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Luisens Antwort, D319

First line:
Wohl weinen Gottes Engel
first published in 1895
author of text

On the same day as setting Ida, Schubert turned to Luisa. It was to be the last of his many Kosegarten settings of the year. The poem is Kosegarten's artistic reply to a poem by Klamer Schmidt, Trennungslied which Mozart set in 1787 as Das Lied der Trennung, one of his most beautiful songs. This poem begins with the lines 'Die Engel Gottes weinen, wo Liebende sich trennen' and bemoans the parting of the lovers as seen by the man. Kosegarten here attempted to see the situation from the girl's point of view. Although Mozart wrote his song in semiquavers and Schubert quavers, there is no doubt that the younger composer had the 'Bewegung' of Mozart's song in mind, and that his song is intended as a sort of companion piece. Even the melodic line has something of the same shape, and the key of B flat minor (unusual for Schubert) is related, as if in fugal or imitative reply, to Mozart's key of F minor. There are no less than nineteen verses printed in the Gesamtausgabe of which we perform the first, seventh, eighteenth and last.

Ludwig Theogul Kosegarten, born in Mecklenburg, was the son of a pastor. He took holy orders after a period of study at Greifswald University and worked as a teacher and in the church before he took the chair of theology at his old university. He wrote most of his poems before he was thirty, and had a flirtation with Sturm und Drang. In later years he was famous for two epics in sentimental style written in hexameters. His Legenden were influential on the work of the Swiss poet Gottfried Keller.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1989


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