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Track(s) taken from CDJ33051/3

Mignons Lied 'Kennst du das Land?', Op 37 No 1

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 52 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 composer, one of Schubert’s more famous contemporaries, had an early Viennese dimension to his multi-faceted career; when Schubert was still a teenager, Spohr was Music Director of the Theater an der Wien (1813–1815), during which time he was in contact with Beethoven who was an enduring inspiration. Because Spohr’s name remained well known in Vienna after his departure, Schubert was accustomed to hearing his fellow composer’s music in various concerts (sometimes his work shared the billing with Spohr’s) and he might well have met the older composer on one of his later visits to Vienna. We know that the subject of Schubert’s operatic hopes came up between Kreutzer and Spohr in correspondence in 1822, and we know that long after Schubert’s death Spohr conducted a performance of the ‘Great’ C major symphony.

Mignons Lied „Kennst du das Land?“ is the first of Sechs Deutsche Lieder, Op 37, composed in 1815. Goethe, in one of his more censorious moods, criticized this setting as being a ‘complete misunderstanding’ because it was not strophic. In fact, this is a cleverly modified strophic song that attempts to give the impression of being strophic without actually being so—a sleight of hand well known to Schubert. The most unusual thing about this setting, and also the most inventive, is the constantly changing metre as 3/2 shifts to 3/4 and then to 2/4—an attempt to render Mignon’s lines in natural speech rhythms.

comparative Schubert listening:
Mignons Gesang „Kennst du das Land?“ D321. 23 October 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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