mention individually, sufficient variety exists and enough songs are receiving a first recording for this set to be indispensable for anyone interested in the genre' (International Record Review)

'Graham Johnson once again demonstrates that he has few peers today in his combined function as scholar-musician' (Fanfare, USA)

An die ferne Geliebte, Op 98
author of text

Other recordings available for download
Stephan Genz (baritone), Roger Vignoles (piano)
Introduction  EnglishDeutsch
An die ferne Geliebte is Beethoven’s only true song cycle, and the first important example of the form. It is based on poems taken from Alois Jeitteles’ 1815 collection entitled Gedichte in Selam, the name of an almanac edited by one Ignaz Castelli. Both Jeitteles and Castelli were members of an artistic group called ‘Lülamshöhle’, whose musical members included Salieri and Weber (Beethoven was an infrequent guest at their meetings).

All six poems concern the feelings of love as translated through nature – or at least the kind of idealized countryside vistas that had already been immortalized in the ‘Pastoral’ Symphony. All are cast in strophic form except the last, but Beethoven constantly varies and develops his accompaniments. Although these musical changes are not entirely for poetic reasons, they nevertheless help create a sense of progressive musical architecture totally denied strict strophic form.

Beethoven’s poetic sensitivity extends to such lengths as Wo die Berge so blau being kept on an uncomplicated harmonic leash until the words ‘Innere Pein’. Similarly, the move to the tonic minor for the last three stanzas of Leichte Segler in den Höhen is a moment of profound musical insight.

The cycle is quite literally brought full circle by the final song, which recalls material from the first. This technique was to prove a profound influence on the song cycles of Robert Schumann, who also concealed a number of other musical references to An die ferne Geliebte in his work, including the Beethovenian Fantasy in C, Op 17.

from notes by Julian Haylock 1999

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)  
'Beethoven: Songs' (GAW21055)
Beethoven: Songs
MP3 £4.00FLAC £4.00ALAC £4.00Buy by post £10.50 GAW21055  Last few CD copies remaining   Download currently discounted
'Beethoven: Songs' (CDA67055)
Beethoven: Songs

   English   Français   Deutsch