Franz Schubert

Die Erde ("Wenn sanft entzückt"), song for voice & piano, D. 579b (989a)

    Description by James Leonard

    Although Otto Deutsch, the nonpareil Schubert scholar catalogued every piece Schubert wrote, doubted the continued existence of the song called Die Erde (The Earth). While Schubert was known to have written a song with that title, all traces of it had disappeared; Deutsch listed it at the end of his catalog as D. 989.

    However, in 1969, 141 years after Schubert's death, the song or something very much like it, reappeared and was accepted by some scholars as an authentic work. Die Erde was thought to have been written in the autumn of 1817, and it was inserted into Deutsche's catalog as D. 579B, thereby sharing a listing with the authentic Schubert song Der Knabe in der Weige.

    This strophic setting of Friedrich von Matthisson's three-verse pantheistic poem has a bouncy little beat in E major. The melody cavorts gamely in leaps and scale passages over a jaunty piano accompaniment that sounds like nothing else in the Schubert catalog -- that is, it sounds prosaic. While some commentators have their doubts about the authenticity of the song, no one would dispute that, if it is indeed by Schubert, it is hardly top-drawer Schubert.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2013 DG Deutsche Grammophon 002894791780
    2011 Naxos 8503801
    2008 DG Deutsche Grammophon 463503
    2005 Hyperion 44201
    2005 Naxos 8557371-72
    2000 DG Deutsche Grammophon 463500
    1990 Hyperion 33005
    Kuk 59