Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.

Erster Verlust, D226

First line:
Ach, wer bringt die schönen Tage
published in 1821 as Op 5 No 4
author of text

That such an eloquent hymn to the past should come from the pen of an eighteen-year-old boy, without a past of his own to speak of, is one of the miracles of music. In tempo, tonality and the feeling of precious beauty slipping away, the song is prophetic of Schubert's great hymn at sunset, Im Abendrot. That is a religious song, but Erster Verlust goes deeper into secular pain; the repeated Cs common to the opening of both songs are here harmonised in F minor rather than the relative major (and relative security) of A flat. Memories of happier times shine translucently behind the minor tonality, and when the voice ends on a major chord, the ear accepts this in the same way that the heart might clutch at a slender hope. Even this is extinguished when the piano returns crushed to the minor key in five inexorable notes of postlude. It seems churlish to point out that Schubert adds the word 'wer' to the last line of Goethe's poem to give himself the musical shape he wanted. He included Erster Verlust in the book of sixteen songs he prepared especially to send to the great poet in April 1816. But did Schubert perhaps wonder whether Goethe's failure to reply had something to do with this lèse- majesté?

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1988


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


Track 10 on CDJ33001 [2'04] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
Track 17 on CDS44201/40 CD7 [2'04] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDJ33001 track 10

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 10
    Release date: December 1987
    Deletion date: August 2012
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
  2. Schubert: The Complete Songs (CDS44201/40)
    Disc 7 Track 17
    Release date: October 2005
    40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Waiting for content to load...
Waiting for content to load...