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An die Natur, D372

First line:
Süsse, heilige Natur
composer
15 January (?) 1816; published in 1895
author of text

 
At first glance this simple little hymn seems not especially interesting, but like so many other shy and unassuming creations by Schubert it lingers in the ear and heart despite our knowledge that greater songs await us on the turn of a page. Why should the young composer, who had by this time already composed Gretchen am Spinnrade, wish to return to this modest style where the piano plays such a subsidiary role? It shows us that his radical and reforming instincts in the composition of song were balanced by a conservatism which bent the knee to the past and to a proper appreciation of the German tradition of word-setting as admired (and required) by Goethe. It is we modern listeners, sated by the riches of music of every kind, who have to make the imaginative effort to hear the beauties of this sweet and gentle restraint. And in this poem where nature leads a stumbling child by the hand, is not the song's meek docility utterly appropriate? Schubert's first biographer, Kreissle von Hellborn, tells us that this was the first song by Schubert known to Therese Grob, who was a high soprano and the composer's first sweetheart. He was unable to marry her because of his poor career prospects. An die Natur, transposed into the rather high key of A major, forms part of a Lieder album which Schubert put together for Therese, probably as a birthday present, in November 1816.

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 3 on CDJ33005 [2'38] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
Track 12 on CDS44201/40 CD12 [2'38] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDJ33005 track 3

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-89-00503
Duration
2'38
Recording date
3 September 1988
Recording venue
Kimpton Parish Church, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 5 – Elizabeth Connell (CDJ33005)
    Disc 1 Track 3
    Release date: December 1989
    Deletion date: May 2009
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
  2. Schubert: The Complete Songs (CDS44201/40)
    Disc 12 Track 12
    Release date: October 2005
    40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
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