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Track(s) taken from CDJ33010

Der Traum, D213

First line:
Mir träumt’, ich war ein Vögelein
first published in 1865 as Op 172 No 1
author of text

Martyn Hill (tenor), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: May 1990
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: February 1991
Total duration: 2 minutes 19 seconds


'Hill's work here is inspired enough to place him in a line of tenor-interpreters of Schubert that leads from Erb and Patzak through Schreier to Rolfe Johnson. In legato, tone and above all understanding his readings are little short of ideal, from start to finish … this is a disc no Schubertian can possibly be without and a further jewel in this series's crown' (Gramophone)

'This is quite the equal of its predecessors in this marvellous series' (Hi-Fi News)

'After hearing Martyn Hill's breathtaking An die Apfelbäume' you'll never be the same person' (Kansas City Star)
Some of Schubert's most irresistible outdoor music is in A major, including the famous Das Lied im Grünen, and the earlier Hölty song on this disc about love among the apple trees. It is no surprise that the composer also associates the flight of birds, the epitome of outdoor freedom, with this key, notably the 1820 Schlegel setting Die Vögel, and the same poet's Der Knabe, in which a boy dreams about how wonderful it would be to be free as a bird. This song is a rather more frank, even lascivious, version of a young man's fantasies about birds, but the key is still A major. It is strange that the ornithological music it most resembles is not by Schubert at all, but by Brahms: the sixth Liebeslieder waltz 'Ein kleiner, hübscher Vogel' also dreams about being a bird, also has a cheeky loping gait, and is also in A major. But then Brahms knew his Schubert, and drew from him: this song appeared in Vienna in 1865 (three years before the composition of the Liebeslieder Walzer) as Schubert's posthumous Op 172, an opus number put together by the publisher Spina, and also including Die Vögel. On the printed page the song seems to be from a much earlier age: there is no separate vocal line—the voice doubles the piano in the manner of Haydn's German songs, or many of the works of Reichardt and Zelter. The sheer Viennese charm, however, stems from Mozart and that most famous of birdcatchers Papageno. There could be no more strong evidence of Schubert's astonishing unpredictability in the matter of length and content of his songs than that this little gem should stand directly after Adelwold und Emma in the Deutsch catalogue. Perhaps after living with Emma's much vaunted purity for nine days, the young composer needed to get to grips with a bird untrammelled by a gilded cage.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1990

Other albums featuring this work

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