Franz Schubert

Die Sternennächte ("In monderhellten Nächten"), song for voice & piano, D. 670 (Op. posth. 165/2)

    Description by James Leonard

    There are hundreds of songs which could contend for the title of Schubert's most beautiful, and Die Sternennächte (The Starry Nights) (D. 670, op. posth. 165/2) is surely one. But, perhaps more to the point, it could be described as one of his most consolingly celestial songs. Setting the poem of the composer's good friend Johann Mayrhofer in October 1819, Schubert expressed in his music both sorrow on earth and prayerful appreciation of the beauty of the stars. Schubert's is a sort of heavenly barcarole in 6/8 time, with the vocal line floating above an accompaniment written almost entirely in the treble clef until the song's final bars. Composed originally in D flat major, Die Sternennächte was first published, and is still more often sung, in B flat major. But in its original key, the song radiates the super-lunary luminosity of a star-spangled night.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Harmonia Mundi HMX 290875061
    2011 Naxos 8503801
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 4778989
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon
    2009 Tudor Records 764
    2008 Harmonia Mundi 902004
    2006 Teldec
    2005 Hyperion 44201
    2005 Deutsche Grammophon 4775765
    2005 Deutsche Grammophon
    2004 Berlin Classics 0032742BC
    2003 Naxos 8554739
    1999 Claves 508611
    1993 Hyperion CDJ33019
    1993 Deutsche Grammophon 437225