Franz Schubert

Bei dir allein, refrain song for voice & piano, D. 866/2 (Op. 95/2)

    Description by James Leonard

    What Schubert's publisher wanted in 1828 was some funny songs, something that the public would enjoy so thoroughly that he would have the early nineteenth-century version of a pop hit on his hands. What Schubert's publisher got were the Vier Refrainlieder (Four Refrain Songs), two mildly amusing risqué songs for soprano and two less-than-mildly amusing songs for baritone. Like all four of the Refrainlieder, the first of the baritone songs, Bei dir allein! (With You Alone!) (D. 866/2) sets a silly three-verse poem by Johann Seidl. In the case of Bei dir allein!, Schubert sets the poem as a modified strophic song, that is, the outer verses are almost identical while the central verse is set to different music. The outer verses feature a jaunty, almost muscular, vocal melody over a skittish, almost nervous, piano accompaniment in A flat major. The music modulates easily to E major for the central verse -- the major third harmonic relationship was a special favorite of Schubert's final year -- and then back again for the final verse. The final verse is a near-exact repetition of the first verse with a few slight modifications for the changed words and a short melisma on the final "dir" as a sort of quasi-operatic cadenza. The whole song is either completely captivating if one is a listener who enjoys lighter Schubert or slightly disappointing if one is a publisher who wants Schubert to make him rich.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2012 Harmonia Mundi HMC 902112
    2012 Andromeda 5009
    2011 Naxos 8503801
    2010 Nuova Era 232909
    2010 Transart Live 109
    2010 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4778989
    2010 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2008 Sony BMG / Sony Music / Sony Music Distribution 88697408042
    2008 Romeo Entertainment 7265
    2008 Challenge Classics 72302
    2008 Brilliant 93673
    2007 BMG 77716
    2006 Nuova Era 6860
    2005 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2005 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4775765
    2004 Haenssler 98388
    2004 Brilliant 92394
    2003 Decca 000201002
    2002 Naxos 8554796
    2001 Brilliant 99443
    1999 Preiser Records 90347
    1997 DG Deutsche Grammophon 453481
    1995 Sony Music Distribution 66835
    1993 DG Deutsche Grammophon 437225
    1993 Marquis Classics 81151
    EtCetera Records 1009
    Brilliant 93673/31
    Brilliant 99447
    Brilliant 92394/31
    EMI Music Distribution 2224
    Hyperion 33037
    Documents 223084