Hyperion Records

Tischlerlied, D274
First line:
Mein Handwerk geht durch alle Welt
published in 1850 as part of volume 48 of the Nachlass
author of text

'Schubert: The Complete Songs' (CDS44201/40)
Schubert: The Complete Songs
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'Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 20' (CDJ33020)
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 20
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDJ33020  Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40   Download currently discounted
Track 28 on CDJ33020 [1'58] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
Track 22 on CDS44201/40 CD9 [1'58] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Tischlerlied, D274
This song is a product of that extraordinarily productive day, 25 August 1815. It is also one of the most ingenious of all Schubert’s many songs of working-class folk. The carpenter tells us that his work is at the bottom of everything; it supports us in our cradles and encloses in our coffins. His craft, in all its simplicity and lack of pretension, is all about the basics, and what could be more fundamental to the work of the musician than the bass line in the most simple of keys, C major? Accordingly, Schubert sets this anonymous text in such a way that the singer is the bottom line; the voice furnishes the foundation of the whole song in the same way that the carpenter provides a solid floor for his customers. Of course this bass line is also the tune, and rather a good one at that. For much of the song the pianist only uses his right hand; this extremely simple one-handed staccato accompaniment in combination with the voice in somewhat lugubrious mood provides an extraordinarily apt sound-picture of knocking-on-wood as the carpenter hammers home his simple philosophy. There is nothing terribly lyrical here (apart from a rocking motion at the end of the first verse, mirrored in the postlude, to signify the gentle movement of the cradle) for this workman takes after his material: he is wooden. But Schubert displays a truly dramatic skill in presenting a man who is also good at his work and proud of his skill of a different kind, a man who underpins our society, just as he claims. The preference shown for cash payment in the last verse would make the protagonist an honorary member of any musicians’ union. In listening to him you can see what it is that Wagner admired about Hans Sachs and the old-fashioned world of the German guilds. As ever, Schubert (like Shakespeare) is on the side of the simple man.

from notes by Graham Johnson 1994

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Details for CDJ33020 track 28
Recording date
1 November 1993
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. 20 (CDJ33020)
    Disc 1 Track 28
    Release date: March 1994
    Deletion date: January 2010
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
  2. Schubert: The Complete Songs (CDS44201/40)
    Disc 9 Track 22
    Release date: October 2005
    40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
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