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Fischerlied, D562

First line:
Das Fischergewerbe
composer
Third version. May 1817; published in 1895
author of text

 
The perennial difficulty about all but the greatest strophic songs is that the music is more appropriate to some verses than to others. When Schubert returns to certain elusive texts it suggests an artistic conscience haunted by this very problem. The first Fischerlied of 1816 is very different from that of a year later. Schubert now eschews merry tra-la-las in favour of a setting in the key of F major, a tonality he often associates with pastoral music and with sleep. If the mood of the first Fischerlied takes its cue from the very first line of the poem, this setting grows from the last lines of the second and eighth verses. The tra-la-las of D351 are a particularly inappropriate sequel for descriptions of slumber and the watery grave. In the first setting we hear splashing and wading, but here deeper currents are at work. The alto line of the accompaniment sways gently like the movement of fish in the depths. If the first setting depicts with humour and sympathy a merry worker, the second reveals what lies beneath the surface in him and for him. In fact a decision as to which setting is best is impossible: the poem needs both in order to encompass its range. We perform the first verse in both versions but choose verses 2, 3 and 8 as more appropriate to the music of D562.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1988

Recordings

Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/4040CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 2 – Stephen Varcoe
CDJ33002

Details

Track 2 on CDJ33002 [3'34]
Track 6 on CDS44201/40 CD19 [3'34] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDJ33002 track 2

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-88-00202
Duration
3'34
Recording date
18 October 1987
Recording venue
Seldon Hall, Haberdashers' Aske's School, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Schubert: The Complete Songs (CDS44201/40)
    Disc 19 Track 6
    Release date: October 2005
    40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
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