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Trost im Liede, D546

First line:
Braust des Unglücks Sturm empor
composer
March 1817; published in 1827 without opus number
author of text

 
This remarkable song has a text which comes as near as anything Schubert ever set to being a credo of his belief in the healing powers of music. The piece is contemporary with the famous An die Musik but, as Einstein points out, it expresses Schubert's attitude more subtly than 'that other somewhat 'homely' thanksgiving song in D major'. Had Schubert and Schober ever discussed the ambivalence of life as reflected in musical harmony? This poem seems to regurgitate views that Schober could only have learned from the composer himself; it suggests that Schubert was perhaps able, with close friends who had a smattering of musical learning, to talk about the means by which his own special harmonic world was created. In any case Schober has given him an ideal text with which to highlight the play between the light and shade of differing tonalities. No sooner is the introduction over in the major key than the vocal line turns into the relative minor. Only when the portals of song are mentioned do we revert to the calm of the major. The whole of the third verse is miraculous: the insistent repetitious threnodies and unresolved dissonances in the piano part underpin a vocal line of the sweetest sorrow, and the lift from the second inversion of F minor to D flat major for 'Fhl' ich mich doch so ergeben' manages to be perfectly expressive of humility before music's imponderable Delphic mysteries. Let us not forget that this song comes from Schubert's Greek period, that its manuscript also contains Der Jüngling und der Tod, not to mention An die Musik (what a precious piece of paper!) and that Ganymed was composed in the same month. The last two lines of verse might well serve as an epitaph for the composer's art and he finds self-effacing music, pure and Mozartian, to set them to music. John Reed is right to pronounce the whole song flawless.

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 11 on CDJ33003 [2'48] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
Track 11 on CDS44201/40 CD18 [2'48] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDJ33003 track 11

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-89-00311
Duration
2'48
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 11
    Release date: December 1989
    Deletion date: November 2012
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
  2. Schubert: The Complete Songs (CDS44201/40)
    Disc 18 Track 11
    Release date: October 2005
    40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
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