This song was the subject of a detailed discussion in a letter from Felix Mendelssohn to Frau von Pereira in 1831. Mendelssohn approves of Reichardt’s way of recounting the tale as if it were a ghost story told under the breath. (He knew Schubert’s setting perfectly well by this time, but did not consider it worthy of comment.) Mendelssohn writes that the poem would stir him even more if he were simply allowed to read it in silence.
comparative Schubert listening:
Erlkönig D328. October (?) 1815
from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006
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