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Selige Welt, D743

First line:
Ich treibe auf des Lebens Meer
composer
Autumn 1822; published by Sauer und Leidesdorf in August 1823 as Op 23 No 2
author of text

 
This and Schwanengesang are the only two Schubert songs to poems by his schoolmate Senn. Neither is longer than a page but each is a perfect musical entity. Senn was a goodlooking firebrand who from his school years on was always getting into trouble with the authorities (on one occasion in 1820 with Schubert as part of the gang). He had a burning hatred for injustice and his writings were constantly subjected to heavy censorship. He had something of a military career and outlived Schubert by nearly thirty years. Selige Welt recalls Mut from Winterreise in its compact energy and shape, and certainly seems to be a musical portrait of the poet whom Schubert regarded as something of a hero. The piano doubles the vocal lilne which gives an aura of exceptional determination to this song. The words have a type of existential quality. Schubert's friends and contemporaries are often maligned for writing obscure and confused verse but there are times when the strangeness of their works appears genuinely expressionist. The Viennese hot-house was to produce the poetry of Georg Trakl for example, and the same stifling society gave birth to the odd works of Senn and Mayrhofer which often seem like presentiments of the literary experiments of nearly a century later. Certainly, disgust with modern civilisation is a theme which unites Trakl and Mayrhofer and one cannot help wondering if Schubert's friends would have been more prized as poets if they had been contemporaries of Schoenberg.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1988

Recordings

Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/4040CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 2 – Stephen Varcoe
CDJ33002
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 28 – Maarten Koningsberger & John Mark Ainsley
CDJ33028Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40Download currently discounted
Schubert: The Songmakers' Almanac Schubertiade
CDD220102CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive ServiceDownload currently discounted

Details

Track 5 on CDD22010 CD1 [1'03] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive Service
Track 6 on CDJ33002 [1'02]
Track 15 on CDJ33028 [1'04] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
Track 17 on CDS44201/40 CD25 [1'04] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDD22010 disc 1 track 5

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-84-13105
Duration
1'03
Recording date
24 November 1983
Recording venue
St Barnabas's Church, North Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Schubert: The Songmakers' Almanac Schubertiade (CDD22010)
    Disc 1 Track 5
    Release date: March 1997
    Deletion date: March 2010
    2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive Service
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