Thursday, February 3, 2011

Du liebst mich nicht ( Schubert)

I discovered this piece in my twenties. I was fascinated by Schubert's treatment of the text. The phrase "Du liebst mich nicht/ You don't love me" is heard ten times. The modulations that emphasize the emotional text, the chromaticism and the unrelenting rhythmic figures all made the piece unique and compelling. The piece is sung here by Eileen Farrell (1920-2002) who sings it not only with her superb voice but with passion, subtlety and excellent German diction.

You'll find it as the third song of a wonderful group of Schubert Lieder. It appears at 10:05-13:50 to be precise. It's a piece that I've heard rarely in concerts. I'm not sure why. It does require a voice capable of producing both a strong dramatic quality as well as lyricism and excellent control over dynamics.

In her book, Can't Help Singing, she summed up the requirements for singing: "phrasing,rhythmic flexibility (and) the ability to tell a story in song." She does it all here.

Du liebst mich nicht

Composer: Franz Schubert(1797-1828)
Text: August von Platen-Hallermünde (1796-1835)

This poem represents the interest of poets of the time in oriental verse. Platen's poem come a volume called Ghazelen. The form originated in Arabic verse and one of the characteristics is that it contains five or more couplets and the second couplet usually ends with a repetition or refrain of of one or a few words. Here it is: Du liebst mich nicht!

My heart has been torn apart: you do not love me! You've made it very clear that you do not love me!
Although I come before you, begging and entreating,overflowing with love, you do not love me!
You've told me with your words, quite explicitly: you do not love me!

I must forgo the stars, the moon, the sun, for you do not love me!
What does it matter to me that roses bloom, or jasmine;
What does it matter that the narcissus blooms when you do not love me!

Translation: Milagro Vargas

No comments:

Post a Comment