Friedrich Rückert had been briefly set by Schubert in three songs, one of which, Dass sie hier gewesen
, looks forward in its adventurous harmonic colouring to the perfumed atmosphere of Mahler and Strauss. He was also a favourite poet of Robert and Clara Schumann—Clara’s setting of Liebst du um Schönheit
stands up well to comparison with Mahler’s more well-known version. In Mahler’s case, the refined sensitivity of Rückert’s poetry, with its intricate, rather contrived rhyme schemes derived from Persian and Turkish models, chimed with a newly refined vein in his own composition.
from notes by Roger Vignoles © 2004