The starting point for this essay is a simple fascination with the song's miraculously economical text. For two decades, it has served me as a favorite example in teaching, and as with all pieces that become one's favorites it has seemed more profound each time a student or a class has led Most users should sign in with their email address. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in.
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The quiet night broods over roof-tree and steeple; Within this house dwelt my treasure rare; 'Tis long since she left this town and its people, But the house stands still on the self-same square. Here stands, too, a man; toward heaven he gazes, And he wrings his hands with a wild despair; I shudder with awe when his face he raises,-- For the moonlight shows mine own self there.
If you followed the Wilhelm Meister's series you might remember that one of the characters in the novel, the Count, thinks he has seen himself in his room, an apparition announcing his death.
When you listen to it in fact, when you listen to any of the six lieder that he wrote with Heine's poems you can only regret that he died before he could go further. We're supposed to read always the poem before we listen to its song, but this time I strongly recommend you to do so. The poem is very concise, it explains many things in only twelve verses, and Schubert is as concise as the poet. We just hear another piano motif, in the first stanza, after the second and fourth verses, an echo of their last words: mein Schatz and selben Platz.
The vocal style is declamatory, and only rises in three moments: at the second stanza, on the word Schmerzengewalt wild despair ; at the third on on manche Nacht so many a night and, especially, at the end of the second verse, when the man realizes that he's watching himself meine eig'ne Gestalt.
You can really hear the terror in his voice! It's an austere, introspective song, only a declamated voice on repeated chords. And, at the same time, it's one of the most dramatic lieder. Its musical conception is so modern that anticipates Hugo Wolf and he only composed sixty years later!
If I suggested reading the poem before listening to the song it's because I would say that Schubert, with his music, goes beyond Heine; the song it's so oppressive that a long silence usually follows it during a recital.
In any circumstance, I would be looking forward to a series entirely dedicated to Schubert, but I am in this project since the idea arose, and today it becomes real. So I'm excited and happy and believe me, in this hard times, a little bit of happiness is very welcomed. Add comment Leave your comments Post comment as a guest Name Required :. Submit Comment Agree to terms and condition. No comments found. Subscribe to the newsletter! We talked about the composers Series The 10 saddest songs.
Listening for Schubert’s “Doppelgängers”
Language: German Instruments: Piano. German text. English translation. The night is still, the streets are quiet, In this house lived my Love; She left the town long before, Yet her house is still standing in the same place.
Der Doppelgänger (Franz Schubert)
It was written in , the year of Schubert's death. The night is quiet, the streets are calm, In this house my beloved once lived: She has long since left the town, But the house still stands, here in the same place. A man stands there also and looks to the sky, And wrings his hands, overwhelmed by pain: I am terrified — when I see his face, The moon shows me my own form! Why do you ape the pain of my love Which tormented me upon this spot So many a night, so long ago?