Ludwig van Beethoven

Zärtliche Liebe, song for voice & piano, WoO 123

    Description by John Palmer

    "Zärtliche Liebe" ("Tender Love") was first published in 1803 by Johann Traeg in Vienna along with "La partenza," WoO 124. Although Thayer puts the composition of "Zärtliche Liebe" in 1797-98, more recent research suggests it was written in 1795. The poem, by Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Herrosee, is occasionally referred to by its first line, "Ich liebe dich, so wie du mich" ("I love you as you love me"). The narrator describes the love he shares with another, a love that enables them to share all of their sorrows and provide each other with comfort and understanding. The year 1795 was an important turning point in Beethoven's career. He had lived in Vienna for over two years, studied with Haydn and others, and, most importantly, had insinuated himself into the homes and hearts of the nobility. He had become something of a "hot commodity" among Viennese aristocrats, and his music was becoming popular, as evinced in the publication of his Trios, op. 1 in 1795. Set in ABA' form, "Zärtliche Liebe" contains subtle nuances that point toward the mature Beethoven. The voice and piano parts are independent, but the piano part is not completely subservient to the voice. Although there is no piano introduction, Beethoven gives the responsibility of introducing the new melodic material for the second strophe to the piano. Just as the voice opens the song, it begins the third verse, which returns, hesitantly, to the music of the first. A move to the dominant at the end of the final line initiates the coda, which consists of the repetition of the last two lines of text. The arching, stepwise lines and quiet interplay between the voice and piano demonstrate Beethoven's assimilation of the Classical style as embodied in the work of Haydn and Mozart.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 SWR Music SWR 19064CD
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4796438
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4796418
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4796018
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon 4795448
    2015 Harmonia Mundi HMC 902217
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon 002894795229
    2013 Brilliant Classics 94630
    2013 Deutsche Grammophon 002894791780
    2012 Capriccio Records C 5140
    2012 EMI Classics
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94052
    2011 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099994844
    2011 Decca
    2011 Membran 232763
    2010 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 5099945543
    2010 Decca
    2009 Deutsche Grammophon
    2009 Deutsche Grammophon 001340802
    2009 Deutsche Grammophon
    2009 Deutsche Grammophon 4778167
    2009 Arte Verum 6
    2009 Fisher-Price 40467
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 MSR Classics 1194
    2009 Decca / Deutsche Grammophon 001341102
    2009 Berlin Classics 0016512
    2008 Audite 95601
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon 4311102
    2008 Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Distribution
    2008 Berlin Classics 0091412
    2007 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 0946394318
    2007 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 0946397307
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93525
    2007 Cascade Records 2200
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93200
    2007 Doremi Records DDR71130
    2006 Amon Ra 15
    2006 Fisher-Price 35457
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon 000625902
    2006 Deutsche Grammophon
    2006 Naxos Historical 8111093
    2005 Orfeo D'Or 339050
    2005 CCC Music Productions 2852
    2005 Deutsche Grammophon 002894775305
    2004 Challenge Records 72054
    2003 Harmonia Mundi 901801
    2003 VAI Audio 1213
    2002 Romophone 81034
    2002 Great Opera Baritones 704932
    2001 Orfeo 509011
    2001 Preiser Records 89514
    2000 Deutsche Grammophon 463 507-2GFD
    2000 Cornet Cantabile 3001
    2000 Gala Records 100554
    2000 Deutsche Grammophon 463500
    2000 Orfeo 505991
    1999 Perleberg / Valley Entertainment 215060
    1998 Arts Music 47519
    1998 Ondine 897
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453 804-2GCB6
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453 782-2GCB3
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453811
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 453700
    1997 Vox 5126
    1997 Deutsche Grammophon 449 747-2GOR
    1997 Delos 5501
    1996 Deutsche Grammophon 447 921-2GBM
    1996 Simax 1825
    1996 Gega New 195
    1995 Testament 1057
    1995 Capriccio Records 10910
    1995 Orfeo 399951
    1995 Intersound 830851
    1995 Nimbus 7871
    1995 Preiser Records 89208
    1995 Romophone 81013
    1995 Rene Gailly 88904
    1995 Berlin Classics 0010 542BC
    1994 RCA 62652
    1994 Symposium 1085
    1994 Preiser Records 89205
    1994 Pearl 9092
    1993 EMI Music Distribution 54879
    1993 Berlin Classics 0020822
    1992 Deutsche Grammophon 435145
    1991 Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Music Classics and Jazz
    1988 Deutsche Grammophon 4270172
    Capriccio Records 10915
    Deutsche Grammophon 415189
    Cascade Records 2266
    Amerimusic 1201
    Discover 920276
    Teldec 844061
    Brilliant 93525/75
    Denon Records 9136
    Denon Records 1254
    Waterside 103
    EMI Classics 676842A
    Arts Music
    EMI Music Distribution 64292
    Deutsche Grammophon 429933
    Deutsche Grammophon 445700