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In der Mitternacht, D464

First line:
Todesstille deckt das Tal
composer
August 1816; first published in 1895
author of text

 
We move into C minor, the relative minor of E flat major. This is probably the greatest song of the little cycle, if cycle it is. It shares some of the atmosphere of Litanei, but there is infinitely less consolation in this mini-tragedy of private grief. Whenever Schubert doubles his vocal line with the piano we know that something portentous is being said. The enigmatic drama behind this poem is difficult to explain. If we consider the song in a cyclic context it is clear that she has married the wrong man; indeed the wedding ceremony of Hochzeitslied may well relate to a different man than the lover mentioned in An Chloen. Was there perhaps something too mechanical and heartless in Hochzeitslied? In its own right the song is a deeply poetic, and unjustly neglected, night meditation. Its weary guarding of a secret brings Goethe's Mignon, and her song Heiss mich nicht reden to mind.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1990

Recordings

Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/4040CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 8 – Sarah Walker
CDJ33008Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40

Details

Track 11 on CDJ33008 [4'26] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
Track 17 on CDS44201/40 CD15 [4'26] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

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