Der Mondabend, D141

First line:
Rein und freundlich lacht der Himmel
composer
first published in 1830 as Op posth 131 No 1
author of text
author of text

 
There is nothing particularly noteworthy about this strophic song—apart from the fact that only Schubert could have written it. Not even the most skilful of musical pasticheurs could have managed to simulate its Schubertian melody and modulations—the hardest things in the world to counterfeit. It is a silver sliver of a song, a moonlit page in a ternary form so simple that in other hands it would be banal. As a tune by Schubert, however, it is perfect in its own unpretentious way. The running semiquavers seem at first hearing to suggest water music, but here it is moonshine that is on tap with the odd chromatic passing note to paint the glint of a thousand stars. The song makes rather more of a robust impression than is usual for songs of the moon (compare it to the languid Hölty An den Mond), a characteristic which stems from the energy of the left hand ostinato (a dotted crotchet and three pulsating quavers) which was later to be employed in such masterpieces as Der Zwerg and the first Suleika song. This is a night song which is less about the customary nocturnal splendours normally apostrophised in pieces of this sort (usually resulting in an expansive or relaxed mood) than the longing and exaltation of the poet in love. We are aware of an undertow of passionate impatience; he can scarcely wait to get his hands on his Silli.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1992

Recordings

Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/4040CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 15 – Margaret Price
CDJ33015Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40

Details

Track 2 on CDJ33015 [2'09] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
Track 14 on CDS44201/40 CD4 [2'09] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

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