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Thekla 'Des Mädchens Klage'

First line:
Der Eichwald brauset, die Wolken ziehn
author of text

This song was published in the third volume of Kleine Balladen und Lieder (1801). In the trilogy of plays by Schiller concerning the tragic career of General Wallenstein during the Thirty Years’ War, Thekla is Wallenstein’s daughter. Schubert wrote two songs with the title Thekla „Eine Geisterstimme“ (D73 and D595); these are settings of an entirely different poem which depicts Thekla as a wraith speaking from the other side of the grave as she describes her state of mind, and that of her father. This is a kind of ghostly sequel to Wallenstein’s Tod. The poem beginning ‘Der Eichwald brauset’ dates from 1798; it is also spoken by the afflicted Thekla, this time in the earlier play Die Picolimini (Act V). The lyric is entitled Des Mädchens Klage in Schiller’s Gedichte (1800). There are only two strophes in the poem’s appearance in Die Picolimini, as in the Zumsteeg setting. The composer must have taken the text directly from the play, and thus the character’s name as a title. Schubert had trouble with this poem, although he was clearly fascinated by it. He set it three times, each time in an entirely different way from that of Zumsteeg.

comparative Schubert listening:
Des Mädchens Klage First setting, D6. 1811 or 1812
Des Mädchens Klage Second setting, D191. 15 May 1815
Des Mädchens Klage Third setting, D389. March 1816

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006


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