Hermann Prey: Louis Spohr An Mignon Op.41 No.3

Louis Spohr «An Mignon» Op. 41 No. 3 Poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Hermann Prey, baritone — Karl Engel, piano.
Friedrich Schiller, as editor, published Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s poem
«An Mignon» in the year 1798 for his «Musen-Almanach» (p. 179f.).
Goethe enclosed the poem in a letter to Schiller (dated: Jena, May 28, 1797): «You also receive a poem which is in connection with a certain circle. Live well and enjoy
the evening, which promises to become lovely.»
Spohr through-composed the poem of five strophes, whereby the 3rd and 4th strophes are given in reversed order. The reason for the interference with the poetry is
not evident in the content or the music and there is no commentary by the composer.
In 1815, the same year that Spohr’s composition of Goethe’s poem appeared, Franz Schubert also set the text to music, however as a purely strophic Lied.
Schubert’s Lied is published in two versions. For the Peters Edition of the Lied, Spohr also revised his original version.
Spohr’s tempo designation is «Mässig geschwind» (trans.: moderately fast), Schubert’s: «Etwas geschwind» (trans.: somewhat fast).
Guided by this, it can be interpreted that the Lied by Spohr should not by any
means be performed too fast. The helplessness, paired with the internal restlessness,
is composed without overloading the text with musical ideas. Spohr leaves it up to the artists in this case, to assume the interpretation of the text individually within the musical sense.
See also: The first complete and critical Edition of Louis Spohr’s LIEDER in 12 vols., edited by Prof. Susan Owen-Leinert and Michael Leinert with the Publisher Dohr, Cologne, Germany: «An Mignon» in vol. 2 E.D. 29952.

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