How Schubert listened to the brook’s lullaby

Franz Schubert’s lieder do not sound like poems set to music.  They sound like actualizations of musical settings.  It is as if the composer cast in notation the inner musicality of these pieces which, to his mind, were already written as verbal compositions.  The piano part too sounds as if it emerges from a deeper layer of poetic structure rather than an addition to the poem.  Schubert could do that fluently some 600 times in the 31 years of his life because, when looking at verses, he was not reading words but hearing chords.  In turn, when exploring his songs, we are listening to works that each time emerge as total and leave us wordless.

The miller:

“My dear beloved mill stream

So wise and so true 

But do you know what love does?

It tears you in two

Your waters can soothe me

So cool, so deep

So hold me and enfold me 

And sing me to sleep

Yes, hold me and enfold me 

And sing me to sleep.”

23 February 2023

This entry was posted in Listening, Piano and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.