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Ungeduld by Franz Schubert

Guest Author - Gillian Buchanan

Ungeduld (Impatience) from Die Schöne Müllerin continues the saga from Der Neugierige. Here the young man has had his question answered and, to his utmost joy, the answer was in the affirmative. The song is therefore a heartfelt and passionate shout of joy, with its refrain Dein ist mein Herz at the end of each of the four verses, increasing in volume to allow the singer to let his fullest voice and brightest tone show.

This Lied has four stanzas and, unusually within this song cycle, each uses more or less the same music. It is how the musicians interpret the way the music grows within each verse, following the style and pace of the words, that sets the variation of tone and feeling of headlong movement within the piece. It is in F major with none of Schubert's usual sudden changes to the minor modes which are so common in his music; these would have been inappropriate here. The rhythmic urgency in the piano accompaniment hastened by the swinging music in the singer's musical line also catch the tone of the poem to perfection, making Ungeduld one of the best known of the songs from Die Schöne Müllerin.

This is one of two high points in the song cycle where the singer can let himself go and really use his voice to its fullest extent; the repeated phrases of Dein ist mein Herz climaxing at the end of the song separate out this part of the cycle from the second part, for it is in the next twelve songs that disaster gradually unfolds, ending with the miller's suicide.

Ungeduld is in the key of F major, the dominant of Der Neugierige, which was in B major. This places the two songs a perfect fifth apart in terms of musical key relationships, and creates a very settled link between the two songs. We will watch the coming songs within the cycle to see how the musical key relationships develop and how the movement from one song to another affects the listener. Schubert, by this time, was an experienced musician and knew very well what he was doing in musical key development and movement, it takes only a study of works like the Impromptus Opus 90 to see how complex his music could get in this area.

If you would like to consider recordings of Ungeduld for purchase, I would recommend perhaps Fritz Wunderlich (although this is of course an older recording), Matthias Goerne or Peter Schreier. All of these singers have made wonderful CD's of the cycle which are well worth listening to.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Gillian Buchanan. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Gillian Buchanan. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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