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Der gute Hirt, D449

First line:
Was sorgest du? Sei stille, meine Seele!
June 1816; first published in 1872
author of text

The key of E major is often associated in Schubert with joy and innocence. Everything in this music is luxuriously calm, without a hint of volupté; the music is unusually marked 'Vertrauensvoll' – trustingly. It has a homespun quality that suggests harmonium accompaniment and performance at a prayer meeting. It is a companion piece to the work in which Schubert was to give definite expression to his flowing-triplet seraphic style, Der 23. Psalm (in the translation of Felix Mendelssohn's grandfather, Moses) for women's voices from December 1820. Schubert's other Uz setting of the time (Gott im Frühlinge, D448) is also in E major and is also a hymn of praise to God in His vernal manifestation. That little jewel was included in the book of seventeen songs that Schubert made in 1816 for the birthday of his sweetheart Therese Grob, and it is very likely that Der gute Hirt was also written with her voice and demeanour in mind.

It is interesting that the two best known of the five Schubert settings of the poetry of Johann Peter Uz (born in Ansbach and educated in Halle) are of a religious bent. A number of his poems modelled on Anacreontic metre advocate the hedonism of wine, women and song, and he adopted a stance which attempted to combine this epicureanism with a rational eighteenth-century Christianity. In Gott im Frühlinge there even seems to be a touch of pantheism.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1990


Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/4040CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 9 - Arleen Auger
CDJ33009Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40


Track 19 on CDJ33009 [3'12] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
Track 4 on CDS44201/40 CD15 [3'12] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDS44201/40 disc 15 track 4

Recording date
18 October 1989
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. 9 - Arleen Auger (CDJ33009)
    Disc 1 Track 19
    Release date: January 1991
    Deletion date: October 2012
    Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
  2. Schubert: The Complete Songs (CDS44201/40)
    Disc 15 Track 4
    Release date: October 2005
    40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
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