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Schumann seems to have rather underestimated the whole genre of song until his own lieder epiphany rather later in his life (from 1840). Nevertheless he did write songs of his own in his teenage years, and during Schubert’s lifetime—four in 1827, and four in 1828. Six of these were collected for publication in the 1930s (Sechs frühe Lieder, WoO121, recorded on volume 8 of The Hyperion Schumann Edition,); Lied für XXX (first published in 1984) is one of the two ‘missing’ songs (Verwandlung with a text by Schubert’s poet Schulze remains unpublished). The poem (by Schumann himself) suggests he was more interested in playing the field than dedicating lyrics to a particular sweetheart. The music, a waltz written in an impossible vocal tessitura (transposed here a tone down from the original), was composed in July 1827, almost certainly for the singer Agnes Carus by whom the youthful Schumann was enchanted. She was a married woman, however, and the composer had thirteen more years to wait for his Clara.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006
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