Hyperion Records

Am Seegestad', in lauen Vollmondsnächten
composer
September 1823
author of text
Erinnerungen; 1792; verses 1, 2, 4, 7 only set by Mendelssohn

Recordings
'Mendelssohn: Songs and Duets, Vol. 4' (CDA67739)
Mendelssohn: Songs and Duets, Vol. 4
Details

Am Seegestad', in lauen Vollmondsnächten
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Am Seegestad’ sets a poem by Friedrich von Matthisson (1761–1831), also set to music by Schubert. Matthisson’s poetry, first published in 1787 and reprinted many times thereafter, was praised by no less than Friedrich Schiller for its melancholy sweetness and tender descriptions of Nature. The sweetness is artificial, saccharine rather than real sugar, but composers from Beethoven to Schubert to Mendelssohn and many more were drawn to this poesia per musica. Mendelssohn set only verses 1, 2, 4 and 7 of Matthisson’s poem (dating from 1792) in September 1823; Schubert also set it as Erinnerungen (Matthisson’s title) nine years earlier in 1814, when he was only seventeen years old. The poem is utterly typical of Matthisson: in the midst of Nature by night, the persona thinks of his beloved and begs her to remember him. There is no desperation here, no seething passion, so our composer sets this strophic gem in an idyllic-pastoral F major tinted with delicate chromaticism; the Mozartian manner in which he extends cadential passages is particularly notable.

from notes by Susan Youens © 2009

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