Hyperion Records

Schweizerlied, D559
First line:
Ufm Bergli
composer
May 1817; first published in 1885 in volume 7 of the Peters Edition
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. 21 – Edith Mathis' (CDJ33021)
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 21 – Edith Mathis
Buy by post £10.50 CDJ33021 
Details
Track 14 on CDJ33021 [1'20]
Track 2 on CDS44201/40 CD19 [1'20] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Schweizerlied, D559
This song is a real little charmer, although Edith Mathis informs me that Goethe's attempts at Swiss German, the so-called Schwytzertütsch, are not as accurate as they might be. Here is a German entering into Swiss territory at his peril. Any visitor to Switzerland knows how different the German language is in that country.

Fox Strangways, the well-known British translator of the Schubert songs into English, chose to put this song into Devon dialect. Shakespearian echoes of comic characters with Mummerset accents come to mind, and this hearty bonhomie is appropriate for the way that the composer has set the poem. Schubert's Viennese Ländler and waltzes are generally more gracious and less rustic than this, but music from the sophisticated big city is bound to different from that of the 'provinces' – the German-speaking equivalent of Mummerset. In Schweizerlied we hear suggestions of cowbells and clog dancing, yodels and thigh-slapping in mid-dance (on the strong second beat of the bar) – in other words all the clichés of this type of character piece. The composer seems to have had as much fun with it as the poet had in writing it. Schubert being Schubert, the tune is marvellously infectious and although it may have been Goethe's intention to have fun at the expense of the Swiss, the end result is an affectionate salute to neighbours across the mountains. As with his Italian evocations, the composer seems to be no less in love with a style because it makes him smile. Despite the simplicity of the piano writing, it is amazing that in the spacing of the chords and in the intervals of the vocal line, Schubert creates a page of vocal music unlike any other in his output; it is a vivid thumbnail sketch, executed in a flash by the hand of a master. Unlike Goethe, the composer never had the opportunity to visit Switzerland, and the song pre-dates by eight years his own mountain holiday in Upper Austria where he might have heard folk music similar to this.

from notes by Graham Johnson 1994

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDJ33021 track 14
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-94-02114
Duration
1'20
Recording date
23 October 1992
Recording venue
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Tony Faulkner
Hyperion usage
  1. Schubert: The Complete Songs (CDS44201/40)
    Disc 19 Track 2
    Release date: October 2005
    40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
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