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First line:
Ach, um deine feuchten Schwingen
author of text
attributed to and adapted by Goethe
author of text

Despite the re-issue of Randhartinger’s lieder in modern editions we have to guess the dates of their composition. It is significant that this song is cast in B flat major, a strong link with Schubert’s setting of the same text. There is no doubt that Randhartinger, on his best form, was a highly skilled composer. This sumptuous music, still framed by a certain classical rigour, suggests the 1830s when Schubert’s style was still a living memory, rather than the 1840s when Viennese song-composing dipped in quality while yielding to perfumed sentimentality—a shift that would be termed ‘Victorian’ in the context of English musical history. The languid, ornamented tendrils of the accompaniment suggest something suitably oriental for Goethe’s West-Östlicher Divan—an exoticism in which Schubert was a pioneer. The connection with Jeannette Bürde's Der Berghirt, is clear: both of Schubert’s Suleika songs were written for Anna Milder Hauptmann to whom Randhartinger might also have sent this song. Neither this singer nor her composers knew that the real author of the words was Marianne von Willemer, Goethe’s ‘Suleika’ in real life.

comparative Schubert listening:
Suleika II D717. March (?) 1821 (possibly December 1824)

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2006


Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/4040CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Songs by Schubert's friends and contemporaries


Track 10 on CDJ33051/3 CD3 [2'46] 3CDs
Track 10 on CDS44201/40 CD40 [2'46] 40CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)

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