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An Aria A Day #23

Ständchen (Serenade)
No. 4 from Schwanengesang D.957
Composed by Franz Schubert
Arranged by Narelle French
Piano Narelle French

31st May, 2020

Our first vocal duet for An Aria A Day is performed by Sarah Crane and Shaun Brown, who last year wowed audiences when they performed together at Opera at Jimbour.

Schubert’s final song cycle was given the title of “Swan Song” after his death in 1828, aged only 31. The fourth piece, a wistful serenade, has over the years been transcribed for solo piano (including by no less a composer than Franz Liszt) and almost every other instrument or ensemble.

In the evocative text by Ludwig Rellstab, the waiting lover pleads softly yet urgently, while leaves rustle in the moonlight and the nightingale sings in the darkness with silvery sweetness.

Underneath, with Schubert’s deceptive trademark simplicity, a continuous guitar-like accompaniment alternates poignantly between minor and major chords, as the melody rises and disappears again into the night and silence.

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