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Kosegarten (putative cycle)

Pieces in this collection

According to Morten Solvik 20 of Schubert’s settings of Kosegarten were intended as a sort of Liederspiel, involving three characters, Ida, Luisa and Wilhelm. Solvik argued that Johann Wolf, the archivist of Spina the publisher’s, based his numbering of the songs on Schubert’s intended performing order:

D 240HuldigungWilhelm
D 241Alles um LiebeWilhelm
D 228Von IdaIda
D 229Die ErscheinungWilhelm
D 219Das FindenWilhelm
D 227Idens NachtgesangIda
D 313Die SterneWilhelm
D 314NachtgesangLuisa
D 230Die TäuschungWilhelm
D 231Das SehnenIda
D 238Die MondnachtWilhelm
D 237Abends unter der LindeWilhelm
D 236Das AbendrotWilhelm, Ida, Luisa
D 233Geist der LiebeWilhelm
D 221Der AbendWilhelm
D 317Idens SchwanenliedIda
D 318SchwangesangIda
D 319Luisens AntwortLuisa
D 315An Rosa IWilhelm
D 316An Rosa IIWilhelm

Although he has no objection to performing the songs in this order, Graham Johnson has pointed out some of the arguments against the theory that Schubert envisaged this as a unified Liederspiel:

Walter Dürr points out (NSA Vol. 8 p. XVII) that Schubert set Kosegarten songs on 8, 15 and 27 July 1815 be concentrating on the works printed on pp. 132 and 141 of the second volume of the poems (1802). On another occasion (7 July) his choice of poem lay between pp. 39 and 43, and on 20 and 25 July he set to music the poems that appear between pp. 162 and 166. This conscientious and thorough attitude to the perusal of the collection suggests someone who is selecting texts as he goes along, rather than a composer with a storytelling agenda. Apart from this, there was no thriving Liederspiel tradition in Vienna that might have given rise to such an event in the Schubert circle. If Schubert and his friends had indeed taken part in something as novel as this, it is extraordinary that none of the people who might have been involved in the enterprise (including the singers) left any account of it in their writings. 

Graham Johnson, Franz Schubert The Complete Songs Volume Two Yale University Press 2014 page 97

For more on Morten Solvik’s argument, see http://www.kanevas.be/lieder/kosegarten/background.html