Carl's Bonfire

Failure to Failure Without Losing Passion



This paper analyzes Schubert’s “Die liebe hat gelogen” with a focus on the form, harmonic, and rhythmic elements. The piece is a musical setting to portray the original poem written by August von Platen-Hallermünder in 1822. The title of the piece translates to “Love has lied” in English. Hence, through this musical setting, Schubert elaborately used music to depict “deception”. He did this by first giving the audience certain expectations and then altering the music material to something completely unexpected.


The earliest version of the song can be found in “Schubert’s Werke, Serie XX: Sämtliche einstimmige Lieder und Gesänge Band 7”, which was published in 1822. However, the earlier critic for the Allemeine musikalische Zeitung of Leipzig attacked it harshly due to Schubert’s departures from principles of unity, order, and academic definitions of the Lied, as the reviewer wrote — “Naturally, the former characteristics alone do not suffice to elevate an ordinary work to a work of fine art, but without them, only bizarre, grotesque works can arise” (Muxfeldt, p.480). The reviewer also attacked Schubert’s “Du liebst mich nicht”, another music setting to Platen-Hallermünder he composed in the same year, by quoting “he modulates in such alien ways and so unexpectedly to the most remote regions in a manner unlike any other composer on the face of the earth” (Muxfeldt, p.482). Hence, it is not hard to see during the period of time, Schubert was trying to take on the challenge of finding musical equivalents to notions that were rarely exploited. By trying to portray “deception” through music, Schubert definitely went through a reflection on what the common music conventions were and what his audience would expect — because a “non-deceptive” or “truthful” music setting simply means comforting and satisfying the audience with their expectations.

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