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Namenstagslied, D695

First line:
Vater, schenk’ mir diese Stunde
composer
March 1820; published in 1895
author of text

 
This is a song that reflects the atmosphere of the Schubertiads more than most, a real pièce d'occasion. The composer's ability and willingness to provide music to order for his friends was, of course, one of the reasons that endeared him to them. In the absence of court patrons and commissions from the nobility, Schubert provided the occasional ceremonial piece for middle class home rather than palace. and out of the goodness of his heart rather than for money. This piece was written for the name-day of Josef von Koller of Steyr in Upper Austria. Schubert was not a close friend of the celebrant, but he was very fond of his nineteen-year-old daughter Josefine (nicknamed Pepi) and he was an old schoolmate of the pianist of the first performance, Albert Stadler, who also provided the words. Dating the piece requires a bit of detective work. We know that Schubert spent the summer of 1819 very happily in Steyr with Vogl, and that singer and composer regularly took meals with the Kollers. We also know that Stadler wrote the words in that August for a vocal trio (Schubert was one of his singers, leaving the piano part to Stadler) honouring Vogl's 51st birthday. If Schubert wrote the Namenstagslied at the same time, it would have had to wait for its first performance until the next March 19, the day dedicated to St Josef when all those named after him are remembered by their friends and families. Or Schubert could have dashed it off in Vienna in 1820 (we know he was in a hurry because he left Stadler to copy out the voice part) and sent it to Steyr with happy memories of Josefine and her music making. The breeziness of the opening arpeggios and the sheer cheek of the descending chromatic scales show the composer in holiday mood (cf the vocal chromatic scale on 'Barbar' in the musical letter to Spaun in Volume 4). After the celebratory introduction, the relaxed but heartfelt tone of the sung verses is just right for a loving daughter. Incidentally, the much praised old father Koller was just forty years of age.

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. 3 – Ann Murray
CDJ33003Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40Download currently discounted

Details

Track 7 on CDJ33003 [4'36] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
Track 9 on CDS44201/40 CD23 [4'36] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDJ33003 track 7

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-89-00307
Duration
4'36
Recording date
18 November 1988
Recording venue
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 3 – Ann Murray (CDJ33003)
    Disc 1 Track 7
    Release date: December 1989
    Deletion date: November 2012
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
  2. Schubert: The Complete Songs (CDS44201/40)
    Disc 23 Track 9
    Release date: October 2005
    40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
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