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Hermann Prey: Louis Spohr "Ungeduld" Op.94 Nr.4

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Published on Mar 20, 2013

Hermann Prey sings Louis Spohr's "Ungeduld" op. 94 Nr. 4.
Michael Krist, piano.
The first complete and critical Edition of Louis Spohr's Lieder in 12 vols. is edited by Prof. Susan Owen-Leinert and Michael Leinert with the Publisher Christoph Dohr, Cologne.
www.dohr.de/autor/Spohr.htm
www.owen-leinert.com/Spohr_Society.htm

Louis Spohr (1784-1859) composed Wilhelm Müller's poem "Ungeduld" in 1835/36 . The song begins with the words: "Ich schnitt' es gern in alle Rinden ein" (trans. I carve it gladly into all trees' bark). The first strophe ends: "Auf jeden weißen Zettel möchte' ich's schreiben: Dein ist mein Herz, und soll es ewig bleiben" (trans. On every white sheet of paper I want to write: My heart is yours, and should so stay forever). Does this not remind one of the comedy from William Shakespeare "As you like it"?
In Act 3 Orlando, drunken with love, cries his verse into the woods: "O Rosalind! These trees shall be my books / and in their barks my thoughts I'll character; / that ev-ery eye which in this forest looks / shall see thy virtue witness'd everywhere." Perhaps Müller found inspiration also from Edmund Spenser (ca. 1552--1599). In a poem from this great English poet we read the verse: Her name in every tree I will endosse / that, as the trees to grow, her name may grow. Louis Spohr certainly did not know of the euphoric letter that Heinrich Heine sent to the poet Wilhelm Müller. However, due to his secure sense for musically adequate text interpretation, Spohr composed the Lied as Heine had understood the poetry of his poet-colleague:
"I believe, only first in your Lieder to have found the pure sound and the true simplicity, to which I have always aspired. How pure, how clear are your Lieder, and all presented as Volkslieder. [...] I am pressed to say to you that I love no other Lieder poet, excluding Goethe, more than you [...] with your eternal freshness and youthful originality."
Apparently it was this youthful temperament that inspired Spohr to his composition. After a six measure piano introduction, he writes "Feurig" (trans. fiery) over the beginning of the vocal line, a clear indication for the interpretation. Like Schubert's composition, Spohr's Lied is in 3/4 meter and in the key of A major. The tempo indication of Schubert's Lied is "Etwas geschwind" (trans. somewhat fast), by Spohr: "Allegretto". The original poem has four verses (see: Franz Schubert). Louis Spohr composed the verses 1, 2 and 4. The third verse "Den Morgenwinden möcht' ich's hauchen ein" is missing in Louis Spohr's composition.

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