About this work
It's almost beyond belief that Schubert wrote this beatific setting of the well-beloved Psalm 23 "The Lord is my Shepherd" as an examination piece. And yet it is so: composed in December 1820 at the request of Schubert's friend Anna Frolich as a test piece for her vocal pupils, Schubert's part song far transcends its original purpose to become a small-scale piece of musical religious art. Originally written for two sopranos and two altos, Psalm 23 has become a staple of women's choirs everywhere there are women's choirs. It's easy to understand why: from the exquisite harmonies of the piano's prelude -- the magical entry of the voices, the smooth voice writing, the clear progress of the harmonies -- to the final blissful statement of faith, Schubert's setting rivals his Ave Maria (D. 839) as one his most perfect pieces of religious vocal music.
Curated by Chanda VanderHart, Pianist and Musicologist