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Lieder und Gesänge aus Wilhelm Meister, Op 98a

Lieder und Gesänge aus Wilhelm Meister, Op 98a

First line:
Was hör' ich draussen vor dem Tor?
composer
May to July 1849; No 1 = Op 79 No 28
author of text

 
In May 1849 in Dresden there was a resurgence of the revolutionary activity which had disrupted German life in 1848. The 1849 uprisings were less general and were the result of incitements by visionary intellectuals, enthusiastic students, radical politicians, and professional revolutionaries. Schumann, if he had more of an outgoing personality and had he not been tempered by Clara and a sense of family responsibility, might have been of their number, but in truth, like a great many liberal artists, he was little more than an armchair revolutionary. Wagner was much more actively involved in the struggle and was forced to flee Dresden where he was conductor at the opera house. To avoid Robert’s forceful enrolment in the street-guard the Schumanns left Dresden and took refuge in the country. The composer’s behaviour was typically indecisive, and he allowed the pregnant Clara to return alone to the besieged town to rescue their younger children abandoned in the initial flight. Prussian troops, loyal to princely authority, had little difficulty in defeating petty bourgeois democracy. By the summer of 1849 the revolution, which had begun a year earlier amid such extravagant expectations, was completely crushed. Schumann’s reaction to this was to return to the past and bury himself in literature. 1849 was the year of Goethe’s centenary and it was the year when Schumann seems to have re-discovered this poet. It is true that he had set four Goethe poems from the Westöstlicher Divan in 1840 as part of the Myrthen, his wedding present to Clara. But his real work on this poet came from his later years culminating in his remarkable Szenen aus Goethes Faust (1844–53), a large work for many soloists, chorus and orchestra. If Faust was a long-term preoccupation, 1849 was the year when Schumann composed nine settings from Wilhelm Meister, including all the lyrics of Mignon, Philine and the Harper (including Der Sänger). These songs for voice and piano were published as Op 98a. Linked with this was Requiem für Mignon (Op 98b) for choir, soloists and orchestra with words taken from Book 8 Chapter 8 of Wilhelm Meister which describes the funeral rites of Mignon; the antiphons of ‘Chorus’ and ‘Boys’ (‘dressed in silver and blue, fanning with sheaves of ostrich feathers a figure that lay on top of the sarcophogus’) show Goethe’s unconventional alternative to a Christian burial.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1996

Comme un course de relais, l’op. 79 s’achève avec le lied de Mignon et l’op. 98a commence avec exactement le même lied, recyclé tel quel (et chanté ici par une autre voix de soprano). Schumann avait approché Goethe avec une certaine timidité: il y a quelques exemples dans Myrthen, notamment le texte du Lied der Suleika, en réalité de Marianne von Willemer, mais le travail du compositeur sur les imposantes Scènes de Faust lui avait donné le courage au cours de l’année du centenaire du poète d’aborder ces textes déterminants du grand Bildungsroman, ou roman pédagogique, Wilhelm Meister de Goethe. Dans cet opus, Schumann réalise quelque chose que ni Schubert ni Wolf ne sont parvenus à faire, une pièce mixte pour deux personnages où Harper et Mignon (en ajoutant l’actrice écervelée Philine comme figurante) alternent et donnent une idée narrative de la manière dont les deux personnages s’intègrent dans l’histoire de chacun d’entre eux—père et fille, sans qu’ils en aient conscience sur le moment. Cette œuvre est une fantastique réussite sur le plan de la compréhension, compréhension durement acquise par un compositeur qui a pris son temps pour aborder le plus célèbre poète allemand et, ce faisant, peut prétendre rivaliser avec les plus grands musiciens de Goethe.

extrait des notes rédigées par Graham Johnson © 2010
Français: Marie-Stella Pâris

Mignons Lied beendet wie bei einem Staffellauf das Liederalbum op. 79 und leitet die Lieder und Gesänge op. 98a ein (hier von einem anderen Sopran gesungen). Schumann hatte sich dem Werk von Goethe nur zögernd genähert: Es gibt ein paar Vertonungen in Myrthen einschließlich eines von Marianne von Willemer stammenden Suleika-Texts, doch seine Arbeit an den mächtigen Faust-Szenen hatten ihn im Jahrhundertjahr des Dichters mutiger werden lassen, diese bahnbrechenden Texte aus Goethes großem Bildungsroman Wilhelm Meister zu vertonen. Mit diesem Werk erreicht er etwas, was selbst Schubert und Wolf nicht schafften: eine integrierte Doppelrolle, in der sowohl die Harfe als auch Mignon (mit der schwatzhaften Schauspielerin Philine als Zugabe) abwechselnd umrisshaft erzählen, wie die beiden Charaktere sich in ihre jeweiligen Geschichten einfügen, nämlich als Vater und Tochter, ohne sich dessen zu diesem Zeitpunkt bewusst zu sein. Das Werk ist eine überragende Errungenschaft nach harter Erarbeitung des Ver­ständnisses von Deutschlands berühmtestem Dichter mit dem Ergebnis, dass der Komponist Gleichrangigkeit mit Goethes größten Musikern beanspruchen kann.

aus dem Begleittext von Graham Johnson © 2010
Deutsch: Henning Weber

Recordings

Brahms & Schumann: Lieder
This album is not yet available for downloadCKD443Download only 16 February 2015 Release
Schumann: The Complete Songs
CDS44441/5010CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1 – Christine Schäfer
CDJ33101Archive ServiceDownload currently discounted
Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 2 – Simon Keenlyside
CDJ33102
Brahms & Schumann: Voices of the Night
CDA66053Archive Service

Details

No 1: Mignon 'Kennst du das Land?'
Track 6 on CKD443 [3'44] Download only 16 February 2015 Release
Track 20 on CDJ33101 [3'58] Archive Service
Track 1 on CDS44441/50 CD8 [3'58] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
No 2: Ballade des Harfners  Was hör' ich draussen vor dem Tor?
Track 7 on CKD443 [5'28] Download only 16 February 2015 Release
Track 1 on CDJ33102 [5'55]
Track 2 on CDS44441/50 CD8 [5'55] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
No 3: Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt
Track 8 on CKD443 [2'11] Download only 16 February 2015 Release
Track 17 on CDJ33101 [2'13] Archive Service
Track 3 on CDS44441/50 CD8 [2'13] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
No 4: Wer nie sein Brot mit Tränen ass
Track 9 on CKD443 [2'36] Download only 16 February 2015 Release
Track 2 on CDJ33102 [2'37]
Track 4 on CDS44441/50 CD8 [2'37] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
No 5: Heiss' mich nicht reden
Track 10 on CKD443 [3'18] Download only 16 February 2015 Release
Track 18 on CDJ33101 [3'14] Archive Service
Track 5 on CDS44441/50 CD8 [3'14] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
No 6: Wer sich der Einsamkeit ergibt
Track 11 on CKD443 [3'14] Download only 16 February 2015 Release
Track 3 on CDJ33102 [2'51]
Track 6 on CDS44441/50 CD8 [2'51] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
No 7: Singet nicht in Trauertönen
Track 12 on CKD443 [2'25] Download only 16 February 2015 Release
Track 2 on CDA66053 [2'12] Archive Service
Track 16 on CDJ33101 [2'30] Archive Service
Track 7 on CDS44441/50 CD8 [2'30] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
No 8: An die Türen will ich schleichen
Track 13 on CKD443 [2'27] Download only 16 February 2015 Release
Track 4 on CDJ33102 [2'06]
Track 8 on CDS44441/50 CD8 [2'06] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
No 9: So lasst mich scheinen
Track 14 on CKD443 [2'36] Download only 16 February 2015 Release
Track 19 on CDJ33101 [3'09] Archive Service
Track 9 on CDS44441/50 CD8 [3'09] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDJ33101 track 20

No 1: Mignon 'Kennst du das Land?'
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-97-10120
Duration
3'58
Recording date
13 September 1995
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1 – Christine Schäfer (CDJ33101)
    Disc 1 Track 20
    Release date: June 1996
    Deletion date: June 2012
    Archive Service
  2. Schumann: The Complete Songs (CDS44441/50)
    Disc 8 Track 1
    Release date: September 2010
    10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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