Tune of the Day: Serenade by Schubert
Franz Schubert's last song cycle, Schwanengesang, published in 1829, just a few months after the composer's death, was in fact never meant to be a song cycle: it was Schubert's wish that the 14 Lieder that eventually found their way into Schwanengesang be published in groups according to their text's authors. The title of the collection, which translates to “Swan Song”, was the publisher's idea, and is a reference to an ancient belief that some swans are completely mute during their lifetime until the moment just before they die, when they sing one beautiful song.
There was a time in the 20th century when the fourth song of the collection, titled “Ständchen” (“Serenade”), was the most famous serenade in the world. That time was after Schubert had been popularized by the 1934 film Blossom Time, a film in which tenor Richard Tauber played the composer and which used “Ständchen” as its theme song and leitmotif.
Thanks to Dan for suggesting this piece!