Franz Peter Schubert (1797 – 1828) , “Wandrers Nachtlied II”, op. 96 (Vier Lieder) no. 3, D. 768 (c.1823).
Performed by German baritone Matthias Goerne (b. 1967) with collaborative pianist Alexander Schmalcz.
Goethe’s Wanderer is much closer to the spirit of Romanticism. He represents the man who cuts himself off from the hurl-burly of city life and travels through the countryside in order to find [fulfillment] and peace of mind in nature. Schubert’s setting of the poem is frequently accused of being at odds with Goethe’s words, for it makes it appear that the Wanderer has already found the peace of mind he claims to be seeking… But this is precisely why it makes a fitting conclusion to the set. It represents a transformation of Schmidt’s distress. As in most of Schubert’s three-song sets, the second song provides the reason for the transformation. Werner’s birds, instead of striving for something beyond their grasp like Schmidt’s Wanderer, find contentment in simply being who they are and where they are.
– Michaël Hall, Schubert’s Song Sets
Über allen Gipfeln
in allen Wipfeln
kaum einen Hauch;
die Vögelein schweigen im Walde,
warte nur, balde
ruhest du auch!
Over all the peaks
it is peaceful,
in all the treetops
hardly a breath of wind;
the little birds are silent in the forest…
only wait – soon
you will rest as well.
Text from The Lied, Art Song, and Choral Texts Archive
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Happy Friday to you all. I hope you enjoy this short Schubert lied as much as I did today. Please excuse the shaky video recording. I think it is not only important to listen to Matthias Goerne‘s heavenly voice but to also watch him perform this piece. Hopefully, you will notice too how centered and strong he seems while exuding a sense of fluidity and openness. Watching a true recitalist perform, it is really this sense of fluency and eloquence in both the vocal production as well as the stage presence that separates them from the student or emerging professional. Furthermore, this might be the only time I encourage anyone to read the YouTube comments because they hold such gems as, “His pronunciation of the umlaut twists my heart in delight. Such rapture.” Indeed.
- Sounds of Masculinity (wqxr.org)
- Schubertiade: The hills are alive in Schwarzenberg (newstatesman.com)
- The Romantics: A One Track Mind (wqxr.org)
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