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Schubert was sufficiently proud of this setting to place it right at the beginning of the Lieder album sent to Goethe in 1816 – and this despite the fact he had the temerity to leave out the third of the poet's four verses. One has a vision of Goethe opening the volume at the first page, seeing this immediately, and turning his back on Schubert forever without even bothering to consult his friend Zelter on how good or bad the music was. After all, the poet had very strong ideas about how the poem should be read. In 1814 he wrote: 'The first and third verses have to be recited energetically with some fire, while the second and fourth must be gentle, because here a new emotion has appeared.' In setting the poem in his own inimitable way, Schubert nevertheless wrote a masterpiece.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1995
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