Hyperion Records

Pflügerlied, D392
First line:
Arbeitsam und wacker
composer
March 1816; first published in 1895 in the Gesamtausgabe
author of text

Recordings
'Schubert: The Complete Songs' (CDS44201/40)
Schubert: The Complete Songs
Buy by post £150.00 CDS44201/40  40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)  
'Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 23 – Christoph Prégardien' (CDJ33023)
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 23 – Christoph Prégardien
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDJ33023  Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40  
Details
Track 4 on CDJ33023 [1'48] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
Track 11 on CDS44201/40 CD13 [1'48] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Pflügerlied, D392
This is one of Schubert's work-songs, a relative of Fischerweise, Tischlerlied, Fischerlied (also to a Salis-Seewis text) and so on. Like many of the more rustic Shakespearean characters, such stout-hearted salts of the earth are given to a touch of amateur philosophising with the general theme of 'all men are equal because they all end up in the same place - the grave.' In songs of this type, the inevitability of death features high on the list of German ruminations (even when drink is not on the agenda) and this song is no exception; the coolness of the earth mentioned at the end of the poem is a refuge from a life of hard labour and a staging post for the good in heart who await resurrection. Schubert has a way of musically suggesting a slightly slower thought process as well as bigger feet and a heavier tread; he laughs at the amiable rustic at the same time as loving and admiring him. Shakespeare handles some of his working-class characters in a similar manner. The musical textures of these songs are all no-nonsense and simple, the strong bass line of crotchets cuts a furrow through the song's texture. A task like ploughing is essentially repetitive and we hear this in the song's four-square structure and its solid sequences. The man here is a less mercurial, and certainly less ambitious German cousin of Britten's ploughboy (although no doubt also flaxen-headed) and we hear his whistle in the little piano interlude in the seventh and eighth bars. This figure descends into the piano's left hand as if it is being ploughed into the song. Towards the end of each verse there is a definite feeling that a musical descent deep into the earth will fertilize and enrich the song; the sung phrase 'unser Saaten Grab' is echoed twice in the postlude, first in the right hand, and then in the left in double thirds.

This is one of the seventeen songs which formed part of the Lieder album for Therese Grob which the composer put together in November 1816 for the baker's daughter with whom he was in love. It was probably intended as a birthday gift.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1995

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDJ33023 track 4
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-95-02304
Duration
1'48
Recording date
17 September 1994
Recording venue
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 23 – Christoph Prégardien (CDJ33023)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: May 1995
    Deletion date: March 2012
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
  2. Schubert: The Complete Songs (CDS44201/40)
    Disc 13 Track 11
    Release date: October 2005
    40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
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