Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.

Erster Verlust, D226

First line:
Ach, wer bringt die schönen Tage
published in 1821 as Op 5 No 4
author of text

That such an eloquent hymn to the past should come from the pen of an eighteen-year-old boy, without a past of his own to speak of, is one of the miracles of music. In tempo, tonality and the feeling of precious beauty slipping away, the song is prophetic of Schubert's great hymn at sunset, Im Abendrot. That is a religious song, but Erster Verlust goes deeper into secular pain; the repeated Cs common to the opening of both songs are here harmonised in F minor rather than the relative major (and relative security) of A flat. Memories of happier times shine translucently behind the minor tonality, and when the voice ends on a major chord, the ear accepts this in the same way that the heart might clutch at a slender hope. Even this is extinguished when the piano returns crushed to the minor key in five inexorable notes of postlude. It seems churlish to point out that Schubert adds the word 'wer' to the last line of Goethe's poem to give himself the musical shape he wanted. He included Erster Verlust in the book of sixteen songs he prepared especially to send to the great poet in April 1816. But did Schubert perhaps wonder whether Goethe's failure to reply had something to do with this lèse-majesté?

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1988


Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/40Boxed set + book (at a special price) — Download only
Schubert: The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Vol. 1 - Janet Baker
CDJ33001Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40


Track 10 on CDJ33001 [2'04] Archive Service; also available on CDS44201/40
Track 17 on CDS44201/40 CD7 [2'04] Boxed set + book (at a special price) — Download only

Track-specific metadata

Click track numbers above to select
Waiting for content to load...
Waiting for content to load...