Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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First version: The original key is A flat with a touching but rather static tune, and changes of key signature on almost every line: A flat to E and back, and then to B minor via a kaleidoscopic series of enharmonic modulations. The lines 'Es schwindelt mir, es brennt mein Eingeweide' are the obvious bugbears. The words are too strong and over too quickly for Schubert to be able to make much of them in music. The recapitulation uses the same tune as the beginning, and the piano postlude is eloquent and heartfelt.
Second version: The key has changed to F major, which places the whole tessitura in a less hysterical and more reflective part of the voice. Much of the first section is merely a transposition of the first version, but tremolandi are now used to heighten the emotional temperature on the difficult words: he repeats 'es brennt mein Eingeweide' which gives him more time to make an effect with the passage, although it is still not satisfactory. The return of the tune is set up by a piano interlude in triplets and the vocal line is given an ornate Italianate sweep with more of a feel of cantilena. The postlude is also thus energised; with its throbbing triplets it bears a family resemblance to the piano writing of Memnon of 1817.from notes by Graham Johnson © 1989
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