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Track(s) taken from CDJ33051/3

Erster Verlust

First line:
Ach, wer bringt die schönen Tage
author of text

Susan Gritton (soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: March 2004
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: October 2005
Total duration: 2 minutes 56 seconds


'This enterprising, often revelatory set should intrigue and delight anyone interested in the development of the Lied' (Gramophone)

'Since making music with friends was Schubert's whole raison d'etre, this 3-CD box is an inspired idea … led by the soprano Susan Gritton, the performances are pure A-list' (The Independent)

'Anyone who loves lieder will find here a rich, diverse, and delightful offering. There isn't a bad song among the 81 songs by 40 composers who wrote during Schubert's lifetime, and there's a lot of fine music here by well-known and also practically unknown composers and poets. The singing is consistently excellent… anyone interested in this genre will find here a broad-ranging and generous collection' (American Record Guide)

'If 81 songs are too many to mention individually, sufficient variety exists and enough songs are receiving a first recording for this set to be indispensable for anyone interested in the genre' (International Record Review)

'Graham Johnson once again demonstrates that he has few peers today in his combined function as scholar-musician' (Fanfare, USA)
This song was composed in May 1807 and appeared in the fourth book of Zelters sämmtliche Lieder, Balladen und Romanzen (printed in Berlin, 1810–1813). Although this is no match for Schubert’s setting, the song is remarkably eloquent and touching, an exercise in the judiciously ardent style of performance that is represented by the composer’s marking—Mit Affekt, doch nicht zu langsam. The curve of the melodic line has a Mozartian graciousness, and the ascending vocal sequences require the poised attentions of a very good singer, someone who might have sung Pamina for example. Fine breath control is necessary for the elongated phrase at ‘verlorne Glück’. The thematic interplay between the voice and piano, and between the pianist’s right and left hand, make for a convincing depiction of loss and regret, albeit in the manner of an aria rather than a lied. This is very far from the simple strophic setting advocated by the theoreticians of the Berlin school. And Zelter dares to change Goethe’s poem! He adds the adjectives ‘süsse, liebe’ to the closing line, and he does so without a word of apology to the poet.

comparative Schubert listening:
Erster Verlust D226. 5 July 1815

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006

Other albums featuring this work

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