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Schubert set nine poems by the Styrian poet Karl von Leitner. Three of the greatest of these songs appear in this recital. Schubert first came across the poet's work in 1823, and set one of his texts, but it was his friendship in 1827 with the Pachler family in Graz, and Marie Pachler in particular, which prompted him to return to this young Styrian nationalist of whom his new friends were so proud. Marie Pachler (whom Beethoven had found fascinating a decade before) was an excellent pianist. It is possible, but by no means certain, that Schubert met Leitner personally through the Pachlers. Apart from a period in Italy the poet spent most of his long life in Styria, held various university appointments, and was content to be a provincial celebrity and regarded as the Styrian Uhland. His poetry is heartfelt or sentimental depending on one's viewpoint; fortunately Schubert found it charming, and in any case by 1827 he was the master alchemist who could turn all he touched to gold.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1990
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