Hyperion Records

Die stille Wasserrose, S321
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The poet-translator Emanuel Geibel (Schumann, Brahms and Wolf, among others, would set poems from his Spanisches Liederbuch and Italienisches Liederbuch) creates his own variation on the symbolism of swans for male lovers—those phallic necks—and water-lilies for beautiful women in Die stille Wasserrose. The harmonic shifts that mark the snow-white calyx of the lily and the moon pouring its golden rays into the flower are among the notable details in a song remarkable for its tonal audacity. Hugo Wolf, who loved Liszt’s music, would later create figuration similar to that depicting the circling swan for the shy elf at midnight in ‘Auf eine Christblume I’ from the Mörike-Lieder.

from notes by Susan Youens © 2010

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