While Loewe is known today primarily through half-a-dozen of his 200-odd ballads, he also composed some 350 Lieder. If some are trite or conventional, the best, including the two Goethe Wandrers Nachtlied
settings, reveal a mastery of shapely cantabile melody and apt, atmospheric accompaniment. Goethe wrote Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh’
, his sublime meditation on nature as harbinger of the soul’s rest, on the wall of a wooden shooting-box in the Thuringian hills while contemplating a late-summer sunset. Loewe’s touching settings of this poem (1817), and the prayer for inner peace Der du von dem Himmel bist
(1828), are both more operatically Italianate than Schubert’s famous songs.
from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2011