Erster Verlust by Schubert

Solo Cello pdf

Erster Verlust first inspired me when I heard a recording of Ian Bostridge singing it. I thought it would suit the cello perfectly. This piece is a real gem and feels exquisite to play. The poignancy of the poem by Goethe that Schubert set to music adds to the bittersweet feeling of the piece.
The minor key evokes the loss and the major the happiness of the past love. I have kept it in Schubert’s original key of F minor. This presents technical challenges, due to the 4 flats. It is tricky to keep the double stops in tune, but as it is so beautiful and mournful in this key it is encouraging to try to create the warmth and sadness inherent in F minor. It is played as smoothly as possible and is a good idea to listen to the song to help identify the separate piano and vocal parts. Here is my translation of Goethe’s poem:

Oh, who can bring again the good days,
Those days of first love,
Oh, who can bring back just one hour,
Of that sweet time!
In solitude I nourish my wound,
And with constant fresh lament,
I mourn my vanished joy.

Oh who can bring back again the days
Of that sweet time.

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