I. Schilflieder, Op 2. No 1: Auf geheimen Waldespfaden
I. Schilflieder, Op 2. No 2: Drüben geht die Sonne scheiden
I. Schilflieder, Op 2. No 3: Trübe wird's
I. Schilflieder, Op 2. No 4: Sonnenuntergang
I. Schilflieder, Op 2. No 5: Auf dem Teich
II. Drei Lieder. No 1: Der Schalk, Op 3 No 1
II. Drei Lieder. No 2: Meeresstille, Op 8 No 2
II. Drei Lieder. No 3a: Der Bote, Op 8 No 1
II. Drei Lieder. No 3b: Durch den Wald in Mondenschein, Op 8 No 3
III. Vier Lieder. No 1: Treibt der Sommer, Op 8 No 5
III. Vier Lieder. No 2: Gewitternacht, Op 8 No 6
III. Vier Lieder. No 3: Das ist ein Brausen und Heulen, Op 8 No 4
III. Vier Lieder. No 4: Frühling und Liebe, Op 3 No 3
Liszt’s choices of song in two Franz sets enable him to make poetic cycles of his own: ‘The Lad’ finds himself curious, compelled and bewitched in turn by the mysteries of nature, in the first of three Eichendorff settings. ‘Calm Sea’ conjures up images of a mysterious king of the deep who controls the destiny of those on the sea and who sings to his harp. ‘The Message’ from the beloved comes by way of the wind playing on the strings of a zither, and likening that zither to the poet’s heart. Liszt sets this as a theme with an elaborate variation, but the text is laid under the varied melody, and a contrasting central section is added, itself a transcription of another Franz song to a poem by Heine, ‘Through the wood in the moonlight’, whose text is exactly that of Mendelssohn’s ‘New Love’, and Liszt clearly intends that vision to prepare the way for the Eichendorff poem.
This set begins with two texts by Osterwald: ‘The Summer puts forth its roses’—a recollection of former happiness amidst present sorrow; and ‘Stormy Night’—an impassioned plea that the poet’s storm-tossed soul be comforted by the maiden deciding to love him again. Heine’s ‘What a showering and howling!’ tells of a girl looking out into the stormy night, her eyes full of tears; and Hoffman von Fallersleben’s ‘Spring and Love’ gently restores hope of the healing powers of spring and love’s rebirth.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1991