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Louis Spohr: Was mir wohl übrig bliebe Op.139 No.5

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Published on Apr 2, 2013

LOUIS SPOHR Was mir wohl übrig bliebe Op. 139 Nr. 5 (WoO 96),1836.
Johanna Stojkovic, soprano -- Cord Garben, piano.
Spohr's manuscript is located at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, UK (Sign.:MS.M.Deneke Mendelssohn C.21).
In a letter of November 24th, 1836 to Louis Spohr, Felix Mendelssohn requested a Lied composition for his fiancée Cécile Jeanrenaud to include in an album that he wanted to give her at Christmas. Already on December 13th Mendelssohn sent his thanks for the delivered Lied 'Was mir wohl übrig bliebe': "the dear, beautiful song, that will just suit the voice of my bride and will bring her so much joy".
The Lied was first published in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik as a supplement (Erstes Heft) on pages 11 and 12 in January, 1838. On November 20, 1837 Mendelssohn had recommended to the publisher of the magazine, Robert Schumann that the Lied be printed for the first time: "Dear Schumann [...] in my wife's album there is a pretty, unpublished Lied from Spohr, what would you think about writing a few lines to him and ask him, if it could be published for the purposes of the magazine? He didn't include it in his newest collection and it would be a pity if it remained unpublished. It would certainly be a credit to your collection. Farewell. In haste, your Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy."
Schumann's request per letter to Spohr proceeded successfully: "The Lied in the album of the wife of my friend I regard completely as their possession; therefore if they express to you they want it published and you find it appropriate for your journal, to see it printed can only please me."
The poem Spohr set to music was written by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben (1798--1874), the creator of the "Lied der Deutschen" whose third verse is sung today as the German national anthem. As the author of revolutionary poems during the time of the "Vormärz" he was followed due to treason and "revolutionary activities". His "Unpolitische Lieder" were banned and Hoffmann von Fallersleben lost his professorship at the University of Breslau.
The bond of friendship between the composer col-leagues Mendelssohn and Spohr is documented further with two dedications: Louis Spohr dedicated his only piano sonata in A-flat major, opus 125 (1843) to "Herrn Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy freundschaftlichst gewidmet". The 25 year younger Mendelssohn reciprocated in 1845 with a dedication of his last piano trio No. 2 in c minor.
►See also: The first complete and critical Edition of Louis Spohr's LIEDER in 12 vols., edited by Prof. Susan Owen-Leinert and Michael Leinert with the German Publisher Christoph Dohr, Cologne (Op. 139 No. 5 is published in Volume 4 E.D. 29954).

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