Read through the score of “Erlkönig” here.


Schubert’s great song, sung by the master, German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, with descriptive images.

Without the images, however, and without the costumes, set, and stage directions of an opera, the Lieder singer has only his voice, his face, and a very minimal arsenal of physical gesture to portray four different characters: Narrator, Father, Child, and Erlking. How well do you think he succeeds?

Another setting of Goethe’s poem, by Carl Friedrich Zelter (1758-1852). How does it differ from Schubert’s setting?

Another setting, by Carl Loewe (1796-1869).

Still another setting, by Louis Spohr (1784-1859), also sung by Fischer-Dieskau. Why do you think Spohr included a violin?

Which of these four versions of “Erlkönig” do you think is the most effective? Which is the scariest?

A wonderful sand-art animation of Schubert’s song.






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