Ich denke dein
was by far Matthisson’s most popular poem, one that inspired a whole series of imitations, including Goethe’s ‘Nähe des Geliebten’. Matthisson’s original poem was also a ‘best seller’ with composers such as Carl Maria von Weber, Beethoven, Schubert and Hugo Wolf, among many others; Schubert set it as Andenken
in April 1814. Each of the first three stanzas ends with the lover’s anxious, tender question, ‘Wann/Wie/Wo denkst du mein?’, and Mendelssohn spins out a quasi-improvisatory melisma in the piano in its wake, followed by silence as we, in company with the lover, wait for an answer. The alternation between minor and major harmonies at the plagal end—a wordless prayer for the desired answer—is economically eloquent.
from notes by Susan Youens © 2009