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Spring Will Come

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The great Dutch Soprano, Elly Ameling, in joined by fortepianist, Jorg Demus, and clarinetist, Hans Deinzer in a performance of Franz Schubert's delightful secular cantata, Der Hirt auf dem Felsen (The Shepherd on the Rock). This is one of my favorite pieces by Schubert and it always brings a smile to my face. It is a prime example of Schubert's subtle harmonic daring (for the time) and expressive setting of text.

One of the things I particularly enjoy about these YouTube clips is that they feature the actual musical score. For those who are able to read music, it's a treat to see just how clean and faithful to Schubert's score this performance is -- and yet, in Miss Ameling's clear, pristine, shimmering voice everything sounds so fresh. I also applaud the poster for including some wonderful notes (including a translation) under the "More Info" frame to the right of the view screen.

And so . . . in honor of Spring:

Franz P. Schubert: Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, D. 965 (1828)

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This beautiful Spring-like day in the New York area has prompted me to revisit this thread and to post yet another performance of this wonderful Schubert song. Here is the great Beverly Sills in a live, bravura performance from 1970.

Schubert completed this song in the fall of 1828, just weeks before his death. Although the middle section of the song is particularly poignant, it resolves into music of infectious joy and anticipation. For me, that Schubert could write something like this despite his failing health is a real testament to his spirit.

w. Beverly Sills

Here are the English texts for this song:

The Shepherd on the Rock

When, from the highest rock up here,

Down to the valley deep I peer,

And sing,

Far from the valley dark and deep

Echoes rush through, in upward sweep,

The chasm.

The farther that my voice resounds,

So much the brighter it rebounds

From under.

My sweetheart dwells so far from me,

I hotly long with her to be

O'er yonder.


I am consumed in misery,

I have no use for cheer,

Hope has on earth eluded me,

I am so lonesome here.

So longingly did sound the song,

So longingly through wood and night,

Towards heav'n it draws all hearts along

With unsuspected might.


The Springtime is coming,

The Springtime, my cheer,

Now must I make ready

On wanderings to fare.

Wilhelm Müller

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