Des Mullers Blumen by Franz Schubert
Des Müllers Blümen is another exquisite setting from the song cycle Die Schöne Müllerin by Franz Schubert. It is the ninth song in the series, almost half way through, and continues in the calm format of the previous song, this time in A major.
Once again we have a series of four stanzas, the final line of which is repeated in a gentle refrain. This is the sweetest of songs and there is no rippling arpeggio accompaniment; instead Schubert wrote a melodic line for the piano which perfectly complements the musical line of the Lied.
The subject matter also links to the previous song, Morgengruß. Remember the linkage of the miller girl's eyes to the flowers? This continues but the flowers are more clearly described here as forget-me-nots - an important flower in the nineteenth century language of flowers, indicating faithfulness in love. Only the last two lines of the poem suggests tragedy and here the singer may vary the tone of the final verse in the style of his singing as he brings the song to a close.
This is not a long song, but it is one of Schubert's most lovely in the Die Schöne Müllerin cycle. There are no complex changes of key or big dramatic moments in it - instead the melodic line in both piano and voice take the stage to showcase the song at this stage in the story. It is a very tender moment as the young miller continues in this moment of calm and sings of his beloved.
Again Des Müllers Blümen requires some care to sing. Purity of tone is essential and the simplicity of the melody should not be forced at any point. The song should not be rushed and nor should it be too slow. It is a settling point in the cycle at which the story development has come almost to a halt, but it is still moving a little and this should be borne in mind by the singer, especially at the last verse when the lines Der Tau in meine Äugelein, Das sollen meine Tränen sein, Die will ich auf euch weinen are sung (the dew in your eyes shall be my tears that I will shed upon you).
This is a song which will be remembered long after the rest of the cycle is forgotten and which is well worth getting to know.
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