February 6 2014 – History
Versions of Schubert’s Erlkönig: wrote this at 17
Reichardt’s version of ‘Elfking’ is very strophic and leaves the expression of the characters to
the performer. Only stanzas of the Erlkönig are different (the melody is on one note).
Carl Loewe: contemporary of Schubert, his setting of the different characters. Erlkönig has the
same melody which suggests something like death. The accompaniment is arpeggiated like a
horn calling the boy. Tremolo at the beginning emphasizes the supernatural.
Schubert’s version: Piano has all the anguish of the father which is why the piano and the voice
needs to work together. The father’s drawn out line brings suspense. More human drama. Gives
us the reason for the galloping rather than depicting the galloping.
Any text set by the composer is different and just another interpretation. Folk type ballad.
Gothic. Inspired by Goethe’s midnight right with a friend’s chil