Hyperion Records

Sehnsucht, Op 83 No 2
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Although this setting is essentially strophic in outline, Beethoven constantly varies the accompaniment – the opening lines of each stanza are first accompanied in the right hand by crotchets, then semiquavers, two quavers, three quavers, and finally a crotchet-quaver rhythm. Another delightful touch is the change towards the end from the minor to the tonic major, reflecting the more upbeat mood of the last verse. One subtle touch is the tangible sense of musical longing (‘Sehnsucht’) and expectation that is created by the initial held note which sets each verse in motion.

from notes by Julian Haylock © 1999

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