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Schäfers Klagelied, D121 First version

First line:
Da droben auf jenem Berge
composer
published by Cappi und Diabelli in Vienna in 1821 as Op 3 No 1
author of text

 
This was the first song by Schubert to be performed in a public concert. It was a big success and we can see why: just like the celebrated Frühlingstraum from Winterreise it is a textbook siciliana, for apart from the lilting rhythm the scene is both pastoral and melancholy, and such a form would have been familiar to any early nineteenth-century audience. The quality of the new wine which is poured into old bottles should not go unnoticed however. The same is true of Goethe's poem which is based on a simple folk song but employs at the same time the art which conceals art. The musical form is a palindromic ABCBA - the outer sections constitute the plaint, the B sections in the relative major are slightly more vivacious and the big central section (the middle two verses) includes a sudden storm. The whole effect is of a rise and fall of the emotions, a great arc of feeling spanning the horizon, for this is a song of the outdoors. It is a masterpiece masquerading as a work song and posing as a simple pastorale. How much of this mask the singer chooses to wear is another matter. Capell called this song 'a priceless little object of virtù' as well it may seem when interpreted by a light little voice. In this performance the song is no dainty bergerette but a cry from the heart; Schubert's shepherd is no Dresden figurine and the intensity of feeling is comparable with that of Gretchen who had sprung into song life only six weeks earlier.

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. 1 – Janet Baker
CDJ33001Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40Download currently discounted

Details

Track 3 on CDJ33001 [2'47] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
Track 7 on CDS44201/40 CD4 [2'47] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDJ33001 track 3

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-88-00103
Duration
2'47
Recording date
19 February 1987
Recording venue
Elstree, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 1 – Janet Baker (CDJ33001)
    Disc 1 Track 3
    Release date: December 1987
    Deletion date: August 2012
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
  2. Schubert: The Complete Songs (CDS44201/40)
    Disc 4 Track 7
    Release date: October 2005
    40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
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