Hyperion Records

Romanzen und Balladen IV, Op 64
Nos 1 & 2: 29-30 May 1847; No 3: 27 October & 7/8 November 1841

'Schumann: The Complete Songs' (CDS44441/50)
Schumann: The Complete Songs
MP3 £35.00FLAC £35.00ALAC £35.00Buy by post £38.50 CDS44441/50  10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
'Brahms & Schumann: Voices of the Night' (CDA66053)
Brahms & Schumann: Voices of the Night
'Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 5 – Christopher Maltman' (CDJ33105)
Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 5 – Christopher Maltman
'Schumann: Dichterliebe & other Heine Settings' (CDA67676)
Schumann: Dichterliebe & other Heine Settings
'Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1 – Christine Schäfer' (CDJ33101)
Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1 – Christine Schäfer
'Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 3 – Juliane Banse' (CDJ33103)
Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 3 – Juliane Banse
No 1: Die Soldatenbraut  Ach, wenn's nur der König auch wüsst'
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
No 3b: Tragödie II  Es fiel ein Reif in der Frühlingsnacht
No 3c: Tragödie III  Auf ihrem Grab da steht eine Linde

Romanzen und Balladen IV, Op 64
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Schumann made an orchestral version of these songs between 27 October and 8 November 1841; they remain unpublished.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

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

   English   Français   Deutsch