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Track(s) taken from CDJ33001

Schäfers Klagelied, D121 First version

First line:
Da droben auf jenem Berge
published by Cappi und Diabelli in Vienna in 1821 as Op 3 No 1
author of text

Dame Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: February 1987
Elstree, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: December 1987
Total duration: 2 minutes 47 seconds


'Dame Janet is in glorious voice' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'One of the loveliest records even Dame Janet has made' (The Guardian)

'A generous and revelatory recital of Goethe and Schiller settings. Janet Baker breaks the champagne bottle over one of the most important recording projects of the half century' (The Times)
This was the first song by Schubert to be performed in a public concert. It was a big success and we can see why: just like the celebrated Frühlingstraum from Winterreise it is a textbook siciliana, for apart from the lilting rhythm the scene is both pastoral and melancholy, and such a form would have been familiar to any early nineteenth-century audience. The quality of the new wine which is poured into old bottles should not go unnoticed however. The same is true of Goethe's poem which is based on a simple folk song but employs at the same time the art which conceals art. The musical form is a palindromic ABCBA - the outer sections constitute the plaint, the B sections in the relative major are slightly more vivacious and the big central section (the middle two verses) includes a sudden storm. The whole effect is of a rise and fall of the emotions, a great arc of feeling spanning the horizon, for this is a song of the outdoors. It is a masterpiece masquerading as a work song and posing as a simple pastorale. How much of this mask the singer chooses to wear is another matter. Capell called this song 'a priceless little object of virtù' as well it may seem when interpreted by a light little voice. In this performance the song is no dainty bergerette but a cry from the heart; Schubert's shepherd is no Dresden figurine and the intensity of feeling is comparable with that of Gretchen who had sprung into song life only six weeks earlier.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1988

Other albums featuring this work

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