Franz Schubert

Verklärung in A minor

D59 • “Lebensfunke, vom Himmel entglüht,”

About this work

Verklärung (Transfiguration) (D. 59) is one of Schubert's earliest songs, written when he was a mere 16 years old. Naturally, one can hear in it the composers who influenced him: Handel in the double-dotted rhythms of the recitatives, C.P.E. Bach in the sensitive writing for voice, the young Mozart in the elegant melodies. But in this setting of Alexander Pope's "The Dying Christian to his Soul", translated into German by Herder, one hears in the subtle transitions from recitative to aria to closing hymn the first stirrings of Schubert's own identity. Although clearly not mature Schubert, Verklärung is still audibly Schubert.