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Der Liebende, D207

First line:
Beglückt, beglückt
first published in 1894
author of text

The 26th May was given over to the composition of vocal duets with horn accompaniment (surely occasional music to be sung outdoors on a warm May night and probably specially requested by Schubert's friends) for which he enlisted the aid of Hölty's poems as well as those of Theodor Körner. Re-opening this volume of poems led Schubert back, at the end of this already full day to another Körner flirtation: the delightful solo song Liebeständelei. It is not hard to imagine a scenario where the shadowy figure of Schubert's beloved Therese Grob is linked to the frolics and horny fun (of necessity somewhat muted—Grob was a religious girl) of picnic frolics and music in the open air. If this were so, it would not be surprising that the texts chosen at this time veer between the idealism of romantic love, and sheer sexual frustration. The continuation of this fantasy-scenario is to imagine the composer, with this al fresco music under his arm, and ready for perfommance, going into the country with friends for a couple of days' rest. The Deutsch catalogue is empty for the 27th and 28th May but of course it is possible that Schubert was working then on his new symphony. What is certain is that he returned to work on the 29th May with a light heart and in the mood to write what John Reed rightly calls a 'gem'. Like Mein in Die schone Müllerin this is a poem of rapturous hope masquerading as certainty; the poet is led to the greatest optimism by tbe girl's affectionate teasing, intimations of pleasures to come that may amount to little of substance. There is no calm, assured knowledge of love given and received reflected in this music; the tempo marking encourages a fevered urgency as if sounding confident and jaunty will, in wish-fulfilment, earn the singer his prize. He is certainly no Casanova, more of a hopeful young pup The playful little piano interlude is enchanting, but, as always one of the miracles of Schubert's outputs is the interplay between major and minor, in length of piece as much as key: such were his high spirits and confidence that on the same day he went on to write Die Nonne—one of the most Gothic and blood-soaked of all his horror stories. The villain of that piece seduces a nun from her life of purity. Despite the difference of the story lines of the two songs, the idée fixe is the same.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1990


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