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Track(s) taken from CDJ33024

An Mignon, D161 First version

First line:
Über Tal und Fluss getragen
published in 1825 as Op 19 No 2
author of text

Christine Schäfer (soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: September 1994
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: October 1995
Total duration: 1 minutes 36 seconds


'The whole record is priceless … renewed praise … an engrossing and invaluable addition to this series' (Gramophone)

'La interpretación sigue la línea de excellencia de toda la colección, realizada en torno al magnifico musico que es el pianista Graham Johnson' (Scherzo, Spain)
This work exists in two different keys. The version published in Schubert's lifetime is in G minor. The first version (recorded here) is in G sharp minor – the only song in that key that the composer was ever to write. The marking is 'Klagend, mässig' ('Plaintively, in a moderate tempo'), as opposed to the 'Etwas geschwind' of the published version. Schubert had sent the song to Goethe in the 1816 Lieder album written out in G sharp minor. Perhaps the later change to G minor was at the advice of the publishers who wanted to spare their customers unwarranted and tricky accidentals.

The Goethe scholar Eduard von Hellen contends that the inspiration of the poem was Magdalena Riggi, an Italian girl (like Mignon) who also felt hemmed in by her life and who longed for her freedom. If this is true it makes better sense that a woman should sing An Mignon (particularly in a higher, brighter key) than a man. The melodic simplicity of the song (immediately reminiscent of Am Feierabend from Die schöne Müllerin) is enriched by some astonishing modulations. Particularly noteworthy is the Neapolitan change of harmony between the repetition of 'immer Morgens wieder auf' which prophesies 'jeder Strom wird's Meer gewinnen' in Irrlicht from Winterreise.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1995

Other albums featuring this work

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