Franz Schubert

Himmelsfunken in G major

D651 • “Der Odem Gottes weht”

About this work

After the attempted Resurrection at the close of Silbert's Abendbilder, the more intimate revelations of Silbert's Himmelsfunken (Intimations of Heaven) (D. 651) must have seemed much more congenial to Schubert. He set both poems successively in February 1819, and while the Abendbilder's closing verse has some of the least convincing music in all Schubert, Himmelsfunken's simple strophic setting seems far closer to Schubert's conception of the sublime. Moving at a slow tempo and to a single rhythmic figure for the whole song, with a lyrical melody that glides through heartrending modulations over a chorale-like accompaniment, Himmelsfunken is a hybrid from which seems part hymn, part dance, and wholly a Romantic Lied.