Strauss: The Complete Songs, Vol. 6 – Elizabeth Watts
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In the early days after his appointment in 1933 Strauss had inevitably been obliged to seek the favour of the Propaganda Ministry, and it is from this period that Das Bächlein originates. It was composed in December 1933 and originally inscribed ‘an Herrn Reichsminister Josef Goebbels’, a dedication that was suppressed when the song was first published in 1951.
If one could only ignore the thrice-repeated ‘mein Führer’ with which the poem ends, this song could be treasured as an exquisite example of Strauss in his best ‘folk-song’ mode. The piano part is almost Schubertian with its bubbling triplets, while the voice part is beautifully inflected—first lively and innocent, then quiet and thoughtful, sinking lower for the brook’s dark rocky bed, then higher with the reflection of the blue sky. The whole song is perfectly crafted, and but for its questionable history deserves to be far better known.
from notes by Roger Vignoles © 2012