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Track(s) taken from CDJ33051/3

Der Berghirt

First line:
Wenn auf dem höchsten Fels ich steh’
author of text

Stella Doufexis (soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: August 2001
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: October 2005
Total duration: 3 minutes 9 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)
Jeannette must have realized that ageing singers, like her sister, tend to recycle their former successes. Anna’s most famous role in Weigl’s Die Schweizerfamilie included a certain amount of quasi-yodelling—in particular in the Cavatine with clarinet obbligato entitled ‘Wer hörte man jemals much klagen?’. In September 1812 Zelter noted ‘a kind of Swiss sturdiness in her singing, most naively expressed’. In 1823 Anna had commissioned Carl Blum to write her a Swiss scena entitled Gruss an die Schweiz (Goethe). When exactly did Jeannette provide her sister with Der Berghirt to a text of Wilhelm Müller—perfect mountain music this with a faux-suisse accent? Or did Schubert come first in 1828? Because he had seen Anna as Emmeline in Die Schweizerfamilie, it is likely that he dreamed up the idea of a Shepherd on the Rock, with clarinet obbligato, and cast in the same B flat major tonality as the Weigl Cavatine. But it remains possible that Anna Milder suggested this text to Schubert only because it had already been set by her younger sister, and she found that its subject matter resonated comfortably with her distinguished operatic past. In November 1830 Zelter wrote to Goethe of Milder’s ‘temper, caprice and bad behaviour … she likes having her own way’. He nevertheless adds that ‘her voice is even now a work of god’. From these words we can infer that the first performance of Der Hirt auf dem Felsen (in Riga, March 1830) was beautifully sung.

comparative Schubert listening:
Der Hirt auf dem Felsen D965. October 1828

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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