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Lied 'Ferne von der grossen Stadt', D483

composer
September 1816; published in 1895
author of text

 
This is in some ways a song to be sung before Rückweg (Volume 3) in which the poet returns to Vienna with dragging steps. It is a cheery contribution to the eternal debate between the relative merits of the country and the town. The poetess (appropriately enough for a fantasy pastoral with a touch of Marie Antoinette playing at being a bergère) gives the title of Idylle to the longer poem (Der Sommerabend or The Summer Evening) from which this song is taken. There are eight verses of which we here perform the first three. It is one of the later verses however which may give the clue as to why there is an obvious quotation from Haydn's Imperial Hymn Gott erhalte Franz der Kaiser in the piano's postlude. In her fifth verse Pichler likens her rural domain with its apiary, to a Bee Republic. Perhaps Schubert parodies these pretensions to be a ruler of an arcadian paradise with a touch of imperial pomp? A simpler explanation may be that it was appropriate to quote a patriotic hymn for Austria in a poem which is full of descriptions of the beauties of the country itself. Karoline Pichler was anything but a shy country recluse; her literary salon was at one time the most important in Vienna. It may be that, like many poets, she idealised and sentimentalised country life as can only an inveterate town-dweller.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1989

Recordings

Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/4040CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 5 – Elizabeth Connell
CDJ33005Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40

Details

Track 1 on CDJ33005 [3'08] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
Track 8 on CDS44201/40 CD16 [3'08] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

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