What I’ve Been Singing: Der Hirt auf dem Felsen (The Shepherd on the Rock): Schubert


I had a go at this in a lesson at about 9.30 in the morning.

“Do you want to try something really challenging?”

“Go on, then, … ” I responded.  (I need to learn how to say no).

This is the most challenging song I’ve ever tried. It’s more difficult than Wagner’s Liebestod which I’ve been having a go at on and off for a couple of years. It ‘s not just that this is 12 minutes long, as opposed to Liebestod’s ‘only’ 7+ minutes).

But this song is wonderful. It allows for a great range of emotional expression. It’s in three bits. I adore the second, darkest. And I love the duet of voice and clarinet. Gruberova (in the video above) could have made more distinction between the first two and the third sections, I feel. Another WordPresser, Entangled, has posted an interpretation by Elly Ameling.

Schubert wrote The Shepherd on the Rock, shortly before he died, at the request of singer and friend Pauline Anna Milder-Hauptmann.  She wanted something that would enable her to express a broad range of emotions.  The lyrics tell the story of a lonely shepherd who wants a girlfriend. During the course of the song, he has a chat with some mountain echoes, gets depressed, then buoyant at the prospect of the coming spring, and the return of hope.



About AnnIsikArts

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2 Responses to What I’ve Been Singing: Der Hirt auf dem Felsen (The Shepherd on the Rock): Schubert

  1. gingerpoetry says:

    Good morning , it is 8.07 now in Germany 🙂 , do you really sing this? Very difficult, but so beautiful, thank you so much for this. I didn´t know it, although I used to study singing more than 5 years. But I moved to Jazz later…today I sing with my husband in our Church Choir and I learned to love the sacred music, too.
    Have a nice day!


    • annisik51 says:

      I’m an amateur. Have been having voice training for just over two years. I’ve ‘had a go at it’ this Schubert piece. Yes, it’s not easy! I’ll be learning it ‘properly’. The only song I’ve come across so far that I actually CANNOT sing (physically) is ‘Dulcissime’ from Orff’s Carmina Burana. You must be a really good singer if you studied for over 5 years. If you’ve anything online, I’d love to hear it! The only singing approaching jazz I’ve tried is ‘Summertime’ from Porgy and Bess. I love singing all kinds of sacred music too. Thanks for writing, Carmen (great name for a singer)!


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