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Der Morgenstern, D172

First line:
Stern der Liebe, Glanzgebilde
fragment completed by Reinhard van Hoorickx
author of text

Like Liebesrausch (also to a Körner text) this is a completion by Reinhard Van Hoorickx of a rather small fragment. Only the prelude to the song and three bars of the vocal line (including the words ‘Stern der Liebe, Glanzgebild’) have survived. The autograph also contains three other complete Körner settings (D168, D169, D170). As is usual with fragments one can never be certain whether or not the surviving bars form a preliminary sketch for a song that was completed on another piece of paper and has subsequently been lost. It seems likely however that in the heat of inspiration the composer simply moved on to something else which appealed more to him at the time. This is a pity because the few bars we have are extremely expressive. The bel canto line of the melody in G flat (a key Schubert associates with peace, harmony and rapture) is well suited to the words, and holds out promise of one of those impassioned tenor arias with triplet accompaniment that were a Schubertian speciality of the time.

Reinhard Van Hoorickx solved the problem of completing this fragment by going to the composer’s second setting of these words (D203) from May 1815. This was one of five songs (D199, D202, D203, D204, D205 with two texts by Hölty and three by Körner) written for two unaccompanied voices or two horns. These were probably pièces d’occasion which Schubert composed for outdoor performance during country excursions outside Vienna in the warm month of May. The opening of the piano-accompanied version recorded here suggests horns anyway with its alternating thirds and sixths and both songs bear the marking ‘Lieblich’ (‘charming’). As the two settings seem related in various ways, Van Hoorickx has taken the vocal line from D203 (from ‘glühend wie die Himmels Braut’ to the end of the song) and transposed it from E flat to G flat. It so happens that the two tunes join up happily and that this transposition provides the tenor voice with a tessitura which matches Schubert’s original intention. The justification for this completion (if one were needed) is that it would have been a pity to lose the wonderful opening phrase entirely. Although the entire vocal line is genuine Schubert, the text printed above uses italics for the passages completed by Father Van Hoorickx.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1994


Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/4040CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 20
CDJ33020Download only


Track 17 on CDJ33020 [1'39] Download only
Track 20 on CDS44201/40 CD5 [1'39] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

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