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Edone, D445

First line:
Dein süsses Bild, Edone
June 1816; first published in 1837 as part of volume 28 of the Nachlass
author of text

Edone is the last of Schubert's thirteen Klopstock settings. The first had been Das Rosenband, and here the composer recaptures the freshness and intimacy of his early acquaintance with a poet who is capable of great lyrical tenderness when not tempted to patriotic historical epics (Hermann und Thusnelda) or religious ones (Dem Unendlichen and Die Gestirne). It is also perhaps no coincidence that Edone like Therese is a name in three syllables. This song was included in the Therese Grob songbook and stood at the head of the collection. This is surely significant; any composer as literary as Schubert would surely want the first song in an especially assembled birthday album to serve as a dedication.

The music is chaste and wistful. The key is C minor and like Der Leidende the main shape of the melody is five even quavers followed by a longer note. As in the accompaniment to the same song, left-hand crotchets in 2/4 are offset by right-hand quavers off the beat. This gives the vocal line the quality of a flute or clarinet melody judiciously accompanied by strings. Reed calls this the composer's 'woodwind' style and notes that it is not only a feature of the 1816 songs, but that it is also to be found in the middle section of the slow movement of the Symphony No 4 (the 'Tragic'). The second strophe of this setting is perhaps the most interesting and harmonically eventful. The evening prompts a shift to distant B flat minor (at 'wenn der Abend mir dämmert') and, as always with this composer, the moon (a symbol of virginity) encourages a flight of tenor-tessitura fancy where we can almost see the silver orb moving through the heaven's (at 'mir glänzt, seh ich's und weine') in a chromatic arch of sound. The myrtle mentioned in the third strophe is of course the German symbol of marriage (Schumann called his 1840 songs Myrthen because they were dedicated to Clara as a wedding present) but here the poet would only plait these in a garland if he had the chance to marry his paragon. The poem is about a dream that is thwarted. Perhaps Schubert saw reflected in it his own impossible dream of having a wife, of making a reality of his relationship with Therese. It would be surprising indeed if Edone stood at the head of the Grob songbook by chance.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1995


Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/40Boxed set + book (at a special price) — Download only
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 23 - Christoph Prégardien
CDJ33023Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40


Track 17 on CDJ33023 [1'17] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
Track 28 on CDS44201/40 CD14 [1'17] Boxed set + book (at a special price) — Download only

Track-specific metadata for CDJ33023 track 17

Recording date
17 September 1994
Recording venue
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 23 - Christoph Prégardien (CDJ33023)
    Disc 1 Track 17
    Release date: May 1995
    Deletion date: March 2012
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
  2. Schubert: The Complete Songs (CDS44201/40)
    Disc 14 Track 28
    Release date: October 2005
    Deletion date: July 2021
    Boxed set + book (at a special price) — Download only
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