Hyperion Records

Die Sterne, D176
This enchanting little strophic song is a worthy companion of the other pieces in this group, for it is no less starry than they; despite the fact that it is a product of the composer's youth, it veritably glints with the evening light. It also finds exactly the right mood of piety and gratitude to reflect Fellinger's verses and is cheery without losing the sense of awe which lies at the heart of Schubert's religious songs of nature. Particularly notable is the accompaniment with its semi-staccato open fifths in the bass quietly pulsing away and supporting a right hand that delightedly dances in the heavens. The gazing eyes of God ('Wie Gottes Augen schaut ihr dort') twinkle high in the stratosphere of the keyboard; in this phrase note how east and west are given different points in the harmonic compass, as are south and north. The postlude is one of artful simplicity – it seems easy to imitate Schubert in this mode until one tries to no avail. The final two bars of the piano part are an ascending arpeggio directing our gaze ever upwards.

from notes by Graham Johnson 1993

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