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Im Haine, D738

First line:
1822 or 1823 (?); first published in July 1826 as Op 56 No 3
author of text

Very little is known about the background to this song. The autograph has vanished and the date is not even certain. Deutsch placed it in 1822 as it seems likely that it belongs to the same period as the other four Bruchmann songs. The poet's works were never published, and they have only survived in Schubert's settings which must have been composed from Bruchmann's own handwritten copies. Despite the questions hanging over its provenance, this song is gloriously and uncomplicatedly Schubertian, and it boasts a melody which could have been written by no other master. Each of Bruchmann's short lines of four syllables inspires fragments of a tune which stop on a dotted crotchet on the second beat of a 9/8 bar; the miracle is that these sequences are somehow made to add up to a melody which is an organic whole and which joins the end-stopped lines into a coherent sentence for the listener. Not content with this legerdemain, Schubert repeats the last three lines of the strophe (the tune now ornamented by exquisite little excursions into semiquaver melismas) and as a coup de grâce repeats the final long line of the strophe for good measure. All in all this makes an outrageously long melody of fifteen bars' duration, uninterrupted by a single rest in the vocal line.

Another breathless waltz song from more or less the same period comes to mind – Drang in die Ferne. Whilst this Leitner setting is undoubtedly more complex than the Bruchmann waltz, it is interesting that both these works share the tonality of A major/minor and that both first appeared in the Wiener Zeitschrift für Kunst und Mode. This popular publication, with its beautiful coloured plates of ladies' fashions, was keen to court its readership with accessible musical supplements – what better than waltzes, albeit disguised in 9/8 time? Schubert was no stranger to the writing of waltzes for piano in conventional 3/4, and this form was soon to be recognised as quintessentially Viennese with the enormous success of the orchestras of Lanner and Johann Strauss I. The second edition of Im Haine included an Italian translation ('Nel boschetto') by Craigher de Jachelutta; this was surely a sign that the composer felt he had written a piece with real popular potential.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1993


Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/40Boxed set + book (at a special price) — Download only
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 19 - Felicity Lott
CDJ33019Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40


Track 3 on CDJ33019 [2'31] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
Track 11 on CDS44201/40 CD26 [2'31] Boxed set + book (at a special price) — Download only

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