Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.
Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.
Although it is not certain that this second setting dates from 1819 it is very likely that Schubert returned to the poem at this time and was able to give it a much deeper appraisal as the result not only of his greater experience of life but also of a deeper understanding of the philosophical issues which interested his contemporaries. It does, however, have something in common with another 1815 song, the Schober Genugsamkeit which is also in a sturdy 6/8 and displays a similar stoical determination.
The introduction shows a preoccupation with subtly moving inner parts, much as we have found in Himmelsfunken. The chromaticism of the opening four bars is a metaphor for what might be called life’s rather unpleasant habit of moving the goal-posts without notice. Circumstances in life change as quickly as a chord in the hand which (just when you think you have recognized it) metamorphoses under the fingers into something else. It is extremely tricky to build solid edifices on shifting sand, and the pilgrim’s aim is to reach a place where an optimistic view of life can flourish on a secure foundation. What emerges in this Hoffnung is that it is not easy to continue to hope through thick and thin, and against the odds – it takes resolution, quiet determination and courage, not merely a breezy esprit. Note for example, in a song which is in the key of B flat major, the setting of ‘künftigen Tagen’ (‘days to come’) is in B flat minor to underline that, when speaking of the future, ‘what’s to come is still unsure’ – as Shakespeare puts it.
John Reed is correct to point out that Capell’s characterization of the song as ‘racy – a wilder kind of drinking song’ is one of that writer’s rare misjudgements. Of course it might seem more palatable at a rollicking tempo, but this is to misunderstand its essential thoughtfulness and introspection – a side of the German character that Capell perhaps found stodgy and self-indulgent. The song in its pastoral manner is a forerunner of the Schlegel setting Abendlied für die Entfernte (also in 6/8) which reflects on the same issues (‘the heart remains constant, hoping faithfully unto the grave’). Both songs share an earnest and touching desire not only for better circumstances in life but also for self improvement (note the elongated setting of ‘Verbesserung’ at the end of the first verse where the breadth of the note values seems to imply the opening up of new vistas of perception as much as windows of opportunity). All this is in line with the shared hopes and aspirations of the Bildung circle which was particularly active in 1819 as Johann Senn had not yet been exiled to the Tyrol. It is significant that the manly and quietly heroic qualities advocated here do not explicitly mention God or religion. Nevertheless it seems self-evident that this song was composed by the same hand which wrote the Silbert and Novalis settings, rich in metaphysical imagery, at about the same time.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1997
|Schubert: The Complete Songs|
'This would have been a massive project for even the biggest international label, but from a small independent … it is a miracle. An ideal Christ ...
'Please give me the complete Hyperion Schubert songs set – all 40 discs –and, in the next life, I promise I'll "re-gift" it to Schubert himself … ...» More
|Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 29 - Marjana Lipovšek|
'One of the most rewarding CDs to date in this whole, comprehensive Lieder Edition. Utterly absorbing' (Gramophone)
'Lipovsek provides a feast of marvellous singing. She has one of the most beautiful mezzo voices around at the moment. A great addition to the series' ...» More