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Die Rose, D745 First version

March 1820 (?); first published as a supplement to the Wiener Zeitschrift für Kunst, Literatur, Theater und Mode in May 1822, and by Diabelli in May 1827 as Op 73
author of text

It seems likely that Schubert set this poem well before the song's publication in the Wiener Zeitschrift. It is probable that it was written at the same time as others from the first part of Abendröte. The pattern of the cycle is continued in that Schlegel allows the rose to tell us of its plight in its own words. To the twentieth-century reader the philosophical point that the poet makes about the dangers besetting young ladies who are careless of their virtue may seem rather hackneyed. But it must have seemed a point worth making at the beginning of the nineteenth century in a world seething with change and greater freedom between the sexes. As Schubert was to discover to his cost, the dangers of loose living were not confined to women, and the text of this poem seems especially poignant when related to his life which, like the rose's, was blighted by the heat of passion. The poem seems to indicate that Schlegel had already turned his back on some of the views expressed in his novel Lucinde.

The beauties of a song like this, and the appeal of its thinly-veiled 'improving' text, were not lost on the publishers of the time. It seems that the composer first wrote the piece in F major, but then decided that it sounded more fresh and fragile in the key of G major. It was first published in that key in the Wiener Zeitschrift. John Reed believes that Schubert was persuaded to publish it in that higher key, but it is perhaps more likely that it was the composer's own decision at that time. In 1827 it was re-published by Diabelli who had strong ideas about commercial practicalities. The fact is that the song is difficult in G major, particularly the tessitura of the middle section, and most soprano voices would have found, and continue to find, the F major version easier. It was in 1827, it seems to me, that the composer was persuaded (probably by Diabelli) to revert to his original idea of F major, so as not to frighten off prospective buyers - young ladies scanning the lie of the vocal line in the so-called 'art establishments'. There are accordingly two versions of the song. In the Deutsch catalogue the G major version (recorded here) is the first; the F major version (recorded by Felicity Lott on Volume 19) is the second. There is a commentary on the song accompanying Volume 19. There the poem is divided into three strophes to facilitate discussion of the setting. However, it is printed here without subdivision, as it appears in the Schlegel Gedichte.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1996


Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 27 - Matthias Goerne
CDJ33027Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40


Track 13 on CDJ33027 [2'41] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40

Track-specific metadata for CDJ33027 track 13

Recording date
11 March 1995
Recording venue
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown & Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Tony Faulkner & Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 27 - Matthias Goerne (CDJ33027)
    Disc 1 Track 13
    Release date: November 1996
    Deletion date: March 2012
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
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