No 1: Lebe wohl!
No 2: Mädchens Klage
No 3: Das Sterbeglöcklein 'Das Zügenglöcklein'
No 4: Trockne Blumen
No 5: Ungeduld. First transcription
No 6: Die Forelle. First version
The Schiller song Des Mädchens Klage (‘The Maiden’s Lament’, D191b) brings us to Schubert proper, and a complex transcription cast as a theme and variations dramatically depicting the maiden’s discovery, having lived and loved a little, that sorrow and tears follow hard on the heels of joy. Das Zügenglöcklein, D871b—the title which Liszt knew, Das Sterbeglöcklein, amounts to the same thing—is a strophic prayer for the unknown dead being tolled by a distant bell. Again Liszt sets the work as a theme and variations of great refinement and intricacy. Trockne Blumen (‘Dried Flowers’, D795/18) comes from Die schöne Müllerin. The poet speaks to a few dead flowers which were the only gift he had had from his beloved. If the flowers were buried in his grave, and if she realized that his feelings had been true, then the flowers would spring to life again. Liszt’s arrangement (in C minor, rather than Schubert’s E minor) is quite straightforward, and the hope of the second part of the song is accentuated by his placing the material octaves higher than the original.
Ungeduld, D795/7 is also from Schwanengesang and is Liszt’s first transcription of the piece (in F major rather than Schubert’s A major) and, like the second transcription, is a theme and variations one verse shorter than the original. Curiously, it approches the business of conveying the poet’s impatient passion in quite a different way from the later transcription, and adds a short, extremely blue. coda. Finally, Die Forelle, D550d, is given a full-blooded concert transcription.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1995