The Berlin critic Ludwig Rellstab published a compilation of reviews and newspaper articles about Liszt in 1842 as a result of the concerts that made Liszt a phenomenon comparable to today’s biggest rock stars. In Rellstab’s words, Liszt would leave Berlin ‘not like a king, but as a king’. Three years later, Liszt set a poem by Rellstab, Es rauschen die Winde
, that Schubert had earlier set to music under the title ‘Herbst’ (Autumn), D945, its theme the perennial comparison of autumn to old age and the approach of death. In Liszt’s first version, the persona is agitated and desperate, with certain figures that recall Schubert’s persona in ‘Der stürmische Morgen’ from Winterreise
. The memory of springtime in parallel major mode (another song-within-a-song) also seems Schubertian in origin, proof that major mode can be as tragic as minor mode in the hands of great composers.
from notes by Susan Youens © 2010