For all we know, Die Taubenpost was the last song written by Franz Schubert, a few weeks before his death: he died on November 19, 1828 in Vienna at the age of 31. Thus, this song also completes a collection which the Viennese publisher Tobias Haslinger presented posthumously to the public, giving it the title Schwanengesang. The other 13 songs, settings of poems by the Berlin music critic Ludwig Rellstab and from Heinrich Heine’s Buch der Lieder, a “hot commodity” at the time, had been collated by Schubert himself in one unified manuscript. Especially in the Heine settings he pushed the boundaries of the romantic, sociable, folk-inspired lied, writing shockingly brusque, highly expressive music that almost crosses the boundaries into madness, oscillating between the extremes of monotony and outcry.
In the summer of 1828, Schubert also wrote his String Quintet for two cellos, which only had its world premiere at Vienna’s Musikverein in 1850. The forcefulness and orchestral dimensions of the work make it a highlight of 19th-century chamber music. Fanny Mendelssohn’s Schwanenlied (also setting texts by Heinrich Heine) completes the programme, together with Felix Mendelssohn’s Song without Words No. 1 for solo piano, written one year after Schubert’s death, as well as Schubert’s own setting of an unrelated Schwanengesang (D 744, using a poem by Johann Senn).
SCHWANENGESANG & STRING QUINTET
Julian Prégardien, tenor
Martin Helmchen, piano
Christian Tetzlaff, violin
Florian Donderer, violin
Rachel Roberts, viola
Tanja Tetzlaff, cello
Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, cello
Lieder by Franz Schubert and Fanny Mendelssohn
Release: 10 September 2021
No dates scheduled at the moment