freely combines two of Eichendorff’s poems which appear under the heading Erinnerung
(‘Remembrance’). The opening vocal phrase so distinctly recalls Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte
(‘To the distant beloved’) that it is hard not to imagine that this is a conscious quote. Similarly, the opening phrase of the second section contains harmonic echoes of Felix’s 1837 setting of Suleika
, another poem about separation. The classical purity of the entire song, unusual for this period in her writing, may also be a deliberate nostalgic return to an earlier style. Perhaps all these references served to sublimate Fanny’s feelings of separation from Felix and his family.
from notes by Eugene Asti and Susan Gritton © 2000