In the summer of 1883 the nineteen-year-old Strauss paid a ten-day visit to Bad Heilbrunn, near Munich, where he encountered Lotti Speyer, the daughter of a Frankfurt lawyer and granddaughter of a well-known song composer, Wilhelm Speyer. She made enough of an impression on Strauss for him to compose a song especially for her, sending it off with two further songs, Die erwachte Rose
. All three remained unknown and in manuscript for seventy-five years until their chance discovery in 1958 led to their publication and first performance in 1959, by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Gerald Moore. Rote Rosen
, the one song actually composed for Lotti, shares features with the Opus 10 songs composed that same year: the flowing triplet accompaniment is not unlike that of Die Georgine
(another flower song), while its more passionate middle section has something of the idiom of Geduld
. And like Allerseelen
it seems to start (and in this case end) as if in mid-sentence.
from notes by Roger Vignoles © 2012