Der Musensohn

Franz Schubert

Der Musensohn in Ab major

D764, Op. 92/1 • “Durch Feld und Wald zu schweifen”

About this work

Schubert's December 1822 setting of Goethe's five-verse Der Musensohn (The Son of the Muses) is one of his most popular songs. With its infectious quick waltz tempo (actually two in a bar 6/8), its ingratiating vocal melody (a series of leaping arpeggios), its nimble jump from G major to B major in alternating verses, and its genial air of easy ecstasy, Der Musensohn presents a particular aspect of Schubert which audiences like to imagine the great composer's quintessence. This song, at least, seems true to Schubert's idealized image: Schubert, himself a son of the Muses, had the ability to stirring his own audience of friends to cheerful intoxication with his music. But even in so lighthearted a song as Der Musensohn, Schubert artfully places a one-bar ritardando under the (underlined) words "Where shall I find rest again on her bosom," giving all his audiences to know that for all his cheerfulness, this son of the Muses has his sorrows, too.