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Track(s) taken from CDJ33014

Gruppe aus dem Tartarus, D396

First line:
Horch – wie Murmeln des empörten Meeres
March 1816; fragment first published in 1975
author of text

Thomas Hampson (baritone), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: October 1991
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: April 1992
Total duration: 0 minutes 31 seconds


'The readings, with Johnson's piano at its probing best, are constantly enlightening and carry the absorbed listener into a rarefied world of word and music. The disc lasts an incredible 80 minutes, but the time flies by in such perceptive company' (Gramophone)

'Many of the songs here, as on all the discs, are masterpieces, and wonder and gratitude are unabated' (CDReview)
There is nothing wrong with the musical inspiration behind this first attempt to set Schiller's mighty poem, but it is easy to see why the composer loses heart: he is using up too much of the poem too quickly to place the final result on a canvas imposing enough for the song's subject. In the second version Schubert takes 23 bars to reach the point in the poem covered by only 14 here. The harmonic sequence, changing once in each bar, is effective, but it fails to plumb the depths of the Underworld. It is just possible that more of the song existed once and has been lost, but when we compare it with the second version we have every reason to suppose that Schubert knew he could do better.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1991

Other albums featuring this work

Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/4040CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
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