the beautiful Miller
The text basis of the cycle is the collection of poems Die Schöne Müllerin by Wilhelm Müller , which is contained in the Seven and Seventy Post-Hered Poems from the papers of a traveling French horn player , published in 1821 . Schubert set 20 of the 25 poems to music, thereby canceling out the irony intended by the poet in the romantic sense and the pessimistic ending. The content relates - according to biographical sources and letters - to Müller's unfulfilled love for Luise Hensel .
The content is typically romantic : A young miller is on the move . He follows the course of a stream that eventually leads him to a mill. There he falls in love with the daughter of his new master. But the desired love affair with the beautiful and for him inaccessible miller fails. It may not seem averse to him at first. But then she turns to a hunter, because he has the more prestigious profession and embodies masculinity and potency. Desperate about this, the unfortunate miller drowns himself in the brook, which in the song cycle itself assumes the rank of a participating "figure": he is often addressed directly by the miller; in the penultimate song (Der Müller und der Bach) both sing alternately, in the last song finally (Des Baches Wiegenlied) the Bach sings a wistful sleep and death song for the miller who rests in him as if in his deathbed. The brook is seen as the miller's friend, but it can also be interpreted as an enemy, because it leads the miller to his death.
The first songs of the cycle are composed joyfully and pushing forward, which is also reflected in the fast piano accompaniment, which is mostly in thirty-two notes. The second part of the song cycle turns into resignation, melancholy and impotent anger and, in its longing for death, is similar to Schubert's second great vocal work: Die Winterreise . Half of the titles in the second part are therefore tellingly in the minor key. The boundaries between irrepressible will to live, fear and despondency, melancholy and even depression are explored in both works. In addition to Schubert's own unhappy love, the composition also reflects his mood of life, which is characterized by serious illness ( syphilis ).
The earliest evidence of a performance of several songs in the cycle is a program sheet in the Wroclaw University Library : On December 16, 1825, the baritone Johann Theodor Mosewius conducted the contents of the first issue (No. 1–4) as part of a musical evening entertainment in the Breslauer large one Provincial Resource on. It can be assumed that Carl von Schönstein and Johann Michael Vogl also performed parts of the miller's wife on a smaller or larger scale during Schubert's lifetime. The first cyclical performance by Julius Stockhausen in Vienna is documented for 1856 , who also performed with it in 1861 (in Hamburg with Brahms at the piano) and in 1866 with Anton Rubinstein in Russia. This long period of over 30 years was also due to the performance practice customary in the 19th century, which more often preferred a varied program of individual movements or songs to the performance of entire works and cycles.
The beautiful miller was made by great tenors and baritons such as Aksel Schiøtz , Christoph Prégardien , Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau , Hermann Prey , Florian Prey , Peter Schreier , Peter Pears , Julius Patzak , Fritz Wunderlich , Ian Bostridge , Roman Trekel , Matthias Goerne , Robert Holl , Christian Gerhaher , Thomas Quasthoff , Jonas Kaufmann , but also interpreted by contralto such as Brigitte Fassbaender and Christa Ludwig and contralto Jochen Kowalski and recorded countless times on record and CD.
In literature, the beautiful miller's wife has repeatedly served as a motif, for example in the novel The Butterfly Catcher by Sabine M. Gruber , which uses the song cycle as a framework in terms of content and form.
In 2001 Christoph Marthaler directed Die Schöne Müllerin at the Schauspielhaus Zurich ; the production was invited to the Berlin Theatertreffen and is part of the comic-collage-like aesthetic tradition of Marthaler's recitals.
For the musical analysis of the cycle
Characteristic of the key sequence
The theories derive from the late Baroque period, which ascribed the expression of certain affects , moral qualities, etc. to individual keys in a multitude of overlapping traditions . It is reasonable to assume that Schubert was familiar with the ideas on key characteristics of Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart, which were first published in their entirety in 1806 and were then widespread - CFD Schubart belonged to the Swabian song school, whose other important representative, Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg, used the compositional methods of the Berlin song school in Vienna mediated. Nevertheless, the theses on a key disposition of the beautiful miller remain speculative due to a lack of secondary sources and clearly tangible results. The keys of the pieces are not organized according to the circle of fifths; they also do not - like the individual movements of a cantata - refer to a uniform basic key (the starting and ending keys are not identical and are even apart from each other in the critical interval of the tritone b - e ). Many key changes within the cycle (e.g. A minor / B major changing from No. 5 to No. 6 or D major / B flat major changing from No. 11 to No. 12 or vice versa from No. 1 on No. 2) are relatively long steps in the circle of fifths.
In Schönen Müllerin Schubert refers to a high degree to formal and typesetting types, such as those developed by the First and Second Berlin Song Schools and conveyed primarily to Vienna by Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg . The most common sentence types are:
- In principle, the singing part is identical to the upper part of the piano part (especially nos. 10, 13, 14; see below the example of nos. 13). This type of movement goes back to the Erste Berliner Liederschule , whose best-known composer Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, in addition to a number of other song publications, published his cycle Professor Gellert's Spiritual Odes and Songs with Melodies by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach ( Wq 194) in 1758 (five editions until 1784 ). The compositions of this collection are - like the compositions of the First Berlin Song School in general - notated in a piano score consisting of only two systems; the singer sang the upper part of the piano, omitting difficult ornaments. This type is closest to Schubert's No. 10 (rain of tears) : With the exception of a few notes (mostly text-related tone repetitions), the singing voice doubles the upper part of the piano setting, which, however, as Bach had developed, is polyphonic (consequently pronounced accompanying figures are - about Alberti basses - rare). The predominant three-part piano part is also modeled on Bach's Gellert songs. - The piano preludes of these songs consist in two cases (No. 10 and No. 14) of a variant of the use of singing parts; No. 13 begins with a contrasting motif. (In the First Berliner Liederschule , however, piano preludes were rare; in Bach's collection from 1758, only number 48 of a total of 54 numbers has an independent prelude.)
- By far, however, the movement developed by the Second Berlin Song School, especially Johann Friedrich Reichardt , with an independent singing voice, which is accompanied by broken chords of the right hand and a bass line of the left hand in the piano (complete No. 1, 2, 11; many more Numbers in parts). Here the piano prelude regularly consists of an anticipation of the piano configuration. Schubert developed this sentence further in several directions:
- The chord configuration of the right hand is semantized by means of clay painting (No. 2: the water of the flowing brook). Schubert first used this technique in Gretchen am Spinnrade ( D 118, 1814), where the figuration of the piano depicts the various movements of the spinning wheel in several layers.
- In place of the undefined bass line there is a characteristic, solo motif of the left hand, which acts as a contrast to the singing voice (No. 3: the unison motif of the beginning moves into the bass; No. 7: the bass motif of the prelude becomes picked up in the chorus).
- The figuration of the right hand is melodically reshaped (No. 12 - which, however, mixes the movement types -; in No. 15 the chord breaks are created from scale excerpts in sixteenth notes, after they had already been introduced in the prelude).
Among the first songs in the cycle, the consistently persistent types of movements predominate, while as the situation of the journeyman miller becomes more and more critical, contrasting types of movements are combined within individual songs (especially nos. 15, 17). The last three pieces, aimed at suicide, return to greater unity.
|title||Start of song||Tempo designation||key|
|1. Hiking||"Hiking is the miller's delight…"||Moderately fast||B flat major|
|2. Where to?||"I hear a brook rustling ..."||Moderate||G major|
|3. Stop!||"I see a mill blinking ..."||Not too fast||C major|
|4. Thanksgiving to the brook||"Was it meant, my noisy friend ..."||A bit slow||G major|
|5. At the end of the day||"If I had a thousand arms to move ..."||Pretty quick||A minor|
|6. The curious one||"I don't ask a flower ..."||Slowly||B major|
|7. Impatience||"I like to cut it into every bark ..."||Now hurry up||A major|
|8. Morning greeting||"Good morning, beautiful miller!"||Moderate||C major|
|9. The miller's flowers||"There are a lot of small flowers by the brook ..."||Moderate||A major|
|10. Rain of tears||"We sat together so comfortably ..."||Pretty slow||A major|
|11. My!||"Little brook, let your noise be ..."||Moderately fast||D major|
|12. Break||"I hung my lute on the wall ..."||Pretty quick||B flat major|
|13. With the green lute band||"Damage to the beautiful green ribbon ..."||Moderate||B flat major|
|14. The hunter||"What is the hunter looking for here on the Mühlbach?"||Speed||C minor|
|15. Jealousy and pride||"Where to so fast, so frizzy and wild, my dear Bach?"||Speed||G minor|
|16. The dear color||"I want to dress in green ..."||A bit slow||B minor|
|17. The bad color||"I want to go out into the world ..."||Pretty quick||B major / B minor|
|18. Dry flowers||"All of you little flowers that she gave me ..."||Pretty slow||E minor|
|19. The miller and the brook||"Where a faithful heart passes away in love ..."||Moderate||G minor|
|20. The creek's lullaby||"Have a good rest, close your eyes ..."||Moderate||E major|
No. 13 With the green lute band
The piece is the last in which the journeyman miller believes he is happy in his love for the miller's wife. He gives her the green ribbon that he tied around his lute because she loves green. Only later (nos. 16 and 17) does he understand that she loves this color for the sake of her new lover, a hunter.
The composition shows a transition from the polyphonic compositional style of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach to a more modern type of sentence (see above under sentence types ): Although the vocal and upper part of the piano movement are still largely identical, the piano allows the vocal part to sing alone in striking pauses (cf. in the music example below bars 4, 6, 12). At the same time, the polyphonic setting has been withdrawn in favor of a setting that is more emphasized on the upper part.
In his 1911 harmony theory, Arnold Schönberg refers to this song as an example of the compositionally justified violation of academic rules. Schoenberg wrote in connection with repetitions of notes in (traditional, i.e. tonal) composition exercises:
“The worst form of repetition will be that which sets the highest or lowest note of a line twice. […] In particular, the climax is unlikely to be repeated. […] If, for example, it should be proven in a Schubert song that the highest note occurs more often in a melody (for example: "With the green lute band"), then that is naturally a different case, because other means provide the necessary variety here . "
The “other means” mentioned by Schönberg are especially harmonic- functional and metric. The high tone f 2 (red arrow) appears in the singing voice for the first time in bar 6 as the target of the line d 2 (bar 4) - es 2 (bar 5) - f 2 , here above a sixth chord of the tonic in B flat major. When it is picked up in bar 9, it is again above the sixth chord of the tonic, but now on a light bar time (a good song singer will therefore sing it differently, namely with a higher proportion of head register ) and not as the goal of a consistent upward movement. Only in the following measure does it appear on a difficult measure, but now as a strong dissonance (ninth above the subdominant E flat major, resolved in the following E flat 2 ). In contrast to this emphatic staging of the high tones (the first time as the target of a conspicuous upward movement, the second time as a conspicuous dissonance over the subdominant that appears for the first time), bars 12 to 15 set it with deliberate casualness. The passage now aims downwards, in the area of the f 1 ; it moves the treble, which is a long way from the final note (bar 15), first to the second quarter of the bar (bar 12), then to the fourth eighth of the bar (bar 13), both times as consonances (octave or fifth) of insignificant sounds (new tonic F- major, new subdominant B flat major, both as basic chords ).
In contrast to the prominent role played by the high tones, repetitions of tones inside the tone space are of secondary importance. For example, the d 2 (black arrows in the musical example) occurs consistently in the course of the melody in the most varied of contexts, without a connection between the repetitions being able to be established: Schubert obviously did not intend a dramaturgy comparable to the treble.
Schönberg assigned his reference, which was still incidentally placed in the theory of harmony in 1911 , to a central role in his later argument about the twelve-tone technique. However, he cited his own thesis incorrectly - cf. the presentation of the section "The twelve-tone row as avoidance of tonality" in the article twelve-tone technique .
No. 18 Dry Flowers
The poem introduces the final phase of the cycle, which leads to suicide: The journeyman miller gives up the fight against the competitor. The flowers that the miller's wife once gave him have dried up; tears do not make them fresh.
In 1824 Schubert used the song in a slightly different form as the theme of his Variations pour le Pianoforte et Flûte op. 160 (D 802; however, they were only published in 1850). This piece, which is dedicated to virtuoso literature, is now part of the flute's “standard repertoire” , but it is largely judged negatively in Schubert literature: “The variations do not arouse any particular interest” is the only statement about the piece that can be found in Schubert's biography of Maurice JE Brown finds.
No. 20 The Bach's Lullaby
This piece is the only one that does not take the perspective of the journeyman miller: The brook, who was a loyal friend to him during his wanderings and love affair, is now singing a farewell song to the journeyman miller.
The piece shows a phenomenon characteristic of Schubert's piano setting: A melodic movement inside the movement is "covered" by a repeated note, here by the h 1 :
Schubert, "Des Baches Wiegenlied" bars 1–4
The term "cover tone", which is sometimes used for this type of sentence technique, is modern and should not lead to an interpretation as a symbol for the "covering up" of the journeyman miller through the brook (4th verse: "... that I keep his eyes covered"). “Cover tones” belong to the usual means of Schubert's piano setting (cf. No. 17 from bar 41; but also, for example, the divertissement à la Hongroise D 818, 1st movement bar 11 ff .; Gute Nacht D 911/1 from the winter trip) .
The rhythm that is typical for the piece, consisting of two eighth notes followed by a quarter, has become known as the “wandering rhythm” - albeit in reverse as quarter and two eighth notes. It is named after the piano part of the song Der Wanderer (1816, D 489):
Schubert, “The Wanderer”, D 493, bars 23–26
Walther Dürr described this rhythm as a "personal figure" of Schubert, which Schubert used, however, "at least not demonstrably deliberately":
"[The song verse] represents the“ wanderer ”who walks slowly, deliberately, but who (the piano fantasy teaches us that) is able to hurry, even rush himself."
The "piano fantasy" is the so-called Wanderer Fantasy for piano (1822, D 760), which, however, did not receive this name from Schubert and only for the quotation of this very stanza of the song The Wanderer in its 2nd movement. Dürr notes two typical forms of this rhythm, namely and and transfers its "wandering" meaning to death ("a final form of crossing borders") in Death and the Maiden (D 531), from there also to No. 20 from the beautiful miller:
“It is now noticeable that Schubert actually uses one of the two figures of this figure in corresponding texts (not always: he does not use them“ deliberately ”) […] - for example in Des Baches Lullaby […], in Das Wirtshaus from the Winterreise (D 911 […]) or in the eight-part song of the spirits over the waters (D 714 […]) "
Of course, there is no direct evidence of this interpretation; Their relevance can only be determined through extensive investigations or through the explanation of why Schubert behaved differently in similar cases. On the one hand, as suggested by Dürr, he set texts about wandering (No. 1 from the beautiful miller's wife ) or death ( Des Mädchen's Klage. D 191) without the "wandering" rhythm, on the other hand he primarily sets the figure in its rapid form, often without any demonstrable reference to “wandering” or “death in”: Lachen und Weinen D 777, Moment musical D 780/5, 2nd symphony (4th movement); in the slow form: String Quartet in A minor ("Rosamunde") D 804 (2nd movement), Impromptu D 935/3, the mentioned passage from the Divertissement à la Hongroise etc.
Sergej Rachmaninoff arranged the song No. 2 Wohin? for piano solo. The composer Reiner Bredemeyer composed the monodrama Die Schöne Müllerin in 1976 . Arrangements for vocals and guitar were made by Konrad Ragossnig with Peter Schreier and Dieter Kreidler with Günter Lesche .
Sheet music editions
- Benedict Randhartinger : The beautiful miller's wife, a cycle of songs. Poems by W. Müller for a voice with accompaniment of the pianoforte set to music and dedicated to Mr. Carl Freiherrn von Schönstein by Franz Schubert. Op. 25. New, only legitimate edition. Revised after the first edition by Hofcapellmeister JB Randhartinger. Vienna 1864 ( digitized version ).
- Julius Rietz : The beautiful miller. A cycle of songs. Poems by Wilhelm Müller. Set to music for a voice with accompaniment of the pianoforte and dedicated to Mr. Carl Freiherrn von Schönstein by Franz Schubert. Op. 25. New edition. Revised by Julius Rietz. Senff, Leipzig [approx. 1867] ( digitized version ).
- Carl Reinecke : Franz Schubert, Lieder-Cyclus, Die Schöne Müllerin, op.25, for the pianoforte / transferred by Carl Reinecke. Vienna ( digitized version ).
- Julius Stockhausen : The beautiful miller's wife. A cycle of songs, composed by Wilhelm Müller, accompanied by the piano by Franz Schubert. Op. 25 for baritone or alto like the same can be sung by Mr. Julius Stockhausen. Only legal issue. Vienna ( digitized version ).
- Arnold Feil : Franz Schubert. The beautiful miller · winter trip. Philipp Reclam jun. Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-15-010421-1 .
- Walther Dürr , Andreas Krause: Schubert manual. Kassel 1997.
- Ernst Hilmar , Margret Jestremski (Hrsg.): Schubert-Lexikon. Academic Printing and Publishing Company, Vienna 1997, ISBN 3-201-01665-9 . There is also the Schubert encyclopedia (Tutzing 2004) by the same authors.
- Elmar Budde : Schubert's song cycles. A musical factory guide. C. H. Beck, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-44807-0 .
- The informational texts in the booklets of the CD by Ian Bostridge as part of the Hyperion complete recording of Schubert songs by the pianist and musical director of the series, Graham Johnson , constitute an extensive work monograph . On the CD, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau recites the Müller poems that have not been set to music.
- The beautiful miller : sheet music and audio files in the International Music Score Library Project
- The beautiful miller's wife (MIDI)
- The Mühlenleben (according to No. 6) - First Pain, Last Joke - (according to No. 15) - Blümlein Vergißmein (according to No. 17) - the prologue and the epilogue were not set to music .
- Ernst Hilmar: Franz Schubert. Rowohlt, Hamburg 1997, p. 97.
- Erika von Borries: Wilhelm Müller, The poet of "Winterreise". A biography. C. H. Beck, Munich 2007, pp. 52-65.
- Peter Gülke : Franz Schubert and his time. 2nd edition of the original edition from 1996. Laaber-Verlag, 2002, pp. 216 and 217.
- Walther Dürr, Andreas Krause: Schubert Handbook. Bärenreiter, Kassel, 2nd edition 2007, p. 31.
- Till Gerrit Waidelich: Unknown Schubert documents from Breslau. In: Schubert: Perspectives. 8 (2008), Stuttgart 2009, , pp. 17-48, in particular pp. 27 and 48.
- Susan Youens: Schubert - The beautiful miller. Cambridge University Press, 1992, p. 22.
- See for example: Walther Dürr: Language and Music (= Bärenreiter Study Books Music. Vol. 7). Bärenreiter, Kassel u. a. 1994, p. 218 f.
- So based on the example of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier.
- Elmar Budde: Schubert's song cycles - a musical work guide. C. H. Beck, 2003, pp. 37 and 38.
- Chapter five in Susan Young : The Music of The Schöne Müllerin. Cambridge Music Handbooks, 2008, p. 72 ff.
- New edition by Hänssler-Verlag (now taken over by Carus-Verlag). Edited by Christian Eisert, Stuttgart undated (= Stuttgart Bach editions. Series E, 2nd group).
- Cf. the first edition of the later, but still comparable collection of Mr. Christoph Christian Storm's sacred songs (1780, Wq 197).
- If a variant is separately, it is 55.
- Josef Rufer (Ed.): Harmonielehre. 7th edition. 1966, p. 142 f.
- Epilogue to the new edition by Nikolaus Delius and Paul Badura-Skoda (Breitkopf & Härtel).
- Maurice JE Brown: Schubert. A critical biography. Translated from English by Gerd Sievers. Wiesbaden 1969.
- Both quotations from Walther Dürr: Language and Music (= Bärenreiter Study Books Music. Vol. 7). Bärenreiter, Kassel u. a. 1994, p. 242.
- Walther Dürr: Language and Music (= Bärenreiter Study Books Music. Vol. 7). Bärenreiter, Kassel u. a. 1994, p. 236 f.
- Walther Dürr: Language and Music (= Bärenreiter Study Books Music. Vol. 7). Bärenreiter, Kassel u. a. 1994, p. 243.
- Arndt Richter: The beautiful miller. A new arrangement for vocals and guitar. In: Guitar & Lute. 7, 1985, issue 5, , p. 40 f.