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Erster Verlust

First line:
Ach, wer bringt die schönen Tage
author of text

This song was composed in May 1807 and appeared in the fourth book of Zelters sämmtliche Lieder, Balladen und Romanzen (printed in Berlin, 1810–1813). Although this is no match for Schubert’s setting, the song is remarkably eloquent and touching, an exercise in the judiciously ardent style of performance that is represented by the composer’s marking—Mit Affekt, doch nicht zu langsam. The curve of the melodic line has a Mozartian graciousness, and the ascending vocal sequences require the poised attentions of a very good singer, someone who might have sung Pamina for example. Fine breath control is necessary for the elongated phrase at ‘verlorne Glück’. The thematic interplay between the voice and piano, and between the pianist’s right and left hand, make for a convincing depiction of loss and regret, albeit in the manner of an aria rather than a lied. This is very far from the simple strophic setting advocated by the theoreticians of the Berlin school. And Zelter dares to change Goethe’s poem! He adds the adjectives ‘süsse, liebe’ to the closing line, and he does so without a word of apology to the poet.

comparative Schubert listening:
Erster Verlust D226. 5 July 1815

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006


Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/40Boxed set + book (at a special price) — Download only
Songs by Schubert's friends and contemporaries
CDJ33051/33CDs Last few CD copies remaining


Track 11 on CDJ33051/3 CD1 [2'56] 3CDs Last few CD copies remaining
Track 11 on CDS44201/40 CD38 [2'56] Boxed set + book (at a special price) — Download only

Track-specific metadata for CDJ33051/3 disc 1 track 11

Recording date
12 March 2004
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Songs by Schubert's friends and contemporaries (CDJ33051/3)
    Disc 1 Track 11
    Release date: March 2006
    3CDs Last few CD copies remaining
  2. Schubert: The Complete Songs (CDS44201/40)
    Disc 38 Track 11
    Release date: October 2005
    Deletion date: July 2021
    Boxed set + book (at a special price) — Download only
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