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Romanzen und Balladen IV, Op 64

Nos 1 & 2: 29-30 May 1847; No 3: 27 October & 7/8 November 1841

Tragödie is the only Heine poem (or set of lyrics) on this disc which is not taken from Der Buch der Lieder. The probable poetic sources for this work have already been discussed in the commentary on Clara Schumann’s Volkslied. It is easy to see why Schumann empathised with the story line. It contains a number of elements that chime with his own story: in the first song gallant and impetuous passion in Florestan mode (including biographical memories of how tempted he was to run away with Clara and damn the consequences); Eusebius-like reflectiveness in the second; and finally that almost childlike belief in magic and spiritual communication that he had shared with Clara from the earliest days of their friendship. It would not be very long before the pessimistic and hypochondriacal composer would come to regard his own life as a tragedy. It seems that the darker side of his nature had always believed that his fate had that catastrophic potential.

Schumann made an orchestral version of these songs between 27 October and 8 November 1841; they remain unpublished. One assumes that the piano versions pre-date the orchestrations, but this cannot be proved. ‘My first attempt at song composition with orchestra’ notes the composer in his Tagebuch. ‘Entflieh mit mir’ is scored for tenor, two flutes, oboes, horns in E, bassoons, strings and timpani. This version is two bars longer than the piano accompanied song. ‘Es fiel ein Reif’ is scored for soprano, two oboes, clarinets in A, horns in C, and strings. ‘Auf ihrem Grab’ is scored for soprano and tenor, two flutes, bassoon and strings, including two violas and cellos. In some reference works one finds the incorrect assertion that Tragödie was conceived as a piece for chorus and orchestra. The score makes clear that the composer had only solo voices in mind. The score of this version was long thought lost, but it re-emerged for auction at Sotheby’s in December 1991.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2001

Tragödie, un cycle miniature en trois parties, deux solos et un duo (publié sous l’op. 64 no 3) constitue en fait les adieux de Schumann à Heine, poète sur lequel Schumann a peu à peu perdu ses illusions. L’œuvre a été tout d’abord conçue comme un lied avec accompagnement d’orchestre en octobre 1841, et le duo final Auf ihrem Grab da steht eine Linde date en réalité des 7–8 novembre 1841. Schumann a peut-être pensé à cette pièce élégiaque puis y est revenu après la mort subite de la sœur de Mendelssohn, Fanny Hensel, le 14 mai.

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

Tragödie, ein als op. 64 Nr. 3 veröffentlichter dreiteiliger Miniaturzyklus mit zwei Soli und einem Duett ist Schumanns Lebewohl an Heine, von dem er allmählich mehr und mehr enttäuscht ist. Das Werk war im Oktober 1841 als Lied mit Orchesterbegleitung entstanden, und das abschließende Duett Auf ihrem Grab da steht eine Linde datiert vom 7.–8. November 1841. Schumann mag sich anlässlich des plötzlichen Todes von Mendelssohns Schwester Fanny Hensel am 14. Mai an dieses elegische Stück erinnert haben.

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


Schumann: The Complete Songs
CDS44441/5010CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Brahms & Schumann: Voices of the Night
CDA66053Archive Service
Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 5 – Christopher Maltman
CDJ33105Archive Service
Schumann: Dichterliebe & other Heine Settings
Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1 – Christine Schäfer
CDJ33101Archive ServiceDownload currently discounted
Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 3 – Juliane Banse


No 1: Die Soldatenbraut  Ach, wenn's nur der König auch wüsst'
author of text

Track 16 on CDJ33103 [2'09]
Track 17 on CDS44441/50 CD6 [2'09] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
No 2: Das verlassene Mägdlein  Früh, wann die Hähne krähn
author of text

Track 28 on CDJ33101 [1'57] Archive Service
Track 18 on CDS44441/50 CD6 [1'57] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
No 3a: Tragödie I  Entflieh' mit mir und sei mein Weib
author of text

Track 7 on CDA66053 [1'30] Archive Service
Track 1 on CDA67676 [1'26]
Track 15 on CDJ33105 [1'33] Archive Service
Track 19 on CDS44441/50 CD6 [1'33] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
No 3b: Tragödie II  Es fiel ein Reif in der Frühlingsnacht
author of text

Track 8 on CDA66053 [2'32] Archive Service
Track 2 on CDA67676 [2'10]
Track 16 on CDJ33105 [2'13] Archive Service
Track 20 on CDS44441/50 CD6 [2'13] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
No 3c: Tragödie III  Auf ihrem Grab da steht eine Linde
author of text

Track 9 on CDA66053 [2'03] Archive Service
Track 17 on CDJ33105 [1'54] Archive Service
Track 21 on CDS44441/50 CD6 [1'54] 10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

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