• details

    • Order numbers: AM 84-010
      Hal Leonard # 4000210
    • Instrumentation: wind orchestra
    • Duration: 3'15
    • Grade: 1+
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Der Tod und das Mädchen - Franz Schubert

(Death and the Maiden, from String Quartet no. 14)
Franz Schubert / Arr. Johan de Meij

Within the art of song, the more than 600 Lieder by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) belong to the absolute best of the genre. The Viennese composer wrote his songs in a trice – often for performance in the intimate circle of his friends – and he considered them, remarkably enough, as occasional pieces which he did not wish to be judged on as a composer.

A contemporary reported of the enormous rapidity in which Schubert wrote his famous song Der Erlkönig: “We saw how Schubert started glowing, while he read Der Erlkönig out loud from a book. He paced up and down with the book, suddenly sat down, and wrote within the shortest time possible, as fast as you can write, the wonderful ballad down on a paper.” The eye-witness also reported that the work was sung that same evening, and was received well.

Just like Der Erlkönig, Der Tod und das Mädchen from 1817 has death as its theme. And here, the poem and the music also engage in a special symbiosis. Both songs can be considered operas-in-a-nutshell. Both describe Death who holds a conversation with an innocent and fearful child.

The prelude of  Der Tod und das Mädchen is reminiscent of an old death dance: it is the arrival of Death, who calmly and ceremonially strides into our visual field, veiled in a black G minor mantle, chords that come from a quiet darkness in which all life dissolves. The postlude is a variation of the prelude, this time in a major key. It is imaginable to see Death and the girl disappear from the visual field to the land of eternal sleep.

That Schubert himself was contented with the song, is shown by the fact that he arranged the theme for string quartet in 1824. Like the original song, this quartet has always been greatly popular. Johan de Meij has adapted the second movement of the string quartet for concert band; in this version, the majestic Death is an even more impressive appearance in the dark glowing wind sounds.

Anthony Fiumara

8. Flutes I/II
2. Oboe I/II
1. English Horn (F)
2. Bassoons I/II
1. Eb Clarinet
6. Bb Clarinet I
6. Bb Clarinet II
6. Bb Clarinet III
1. Eb Alto Clarinet
1. Bb Bass Clarinet
2. Eb Alto Sax I
2. Eb Alto Sax II
2. Bb Tenor Sax
1. Eb Baritone Sax
3. F Horn I/III
3. F Horn II/IV
3. Bb Trumpet I
3. Bb Trumpet II
3. Bb Trumpet III
2. Trombone I (C)
2. Trombone II (C)
2. Trombone III (C)
2. Baritone/Euphonium B.C. (C)
2. Baritone/Euphonium T.C. (Bb)
4. Basses (C)
1. String Bass
1. Timpani
1. Percussion: Triangle
Additional Parts
[for European countries only]
2. Eb Horn I/III
2. Eb Horn II/IV
2. Bb Trombone I (T.C. & B.C.)
2. Bb Trombone II  (T.C. & B.C.)
2. Bb Trombone III  (T.C. & B.C.)
2. Bb Baritone/Euph. (B.C.)
2. Eb Bass Tuba  (T.C. & B.C.)
3. Bb Bass Tuba (T.C. & B.C.)

Program Notes © 2006 Amstel Music–Amsterdam/The Netherlands