Ernst Josephson (1851–1906) was not only a poet but a painter as well. He spent most of his life in France and studied with Manet, and his paintings have to some extent overshadowed his achievement as a poet. The eight Josephson settings of Opus 57 come from 1909, the same year as the Voces intimae
String Quartet. By far the loveliest of the set is the fifth song, Jag är ett träd
(‘I am a tree’), which has a much bolder sense of line than its companions and a much more powerful and deeply characteristic atmosphere.
from notes by Robert Layton © 2002