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Vom mitleiden Mariš, D632

First line:
Als bei dem Kreuz Maria stand
composer
December 1818; first published in 1831 in volume 10 of the Nachlass
author of text

 
This is another of those Schubert songs with a sense of historical style which borders on pastiche, as much of a stylisation as the previous song on this disc, but inhabiting a different world of expression. The composer was reasonably well acquainted with what we now term 'early music'; a letter written to him by his brother Ferdinand tells us that Schubert played Bach fugues. He was easily able to write in a variety of 'old' styles (the Bachian Agnus Dei of the first Mass D105 for example) and certain song texts also prompted this response. Here, the austere three-part texture and the restless chromaticism suggest Passion music of another age. Schubert would have perhaps known the Gellert and Cramer settings of C P E Bach and it is the style of those religious odes for voice and piano which this setting brings to mind. Schubert's study of three-part counterpoint with Salieri stood him in good stead for a type of writing where the voice and each hand of the pianist form a trinity of intertwined equality.

We do not know for certain whether Schubert met Friedrich Schlegel, who had lived in Vienna since 1809, but it seems probable that from the end of 1818 the composer was drawn into his circle via Franz von Bruchmann. That Schubert went though a phase of great enthusiasm for Schlegel's poetry in the following two years suggests something of a personal connection. Schlegel was a Roman Catholic convert whose viewpoint on religion was very different from that, for example, of Schubert's father. The oppressive link between Church and State seems to have been at the root of the composer's distaste for organised religion, but in Schlegel the composer found a poet whose religious feelings were deployed in an astonishingly wide and liberal philosophical context. Schlegel's words here encourage a moving musical response to the human tragedy of the crucifixion and a mother's grief. The self-imposed hieratic austerity of the 'old' music still allows for the inner glow of Schubertian compassion.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1994

Recordings

Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/4040CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 21 – Edith Mathis
CDJ33021
Schubert: The Songmakers' Almanac Schubertiade
CDD220102CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) — Archive Service

Details

Track 3 on CDD22010 CD1 [3'27] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) ó Archive Service
Track 24 on CDJ33021 [3'16]
Track 5 on CDS44201/40 CD21 [3'16] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDD22010 disc 1 track 3

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-84-13103
Duration
3'27
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 3
    Release date: March 1997
    Deletion date: March 2010
    2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1) ó Archive Service
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