Seven Lieder from Schwanengesang
for Baritone and String Orchestra
Text by Ludwig Rellstab
Whereas the first two Lieder-cycles were orchestrated for chamber orchestra, the winds are absent (but not missed) in the Rellstab Lieder. There are many associations to nature in the Seidl and Goethe Lieder which beg the inclusion of Schubert’s adored clarinet, not to mention the plaintive oboe and the obligatory hunting horns. On the other hand, the Rellstab poems are less sentimental than the Seidl poems, and less euphoric than those by Goethe and Willemer: the language is direct and without excessive ornamentation. I felt the text would be best served by limiting the orchestral palette to the strings, much like a photographer achieves a dramatic result by foregoing color for black and white.