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Amalia, D195

First line:
Schön wie Engel voll Walhallas Wonne
composer
published in 1867
author of text

 
This is the Schiller counterpart to Goethe's Grerchen. Amalia is heroine of Schiller's drama Die Räuber; in this extract from the third act she remembers her banished lover Karl Moor who has been cheated of his inheritance and who has become in consequence the leader of a band of robbers. Despite the blandishments of Karl's villainous brother Franz, Amalia remains steadfastly devoted to her lover. We hear this determination in the opening lines of her song; as she describes Karl she is still in control of her emotions, the image of a mirror-like sea is a calm one. Suddenly as arioso breaks into recitative, we hear echoes of Gretchen's distress. The memory of Karl's kiss awakens desire in Amalia just as the memory of Faust's kiss had suddenly stopped Gretchen's spinning wheel only then to make it turn faster and faster. Leaping flames and vibrating harp strings invade Amalia's memory and are reflected in the accompaniment's tremolando shimmer. Her thoughts race forward ('sehr schnell' - very fast - is a relatively unusual tempo marking for Schubert) and the panting of the piano part, modulating in almost every bar, pre-echoes the intensity of Berlioz's Marguerite. Left hand has been alternating with right, but at 'Erd und Himmel schwammen' the hands imitate the elements and join together. As the earth and heaven of Amalia's fantasy dissolve we hear the solid quaver rhythm melt into crotchet triplets. We are led back to a stark ending originally in A minor, the same key as Schiller's Die Götter Griechenlands and Goethe's Lied der Mignon. All these songs mourn former happiness which cannot be recaptured. The harmonies beneath Amalia's final 'Ach' bring to mind the gruesome agonies endured by the shades in a later Schiller setting, Gruppe aus dem Tartarus.

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. 1 – Janet Baker
CDJ33001Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40Download currently discounted

Details

Track 6 on CDJ33001 [3'18] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
Track 17 on CDS44201/40 CD6 [3'18] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDS44201/40 disc 6 track 17

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-88-00106
Duration
3'18
Recording date
19 February 1987
Recording venue
Elstree, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 1 – Janet Baker (CDJ33001)
    Disc 1 Track 6
    Release date: December 1987
    Deletion date: August 2012
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
  2. Schubert: The Complete Songs (CDS44201/40)
    Disc 6 Track 17
    Release date: October 2005
    40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
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