As so often with Liszt, the genesis of his Geharnischte Lieder
is a little complicated: the piano pieces derive not just from the eponymous unaccompanied male choruses of 1860 in the collection Für Männergesang
, but also from earlier versions of these choruses with piano accompaniment. The order and titles of the piano version are the same as in the later choral version, which credits the texts to Carl Götze, whilst the earlier version (with Nos 2 and 3 the other way about) ascribes them to Theodor Meyer (the present writer would be grateful for any enlightenment on this subject). Vor der Schlacht
(‘Before the battle’) and Es rufet Gott uns mahnend
(‘God calls and warns us’) are both settings of a poem apparently originally called Trost
(‘Consolation’), in which soldiers are called by God to the sacred battle; Nicht gezagt!
encourages leaden-hearted soldiers under a leaden sky to enter the fray without hesitation or lament.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1995