Rastlose Liebe

First line:
Dem Schnee, dem Regen
composer
author of text

 
This is one of three Goethe Lieder that Zelter wrote in April 1812—the others were Neue Liebe, neues Leben and Mailied (‘Zwischen Weizen und Korn’). Beethoven had published his setting of the former poem in 1810. Zelter writes to his friend that he had not dared previously to set these poems, and that he has perhaps come too late to them to do them justice. How should I expect at my time of life, Zelter asks, to find restless love, new love, new life? In another letter (May 1813) the composer wonders whether a man of fifty-four is able to depict a ‘rastlose Liebe’. In terms of fire and energy he need not have worried—the song is even more restless than that of the eighteen-year-old Schubert. The prelude, interludes and postludes of Zelter’s setting still carry listeners away with their virtuosic energy. In this moto perpetuo we hear prefigured the music of his pupil Mendelssohn whose famously tricky accompaniments for songs like Hexenlied and Reiselied are typical of the Berlin lieder school. The song is in four sections, ABCA where the ‘A’ section is propelled forward by stormy triplets. The metre changes from 2/4 to 6/8 and back again in the middle sections. This awkwardness is counterbalanced, as often in Zelter, by an ardent impulse whereby the composer’s better judgement seems overruled by the heat of the musical moment; in the context of the restraint of many of Zelter’s song-writing contemporaries this is an attractive quality.

comparative Schubert listening:
Rastlose Liebe D138. 19 May 1815

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006

Recordings

Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/4040CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Songs by Schubert's contemporaries
CDJ33051/33CDs

Details

Track 14 on CDJ33051/3 CD1 [2'23] 3CDs
Track 14 on CDS44201/40 CD38 [2'23] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDS44201/40 disc 38 track 14

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-06-05114
Duration
2'23
Recording date
12 March 2004
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Songs by Schubert's contemporaries (CDJ33051/3)
    Disc 1 Track 14
    Release date: March 2006
    3CDs
  2. Schubert: The Complete Songs (CDS44201/40)
    Disc 38 Track 14
    Release date: October 2005
    40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)